[GRASS5] Proprietory Frontend for Mac OS X (was: Grass Projection Parameters)

Bernhard Reiter bernhard at intevation.de
Fri Feb 22 10:34:27 EST 2002

On Mon, Feb 18, 2002 at 04:52:01PM -0800, Jeshua Lacock wrote:
> On Monday, February 18, 2002, at 06:45 AM, Bernhard Reiter wrote: 

> > We might have to check that what you do is not voilating GRASS' 
> > license. 

> [moved up from below] 
> Our front-end only sets system environment variables and executes 
> binaries. It does not modify or use any Grass code internally. 

> Further, I do not plan to put the two products on a single disk.  

> I am sure that it is within the context of the GPL. 

It might be legal,
at least it is not entirely within the spirit of the GRASS community.
I will consult more people on this.

Please make sure that it is cristal clear that GRASS comes with all
that freedom and your frontend does not. This is important in any case.

> > I am not a proponent of proprietory frontends to GRASS. 
> > It will not only be a disadvantage to the whole GRASS user 
> > community, but will also be suboptimal for your product and users. 

> Well, all I can say is there is definitely a demand for an elegant easy 
> to use interface. Most Macintosh users are VERY intimidated by Grass 
> and as such will NEVER use it without s slick front-end like we are 
> developing. 

Agree, but that does not mean you have to develop it non-free.

> I really do not see how this could be bad for the entire Grass 
> community. 

You are building your proprietory software on top of the functions
of GRASS which has been build as Free Software. Thus you are selling
a solution based on the ground work and do not share your work with
us groundworkers back.

> Look at what Mac OS X itself is. It is a GUI for controlling 
> (opensource) binaries through an elegant user interface. So by your 
> logic, Apple is violating the GPL because they have a front-end to stop 
> and start apache for example. 

AFAIK Mac OS X does not only contain Free Software binaries,
they rely a lot on bsd like unix based on a mach architecture.

> > Please note that there is also commerical Free Software. 
> > High quality software done by professionals for money, 
> > but still granting all necessary freedoms. 

> The Macintosh community is not used to free software. They are used to 
> paying for quality software on a CD in a box with manuals and support 
> that they can purchase from a store. 

But you can do this and let your frontend have all freedoms.
It does not stand in contrast to Free Software.
You also have the chance to educate them.
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