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

Arnulf Christl arnulf.christl at wheregroup.com
Tue Jun 24 05:01:17 PDT 2008

Bjorn Sandvik wrote:
> 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.

Just as a side note: Google has been overly submissive to US Export Regulations and rejects requests from IPs that can be traced to a location within an country that falls under their export ban list. Unfortunately the same applies to SourceForge. 

Thus publishing your project through Google Code or SourceForge effectively prevents interested folks from joining the project if they are citizen of a nation that falls under the US Export Regulations. This also applies to people only visiting such countries. 

Best regards, 

> Regards,
> Bjørn
> 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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