The Arcology Garden

Drafting the "Hey Smell This" License


In developing The Complete Computing Environment over the years, I have narrowed my philosophy of Free Software to one that is less about, uhm, creating generically reusable components, but more about holistically increasing the "ambient knowledge" or "ambient connectivity" of the tools I use on the web. I don't really want to be "involved" in a distribution, and I am only glancingly involved in nixpkgs and the NixOS communities, I idle in and help out around the Emacs and org-mode spaces, and I answer questions and I share URLs and I review code, and I recycle all of that in to more knowledge and connectivity.

Let's make something clear, no one is going to pay me enough to work on the things I publish here alone, while still having a home and food, and in that regard, I am uninterested in monetization schemes. I intend to make my income in other fashions and keep my public work here free of managerial input, IP ownership issues, "shareholder fiduciary" obligations, parasocial imperatives.

so-called "strong-copyleft" licenses like the GNU GPL 3 or even AGPL are a natural first-choice for me and for quite a while they were my default stance. But strong copyleft only works by threat of copyright law enforcement, and I am not interested in pursuing that anyways, in general, because the United States legal system is a fucking disaster. I Fight For the User.

Ultimately, and perhaps unfortunately, i don't care if someone uses my software though as long as they aren't stealing from my mouth, or they aren't stealing my time. If someone I don't like is bothering me for support for my software, I'm more likely than not to drop the software on the ground and run. and so, if my goal here is to create re-usable snippets of knowledge and prior art for individuals who share my ideals and tribal affiliations, then i can discount most of the "legal issues" and instead make promises at other layers of the stack.

The other layers of the stack are in distribution and in social frameworks. These things are "hard to use" on purpose. If someone comes to me asking "how do I X in NixOS" rather than giving them a file they can "just use" or pointing them at my Nix monorepo, they get a URI to my notes on implementing that feature in my own system, as well as the code itself, but in broad terms the "raw code" is not something you can just clone down and use. It's "hard" to use on purpose, because I want you to craft your own tools.

So "Hey Smell This" is my embodiment of the idea of sharing things simply for the purpose of being able to share them. These URLs exist with the hope that the ideas in them may be interesting to you, but they are ultimately value-less.

but what if an individual steals from my mouth?

do i care? should i care? what recourse do i have?

Distribution and Social Frameworks

The CCE and my related projects exist on a theoretical org-mode document web, The Arcology Project exists in that space as a step towards that world. This is Free Software as a Community of Mutual Aide.

Hey Smell This

HEY SMELL THIS LICENSE 0.1 (c) 2021 Ryan Rix <>

  1. Hey smell this
  2. Don't use this unless you're really sure you want to
  3. If you really want to use this you keep the pieces you end up with.
  4. Don't @ me about the pieces you end up with.
  5. Distribution must include these .org source files
  6. You'll make an effort to work with the .org source rather than tangled source code or production implementation.
  7. "production implementation" is any work involving an invocation or loading of the python modules tangled from the org mode documents
  8. Distribution of this code or the production implementation may be done under the terms of any OSI-approved license so long as you include this license in the same location.