[OSGeo-Discuss] Thematic Mapping Engine as Open Source?

Bjorn Sandvik bjorn at thematicmapping.org
Mon Jun 23 08:28:53 PDT 2008

Thanks for your feedback.

I'll consider the pros and cons between different licenses. I don't have 
commercial interests,
but I would like the project to be sustainable.

I've changed my mind about using SourceForge, - I agree that Google Code 
is more suitable.


Christopher Schmidt wrote:
> On Mon, Jun 23, 2008 at 12:01:25AM +0100, Bjorn Sandvik wrote:
>> My plan is to release TME as an open source project under a GNU GPL 
>> license v3, and use SourceForge as a code repository.
> Is there a strong reason behind these choices? These days, I probably
> wouldnt' go with either of them, personally.
> Looking back, I realize that the GPL license may well be related to the
> fact that Ext itself is GPL licensed. I wrote the rest of this before I
> thought of that, but I think it's valuable as a general statement for
> users thinking of licensing Javascript libraries anyway. It might still
> make sense, if the restriction is Ext based, the make it clear that your
> library itself is licensed as $permissive_license, and combining it with
> Ext makes it GPL licensed: This way, if someone were to buy an Ext
> commercial license, they could still use it under more permissive terms. 
> If you are a commercial entity looking to make money with open source,
> the GPL may well be a very good choice. Essentially, you are the only
> organization that can make improvements to the code that other people
> can't have -- as the copyright owner, the license doesn't apply to the
> work you do. (Once you have a project built with lots of poeple's
> copyright, that does change, but.) However, if your goal is to create a
> toolset which is widely used, and you are less concerned about
> maximizing profit from your actions, it seems possible that a less
> restrictive license might make sense. (An example of a successful GPL
> licensed project is ExtJS itself.)
> For example, one of the things that OpenLayers users have commonly
> requested is the ability to do thematic styling in the way you describe
> for their data: The coveted "SLD editor" is a concept that has been
> tossed around, literally for years. The Ext browser work that you have
> done would form a perfectly suitable base -- but OpenLayers is BSD
> licensed, and extensions to it are strongly encouraged to be BSD
> licensed as well, for reusability.
> As a result, if the work that you are doing were to be GPL licensed,
> then I would not feel comfortable encouraging a user to use your code.
> Part of this problem is actually specific to browsers, imho: the use of
> the GPL for Javascript software is 'somewhat weird': there are few
> definitions of where the lines are drawn in Javascript. (The Linux
> Kernel doesn't 'pollute' complied code that runs on that platform, but
> where does the line get drawn for Javascript libraries?) I'll admit that
> my dislike of GPL is strong enough that I have spent much less time
> investigating it; it's possible these questions are easy to answer, but 
> I don't know.
> Sourceforge bothers me, to some extent, but I think this might be mostly
> historical; I tend to prefer Google Code these days (though, see recent
> thread about Google Code blocking exports as per US Law, which sourceforge
> may not do). I don't know if there's any real reason to use one over the
> other; certainly, startup cost with Google Code was low, and you even
> get a built in wiki.
> Regards,

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