[GRASS5] Terminology: Free Software

Bernhard Reiter bernhard at intevation.de
Wed Oct 10 06:22:11 EDT 2001

On Wed, Oct 10, 2001 at 12:06:09PM +0200, Roger Bivand wrote:

> A further point of some weight is that GRASS moved from an
> "unconstrained" license as of 4.2 (often no license?) to GPL as of 4.3 and
> 5.*. 

Having no license usually means the defaul that you do not have permission
to do anything with the software. The situation was unclear,
speaking of "unconstrained" does not hit the point.

> As I read the GPL, it seems more natural to use the term used there,
> despite the difficulties this may engender (we are using LGPL on some
> parts of the code, aren't we - there the constraints are fewer). GPL is
> actually quite constraining, and with reason. 

The debate about constrains is not the best way talking about it.
To ensure a maximum in freedom as in any democratic society you
have to restrict abuse of other people's freedoms.
To stress the anology: Nobody would think the outruling of slavery 
as a constrain. :)

> So a formal description is:

> "The Geographic Resources Analysis and Support System (GRASS)
> Geographic Information System (GIS) is Copyright by the
> GRASS Development Team headquartered at Baylor University,
> in Waco, Texas.
> This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it
> under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the
> Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your
> option) any later version."
> as in ./COPYING

It is correct, except that the development of the 5.x versions
basically were based in Hannover, lead my Markus Neteler and
are now based in Trento, Italy, still lead my Markus.

However this version is long and does not explain that a lot of people
call Free Software "open source".

*still scrating head about a good version*

Professional Service around Free Software                (intevation.net)  
The FreeGIS Project                                         (freegis.org)
Association for a Free Informational Infrastructure            (ffii.org)
FSF Europe                                            	  (fsfeurope.org)
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