beware GNU Smalltalk if you want to contribute to squeak

Randal L. Schwartz merlyn at
Wed Jan 9 23:17:13 UTC 2008

>>>>> "Paolo" == Paolo Bonzini <bonzini at> writes:

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

However, that means my initial admonition still applies.

Until and unless GNU Smalltalk's libraries are relicensed, anyone contributing
anything to *Squeak's* core (something we would call a 3.n or 4.n release, for
example) *must* steer clear of looking at the source code of GNU Smalltalk.

This is not FUD.  This is a plain and simple suggestion to keep people out of
hot water, and the Squeak distro under its current (already confusing :)
licensing situation.

Please note that I am *not* saying anything about the relative merits of GPL
or BSD-family licenses.  Please stop dragging that into the issue.  That has
nothing to do with it. It's just that the GPL (and even LGPL) licenses are
incompatible with the core of Squeak.  Simple, OK?

So, you can choose to be either a Squeak core contributor, or someone who has
been looking at (and contributing to) the GNU Smalltalk project.  But you'll
never be both.

Randal L. Schwartz - Stonehenge Consulting Services, Inc. - +1 503 777 0095
<merlyn at> <URL:>
Perl/Unix/security consulting, Technical writing, Comedy, etc. etc.
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