[self-interest] Re: Self on Linux (was: Self 4.1)

Gordon Cichon gordon at cichon.de
Wed Nov 17 10:01:42 UTC 1999

On Tue, 16 Nov 1999, Jecel Assumpcao Jr wrote:
> It just says:
>    You may use the software internally, modify it, make
>    copies and distribute the software to third parties,
>    including redistribution for profit, provided each copy
>    of the software you make contains the copyright notice
>    set forth above, the disclaimer below, and the authorship
>    attribution below.
> I have looked at all the Open Source licenses out there and this
> is probably the simplest and least ambiguous of all (close to
> the BSD one).

Hi Jecel,

I just would like to say a few words about licensing:

There is this dicussion going on whether BSD or GPL
licenses are better. This is a very broad discussion 
in the mean time, and there are lots of contributions
to it which are far too many that I could repeat them
all at this place.

I have been urged by several members of this mailing
list to release Self for Linux under a BSD style license
which I could not do in this case anyway because my
distribustion contains gas, the GNU assembler which
needs to be redistributed under GPL anyway.

Self at the current point does not have any economical importance. 
There is hardly anybody willing to spend money on Self today. 
There are hardly a few dozens of Self users today.

Nevertheless, what we share in this mailing list is the opinion
that Self is a good idea. So, how could we get other people to
jump onto that train and also use Self despite all the imperfectness
that this system still has at present time?

I think, that we only have a chance if we work together more
closely. IMHO, it does not make sense to reinvent the wheel every
time over and over again. Remember, that has been told to be one
of the big advantages of OO programming not having to start over
from scratch every time again. So there are more than five incomplete
approaches for Self implementations. What a waste of our sparse
development capacity!

So, what is the difference between BSD, and GPL license? The main
one for me is that a BSD license allows anybody to discontinue the
free development, and make a commercial product from it without
including the contributors. 

Who would prevent someone coming up with a proprietary, closed
Self release if Self was distributed under BSD license? When I
read about your past plans for a OO "billing infrastructure", I
got scary that next year I would be going to be charged for
using my own code. This plan was a nightmare for privacy. And
a BSD license would allow anyone to implement it.

And, I know for sure that a closed Self is not going to be a 
commercial success, unless your name is Microsoft. Even Sun
seems to have dropped Self in favor of Java.

So, why do you need a BSD license if you like to keep Self
open anyway?


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