ask for APSL? for real this time?

ducasse ducasse at
Wed Jan 7 07:30:55 UTC 2004

Hi lex

I agree with you. If alan could use his contact to clean a bit the  
situation this would be better.


On 6 janv. 04, at 21:32, Lex Spoon wrote:

> Cees, shouldn't we at least ask?  I agree that we don't want to spend
> lots of time on this, compared to spending time on Squeak itself.
> HOWEVER.  A better license means:
> 	- more people will be willing to help out
> 	- more companies will feel secure using Squeak
> 	- I will personally save time from maintaining a separate Debian apt
> repository :)  I've already wasted more time on that than on licensing
> discussions.
> I would like to not only save my own time, but save time from everyone
> else who has to read a custom license and decide whether their  
> liability
> to Apple is acceptible.  And while I am certainly very happy to see
> Squeak "just" be an experimental testbed for new development  
> technology,
> I'd be even happier if more companies can feel safe to use it.  Squeak
> is already an excellent dev platform despite being primarily
> experimental, and I'd hate to see people using something else because  
> of
> license concerns.
> Heck, if nothing else, it would be very nice to be in a herd on this.
> If Squeak were APSL, then we'd be in company with a lot of other
> software.  Right now, Squeak-L must be evaluated individually, and we
> may get left aside as the legal basis of open source does slowly get
> established over the next several years.
>>> There has been a lot of discussion about Squeak licensing, and most
>>> proposals require that Apple re-release the part of Squeak it owned
>>> under a better license.  How about we go ahead and do that step, so  
>>> that
>>> further steps may be enabled?  Is there any reason not to?
>> I have asked for that about a year ago and got a clear and resounding
>> 'No' as an answer from Apple.
> I didn't realize this.  Who did you ask?  What exactly did you ask for?
> If it is hopeless then of course we should give up.
>> The only way this is going to move forward is if SqC steps in and
>> juggle their contacts at Apple, and judging by past experience I don't
>> feel that this is going to happen any time soon.
> In fact, Alan offered to do just that.
> 0650
> 42.html
> It didn't happen, because there was a lot of subsequent discussion.   
> But
> perhaps the offer is still open.... ?
> Also, Apple still presents Squeak for download on their web site:
> They list the license as "freeware".
> This doesn't sound so hopeless as you make it out.  Apple seems to have
> intended Squeak to be released as an open source project; they have a
> license all hammered out already, so it seems reasonable that they'd be
> willing to apply this license to Squeak as well.
>> And even then you are
>> still left with a legal mess (unlike the current situation, which is
>> entirely clear and acceptable to lots of parties) with respect to
>> non-Apple contributions done under the SqL.
> I don't understand.  How can having part of it be APSL make things be
> worse?
> I have been assuming that all the main contributors would be willing to
> re-release under any open source license you name.  We can then strip
> out any code whose authors we cannot track down, and voila -- APSL
> Squeak.  It is not even clear that we need Disney involved, since all
> updates from SqC-at-Disney were posted externally and since Disney
> doesn't seem to care.
> On the other hand, the original Squeak release is unambiguously owned  
> by
> Apple, except for the parts that come from Smalltalk-80.  Thus without
> Apple's help, it is quite hard to move forward.
> And this situation, while acceptible to lots of parties, is  
> unacceptible
> to many others.  Isn't that a bad situation for an open source project?
>> I can imagine getting Apple around, but Disney? Forget it. Just  
>> forget about it.
> Why?  Here's Alan's take on that situation:
> It's not clear that we need a statement from Disney, and it's also not
> clear that they'd be unwilling to give it.  Companies love to be seen  
> as
> benefactors of the community.
>>> I grow increasingly frustrated that Squeak is not included in open
>>> source distributions due to the situation with OSI.  OSI will likely
>>> never be convinced by arguments about the spirit of the license, and
>>> without OSI's support, we are likely to continue to have trouble with
>>> other groups such as Debian.
>> Yup. So you work around it.
> Yes, you can apt-get squeak if you edit your sources.list.  It's a  
> pain,
> however, and not all Debian users are willing to do this.
> And anyway, Debian is mainly a sign that there is a problem.  While I
> personally feel comfortable using Squeak for myself, I don't want to be
> putting legal pressure on others.  I also don't want the rug to go out
> from underneath us when someone notices the license is not OSI
> certified.
>> Personally, I think that any time spent talking about the SqueakL is
>> time lost.
> I don't want to spend much time on licensing.  However, the current
> situation is fairly bad.  Talk all you want about fuzzy law, but the
> export clause at least seems relatively clear cut.  Talk all you want
> about the symbols on paper *maybe* not being meaningful, but I'd rather
> not be sending around symbols on paper that make people nervous.  While
> I don't want to spend lots of time on this, it seems we might as well
> *try*.  We can ask the parties what they think, before giving up.
> If we don't get a better license, then it is okay.  At worst, we can  
> all
> do as Alan suggests and hold out for whatever Squeak begets in 5-15
> years from now, and simply abandon ship.  Is 5-15 years short enough
> that we can just wait?  I guess it depends on your point of view.   
> Heck,
> it might even be sooner, who knows?  And even the current situation is
> perfectly fine for Squeak-as-testbed; it's only those goofy people who
> want Squeak-as-platform that need to worry much about this, and even
> they can often convince themself that there is no problem.
> However, it would be helpful for the future of Squeak to have an
> unambiguously open source license.  If Apple goes along, we can make
> this happen.  If they don't, I am unsure what happens, but it is at
> least much more difficult.
> But whatever.  I don't want to sidetrack the list from its usual much
> cooler discussions.  I just think it is worth asking.  It is pathetic  
> to
> give up without even asking.
> -Lex

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