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[Gnumed-devel] GPL or LGPL and motivation or what is more important than

From: Christoph Becker
Subject: [Gnumed-devel] GPL or LGPL and motivation or what is more important than the tookitquestion (Qt vs wx)
Date: Wed, 20 Aug 2003 15:10:51 +0200
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1. As far as I found license information in gnumed, the GPL was choosen.

2. I assume, that most useres in medicine and dentistry just want reliable and 
working software. I guess 98 percent will not or can not contribute as 
programmers, while 80 to 90 percent will not pay anything as long as they are 
allowed and able to get free copies.

One can see  this as no problem, but the price may be that the development 
will be (and is) slow, inefficient and updates will not be availabel on time.

As far as I understand the licens-question,
You can not get fully or partly closed source clients for gnumed, since they 
would have to be placed under the GPL, while the GPL would allow anybody to 
make free copies. In a real world, at least in Germany with the German 
mentality, this would mean, that most users would think "ich bin doch nicht 
blöd", and "Geiz ist geil", and thus just get copies from friends or via 
downloads and simply pay nothing. This may be ok, as long as there are enough 
people who don't know nothing better to do, than keeping the software updated 
and develop it further for nothing.
If the gnumed project would choose to use the  LGPL, or, even better, it's 
wxWindows derivation, developers who want or must make money by programming, 
could become more interesseted to contribut to gnumed and to use gnumed's 
modules, giving back improvments.

At this point, I would like to refer to 'The mythical Man-Month' from 
F.R.Brooks. One may think, that his surgical team approach is disproved by 
the open Source development, described in E. Rayomnds 'The cathedral and the 
bazaar'. But are there successfull open source projects without 'surgical 
teams'? And who or what would pay the 'surgeon' in programming medical 
applications? Advertisment for him? No busy general practioner or dentist 
will find a better job a programmer, where in an international, english 
language project as gnumed, he would even compete with asian computer 
sientists earning less than a third of the wage first world engineers.   
Satisfaction? Can't get that in his practice or with anything else? I don't 
beleave that there are no better alternatives than programming.
Making ones life easier and the own practice more efficient? Partly, and 
intially, but one can buy almost any dental or medical aministration programm 
for the practioners income of a one to may be maximum 4 month?
Perhaps here, and in moving to the LGPL instead of the GPL is the solution 
which was (to my opinion) wrongly thought to be in changing the toolkit from 
wxPython to Qt.

Christoph Becker  

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