[GRASS5] Proprietory Frontend for Mac OS X (was: Grass
hal at seanet.com
Fri Feb 22 20:44:30 EST 2002
At 4:01 PM -0800 2/22/02, Jeshua Lacock wrote:
>On Friday, February 22, 2002, at 07:34 AM, Bernhard Reiter wrote:
>>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'
>>>[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.
I think that Jeshua's plan is completely within both the GPL and the
spirit of the GRASS community. I hope he goes ahead with it, I hope
we Mac users end up with a great product, and I hope Jeshua makes
wheelbarrows full of money. I don't even see any reason to put his
two products on separate disks.
As some of you know, I'm mainly a PalmOS developer these days. I'd
like to toss out an example from that world (the word "militant" does
not come close to describing some of the open-source folks over in
the PalmOS community).
There are two main development environments for PalmOS, Codewarrior
(proprietary, hundreds of dollars) and PRC-tools (based on GCC, GPL).
However, there's also a proprietary environment from Falch.net called
Developer Studio. That's simply a nice GUI/IDE wrapped around PRC
Tools. If you want PRC Tools, you can have it for free. If you want
the IDE, you pay. This strikes me as a very close parallel to
Now suppose I sit down and write a shell script to drive GRASS.
That's certainly not a modification of GRASS (as defined in the GPL,
paragraph 2). It's simply a new program. It's mine, I control the
copyright and licensing, and I can sell it to anyone I can manage to
convince to buy it.
But maybe I can't get the performance I need out of a shell script.
So I write a C program to do the same thing. It's not as crystal
clear as the previous example, but I think this is still a separate
program (the GPL calls it "identifiable sections of that work are not
derived from the Program, and can be reasonably considered
independent and separate works in themselves"). Maybe it depends on
how it's linked--or maybe not.
There's another phrase in the GPL that's relevant. "...it is not the
intent of this section to claim rights or contest your rights to work
written entirely by you; rather, the intent is to exercise the right
to control the distribution of derivative or collective works based
on the Program".
I don't see how a front-end can be considered a derivative work.
It's a new work.
Finally, there's one more thing I hope folks will consider. If the
GRASS community gets a reputation for throwing up obstacles to new
software, that can only hurt the future of GRASS and the open-source
movement in general. Of course, it will also put more money into
Seattle, Washington hal at seanet.com
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