ask for APSL? for real this time?

Andrew C. Greenberg werdna at
Fri Jan 9 15:51:58 UTC 2004

I take no ideological position on licensing freedom.  I disagree with 
the FSF notion that "freedom" can be obtained by making restrictive 
licenses, such as the GPL, that preclude people from sharing software 
in a monolithic image, but that isn't the issue here: I am commenting 
on the legal consequences of foolish and legally unsuccessful efforts 
to "relicense" the project.

I believe it is entirely unnecessary -- and frankly, it is simply 
raised primarily by people who ARE too ideological to enjoy freedoms 
they actually have, that they would risk killing the project to make a 
misguided political point.  There is simply nothing actually 
constraining about Squeak-L, certainly nothing that practically stopped 
the project from being successful, other than the fact that some people 
are funky about nuances that have little to do with real freedom.  
Again, however, that is not the issue.

My view is this:

First, we must reach a consensus what shape the ultimate license should 
take.  Only then does it make ANY SENSE AT ALL to consider what we 
should be doing.

Then, we should undertake to relicense the entire project under that 
license.  If it is not possible, we should undertake to either suck it 
up and work forward, or to rebuild a "free" Squeak if people really 
care enough to do so.

I ask again, is there broad consensus what license we should use in 
place of Squeak-L?  If so, what is it.  Let us draft the revised 
license in final form and then, only then, consider what it is we 
should do.

On Jan 8, 2004, at 11:28 AM, danielv at wrote:

> "Andrew C. Greenberg" <werdna at> wrote:
>> If the license is untenable (and there is serious reason to doubt
>> whether it is is untenable),
> Whether it is tenable or not depends on whether your requirements for
> licensing freedom are your own particular standards at a particular 
> time
> (I am willing to take this risk for this venture) or whether what you
> wish for Squeak is that it become as free as other shared software. To
> the extent that we value that goal, we cannot define our own standards,
> and we cannot each evaluate the license according to our particular
> needs at a particular time.
> There are accepted standards in this area, because people have been
> doing this for a long time. That's what OSI/DFSG/FSF "Free software"(*)
> are all about. These standards are not arbitrary or detached from
> practice - they are written by people that actually share software
> widely. If we view Squeak as something whose value lies in being 
> shared,
> that's the standard we should aim for, whether we think it will be easy
> or not.
>> all this still begs the question -- can we reach unanimous consent on 
>> a
>> new license?
> So, does anyone here think that Squeak's value doesn't depend on being
> shared widely?
> Daniel Vainsencher
> (*) No, that doesn't mean GPL only, MIT is a prime example of a Free
> license, by any standards.
>> there are really only two practical
>> solutions:
>> 	1) begin rebuilding Squeak -- start with the VM.  Use Squeak to
>> bootstrap a brand new, free VM.  Test by running Squeak on it.  Build 
>> a
>> new system.  Have lawyers crawl all over it to assure cleanliness.
>> 	2) negotiate with Apple
>> all this still begs the question -- can we reach unanimous consent on 
>> a
>> new license?
>> [smime.p7s]
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