[GRASS5] Proprietory Frontend for Mac OS X

Bernhard Reiter bernhard at intevation.de
Fri Feb 22 21:21:40 EST 2002

On Fri, Feb 22, 2002 at 04:01:20PM -0800, Jeshua Lacock wrote:
> On Friday, February 22, 2002, at 07:34 AM, Bernhard Reiter wrote:

> There will be distinct wording that the underlying "GIS-Engine" is the 
> Open-Source Grass Project, and MacGrass is our Proprietory  GUI.

This is good, though I prefer the term "Free Software" as for freedom.

> >Agree, but that does not mean you have to develop it non-free.
> I cannot get funding for the project and give the source code away. From 
> an investment point of view - I agree.

You know it is about freedom and not about price.
I've done several commercial Free Software projects.

There are investors which do invest in this new model
of software business.

> Please remember, that I spent months of my life porting Grass to Mac OS 
> X. I publish the binaries for Mac OS X - 
> for free and I will continue to do so.

> Also remember that we donated money to the Grass project and we hope to 
> be able to generate larger donations in the future 

There is no price tag which makes it okay to substract freedom.
I am also investing quite some money and time into GRASS.
Many people did. If everybody did it in a proprietory way
we would not have such a powerful GRASS as we have today.

> I think an excellent example here is the Mac OS X Project Builder 
> application.  It is a fancy GUI for developing projects - I love using 
> it. It's back-end is the Gnu Compiler Compilation.  The GUI is Apple's 
> proprietary front-end for gcc. The gcc is obviously distributed under 
> the GPL.  Now, I ask is that GUI a "bad thing" for the gcc team?

It does not help either.
The only part that was acutally really useful was the
Objective-C frondend to the compiler. This one Apple only released
under pressure and because the had to.

Apple made several attempts to lock users in, just as Microsoft
does today. Thus they are not a "good" company by this means.
The fact that they are the only hardware alternative to the Intel
monopoly makes them worth preserving in these days. But a "good" company?

Oh, btw there is a Free Software implementation of the project and
interface builder coming along nicely.  www.gnustep.org

> I want to do the same thing Apple has done to a Operating System to a 
> Geographical Information System. What is the difference? They are really 
> identical in spirit and vision. Is Apple a "bad company"? If Apple can 
> do it, why can't we?

Meanwhile I think that you are right and it is legal to do so.
I do not think it is a good idea, but we obviously disagree here.
Thus I hope that you will find out the value Free Software
some time in the future.

There is no point in repeating the long debate about 
why it is not ethical to develop proprietory software.
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