beware GNU Smalltalk if you want to contribute to squeak

Paolo Bonzini bonzini at
Wed Jan 9 15:40:06 UTC 2008

> I can see that possibility but it's not unreasonable IMO to expect that 
> GPL applies to everything since there is no clear separation of VM and 
> class library. It might be helpful to somehow emphasize that the VM and 
> library have different licenses - perhaps make that FAQ obvious in the 
> distribution and/or on the front page of the site.

This is starting to be OT. :-)

However, I'll just point out that:

1) the distribution does have a "Legal issues" page in the manual.

2) FFI is more or less the only gray area where Smalltalk programs 
clearly use functionality exported by the VM (and don't simply act as 
input data for the VM); other than that, the separation would be clear. 
  However, exactly to cover this case the VM has "a special exception 
that allows Smalltalk programs to be linked with the functions exported 
by the virtual machine".  So whatever happens Smalltalk programs are 
clear and only covered by the GPL.

The licenses were discussed at great length with rms, and he agreed that 
this particular combination was the best option to keep GNU Smalltalk: 
1) free, 2) competitive with other Smalltalks in terms of what the user 
can do, 3) competitive with other scripting languages in terms of what 
the user can do.


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