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Re: squeak

Am 17.03.2004 um 07:51 schrieb Andreas Tille:

On Tue, 16 Mar 2004, Florin wrote:

I think Alan's attitude has always been pragmatic (in the Linus sense), and
I think nobody blames anybody in this thread. But continue to think pragmatic: What will be the future os Squeak? Is anybody able to make money with Squeak in the current state or with the non-free parts in it? Would it probably be possible to make money with a product which contains a Squeak which is continousely
developed by an Free Software community?

IANAL, so take this with a grain of salt:

Allowing third parties to "make money" with Squeak-based applications is part of the intent of the Squeak License. Any modifications to the base system have to be shared and thus given back to the community. Whatever you build on top of Squeak (using the base system as a development and runtime environment) can be proprietary or shared. These provisions have been made specifically to allow commercial use, while ensuring that developers can not be hindered by their employers to contribute to the community. There are companies whose lawyers found this an acceptable trade-off (*), including impara, where I work.

Squeak is free, but not Free as the FSF defines it, both for social and technical reasons. The technical reasons include that Squeak is a dynamic, "life" object system, in contrast to most other programming environments who are based on "dead" source code. Terms like "source code", "linking", "library" etc. do not have quite the same meaning. This makes it hard to be compare it with the GPL. And Open Source? Of course you have the source built into the life system! It is actually very hard to lock down the system in a way that you can not easily access the source code.

Or, to illustrate the "life system" idea a bit: Who does really run his whole desktop under GDB? Not many, I'd guess. You'd rather do a pathological examination of the core dump instead. However, in Squeak I do exactly this. Whenever something goes wrong, I can immediately debug and fix it, of course in the running system. No restart of the crashed application necessary. You would be surprised what difference this makes in your development style!

- Bert -

(*) If Disney's legal department can accept this open-source license, it should be farely safe to assume it will work for your company, too.

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