[squeak-dev] Re: [Pharo-project] MIT strikes back (was Re: [smalltalk-research] Re: [Esug-list] Google Summer Of Code 2010 news!!!)

Stephen Pair stephen at pairhome.net
Thu Mar 11 12:50:08 UTC 2010

On Wed, Mar 10, 2010 at 7:37 PM, Nicolas Cellier <
nicolas.cellier.aka.nice at gmail.com> wrote:

> 2010/3/10 Stéphane Ducasse <stephane.ducasse at inria.fr>:
> >> What the starting point is will depend on to what extent Cog has
> >>>> been open sourced  (Teleplace may choose to open source
> >>>> single-threaded Cog initially, keeping back the threaded FFI for
> >>>> a while, it may not open source Cog at all; we'll see :) ).
> >>> May be I the only one to notice the:)   which I have problem to
> >>> understand since for me it announces that COG may not be
> >>> open-source.
> >>
> >> Isn't this what you wanted to allow companies to do, when you chose the
> >> MIT license?  I don't understand, why should you care?
> We  shouldn't. Well, except if previous annoucements strongly
> suggested this would be the case...
> >>
> >> I see some irony...
> > Not me. Freedom of choice is a political attitude. I understand GPL goal
> but I
> > do not adhere to it. I respect people pushing it but not in my way. I'm
> not sure
> > that we should debate that here but we do not have the single answer.
> >
> >
> Not sure the goals differ much, but indeed these are two radically
> different strategies.
> The question is: would COG have ever started under a GPL derivative?
> Who knows?
> Since it did not happen, current choice is between an hypothetical
> something MIT or nothing...
> Bah, at least we already get a closure VM in Squeak.

I would guess that Cog would not have started because if squeak were under
GPL, squeak wouldn't have been used by Teleplace to begin with...of course,
that's just speculation on my part (and Cog may very well have gotten
started under different circumstances).

I actually appreciate the role that the GPL played in the evolution of the
GNU Unix tools.  Without GPL, the Unix vendors would very likely have simply
co-opted that code and sucked the life out of the GNU project very early on.
 I don't believe GPL should be used for squeak however (and I think there
are general problems with that license as it relates to Smalltalk code (i.e.
it was written with C like linking in mind)).

What I believe is needed is a license that has time limited, GPL like
requirements for sharing enhancements and after that time period reverts to
a pure and simple MIT license (where the conversion date can be chosen by
the author).  It is essential that such a date be specified in the license
upon initial release.  Each new version would also come under a new license
that could have a timeout further into the future.  That would help ensure
that a project isn't co-opted early on by commercial interests while
simultaneously ensuring that at a defined point in time, it becomes
available for anyone to use without any restrictions of any kind (except the
limitations on liability in the MIT license).  It also would not preclude
commercial interests from paying for a different license in that early

- Stephen
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://lists.squeakfoundation.org/pipermail/squeak-dev/attachments/20100311/cde3d7f4/attachment.htm

More information about the Squeak-dev mailing list