[M3devel] m2tom3

vintagecoder at aol.com vintagecoder at aol.com
Sat Nov 26 19:35:45 CET 2011

>> The Critical Mass license is perfectly fine. What is the sick fascination
>> with GPL?

>Just that a lot of free software *is* released inder the GPL, and it
>would be convenient to be compatible.

A lot of /Linux/ software has been infected by GPL's viral forcible open
source license. BSD and MIT licenses existed before GPL, they are truly
/free/ and open source licenses, and they are also compatible with the GPL
(for me that compatibility is worth nothing).

If you use the GPL you will contaminate the original DEC license and
people who would have contributed or included your software in situations
where BSD and MIT licenses are common and accepted but who don't like GPL
(OpenBSD for a notable example) will have problems with it. I personally
have a problem with it. I was very pleased to find CM3 and the SRC license
and I would be very dissapointed if it was contaminated by the GPL in the

If you are going for freedom, there are a few good choices and none of them
are GPL. I cannot any reason other than politics for adding the GPL to a
preexisting product. I sincerely hope elegosoft avoids this!

>> Why can't people just leave things alone and not try to force
>> other people to live according to their rules. LGPL is just a slippery
>> slope.
> Just trying to reduce future barriers to interoperation.
>> Really? The GPL never reduced any barriers. It is *all about* barriers.

> It's about limiting one's freedom to limit others' freedom.  And that is
> a barrrier, right.  But the way to bypass the barrier is to release code
> under multiple licences, the GPL or LGPL together with whatever licence
> you prefer.  Potential users can then choose whichever licence suits
> them.

Mixing and matching licenses doesn't help because the GPL adds restrictions
that aren't present in true free open source licenses. If you feel it
necessary to license, what is the reason? Do you want to maintain ownership
and foster community participation? Then use BSD or MIT licenses which are
compatible with any open source license. Do you want to make a political
statement and jump on a bandwagon over a cliff to the point where many big
operations won't touch your product for fear of having to expose their
code? Choose GPL. The GPL is incompatible with most open source licenses
because it is not free, it adds restrictions that other licenses don't have.

I read recently MINIX had said they are attempting to build commercial
support and demand for their OS and they found the BSD license a
significant help in doing that. They said many potential customers object
to the GPL.

From a standpoint of true freedom /and/ possible commercial success the BSD
and MIT style licenses seem so obviously superior to a viral forcible open
source license, I just can't see why anybody would choose the GPL except
for purely political reasons. It's self destructive.

>> You truly want to reduce future barriers? Then public-domain your code or
>> use a BSD or MIT license.

>Those licences would do, yes.  I suspect they're compatible with both
>the SRC licence (which the CM licence is based on) and GPL (but can
>anyone confirm that?).

Yes, I can confirm they're compatible from GPL's standpoint. I don't know
about the DEC/SRC license.

>> Or just use the Critical Mass license and stop
>> trying to turn everything into Linux.

> It's actually on Windows that it's a particular problem.  It's usual to
> distribute binaries there.  Most potential Windows users don't have their
> own software development tools and can only use prelinked binaries.

I understand Windows users are mostly stuck with prebuilt applications. I
don't understand what licensing considerations have to do with that. If you
use the SRC license does that have any effect on the executables? If so,
how will adding code with other licenses whether BSD, MIT, or even GPL make
anything simpler or change anything? If the CM3 runtime is included in the
SRC license then that is the low bar, that is, you will only be able to add
restrictions to it, not remove any. If the runtime is not included then I
think it would be extremely unwise to encumber it any further. I feel it
would be unwise to encumber it any further in any case.

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