beware GNU Smalltalk if you want to contribute to squeak
bonzini at gnu.org
Thu Jan 10 07:35:14 UTC 2008
> 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.
I didn't try to do that. OTOH, "damn GPL" seems a pretty clear
statement on these relative merits.
> 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.
So a changeset from me to SqueakCore would never be accepted? (My GNU
Smalltalk code is copyrighted FSF, so I cannot in principle relicense it).
I think there are two other issues to consider:
1) Size of "Squeak core". I believe that most of GNU Smalltalk's code
would not fit into Squeak core (which I would like to become smaller and
smaller). If anybody wants to port it to Squeak, most of the time they
would release it on SqueakSource under LGPL and be done.
Some other parts would (these might include for example the
continuation-based implementation of generators, which spurred a sibling
thread on comp.lang.smalltalk AFAIU) but they are probably more fun to
reimplement from scratch, and not so easy to port anyway.
2) Right now, the opposite would also be true. The licensing situation
of Squeak is such a mess that GNU Smalltalk contributors should also
steer clear. It's not possible to look at a random method and
understand what license it is distributed under.
So it's mainly an issue of being willing to cooperate. I think all GNU
Smalltalk people (almost all?) are and it's also true at least for some
Squeak people. If somebody took a package (several thousands lines of
code, etc.) wholesale, ported it to Squeak, and licensed it under MIT on
SqueakMap that would be copyright violation. But everything can be done
"cum grano salis". Nobody is going to sue you if you copy an interface
from GNU Smalltalk, reimplement in Squeak (for fun!), but you did look
at the method comments in GNU Smalltalk -- and OMG maybe you got a
glimpse of the source code just below! Copyright does not protect
having similar implementations (patenting would, and GNU Smalltalk has a
clear patent license as part of the GPL/LGPL -- does Squeak have one?).
I think we're all for interoperability and for exchange of opinions
within the communities. Asking questions instead of making statements
in three different places, and using a more moderate tone than "beware
GNU Smalltalk" (*) is a good way to start.
(*) not to mention the "GNU Smalltalk sucks" subliminal messages that
some people including you keep sending on #squeak. We all know that all
computer programs suck.
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