beware GNU Smalltalk if you want to contribute to squeak

Jimmie Houchin j.squeak at
Wed Jan 9 23:27:17 UTC 2008

David Zmick wrote:
> if you really want to be "open", you should except anything from
> anywhere, and licenses shouldn't matter,  at least thats how i see it.
> what are the major differences in the two licenses?

Philosophies of compelled sharing verses voluntary sharing.

GPL and its kin, require sharing if you modify source code and you
distribute the modified source code based software.

BSD, MIT, and their kin, give credit where credit is due, don't blame us
if something goes wrong, and do whatsoever you want should you decide to
distribute modified source code based software.

Two philosophical camps.

Most people who prefer the BSD, et al, licenses often share just as much
as the GPL people, simply because they believe in sharing, not because
they are being compelled to.

Many in the GPL camp believe that compelling the sharing is necessary in
order to keep open source software from being a part of proprietary

BSD, MIT, don't care.

I am a big BSD, MIT fan myself, as are many/most on the Squeak list. I
believe that the most compelling aspect of open source is the freedoms
it gives. I don't believe that most who contribute to open source
require being compelled. I believe that most who have to be compelled
don't do open source.

SQLite, PostgreSQL, etc. compete quite well in there arenas and have
Public Domain and BSD licensing respectively. There are many extremely
successful BSD, MIT and similarly licensed projects. Demonstrating that
voluntary sharing can be quite successful. Yes there are many GPL
successful projects, but that doesn't mean that they wouldn't be
successful with a BSD, MIT license. That there contributors only
contribute because they have to.

Oh well. Enough philosophical ranting.

But this is the conflict between BSD and kin vs. GPL and kin when
introducing GPL and kin into a BSD-like licensed project. It makes
requirements upon the project that didn't previously exist. Going the
other direction makes no such requirements.

Hope this helps.


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