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[Help-smalltalk] Re: License and porting

From: Roberto A.
Subject: [Help-smalltalk] Re: License and porting
Date: Tue, 17 Jun 2003 17:07:08 -0300

> I would like to ask some things:
> 1) License issues. Although the best thing to do is to make a program free
> software, is it possible to develop programs in Smalltalk using GNU
> and release them under other license? (I don't mean linking the GNU
> Virtual Machine to anything, nor modifying this in any way).

As long as you don't distribute your program with GNU Smalltalk itself as
part of it, no problem releasing it under other licenses - or else there
would be no commercial programs for Linux. But IANAL.

> 2) How difficult would it be to port GNU Smalltalk to another OS, not
> directly related to Unix, as BeOS? It has no POSIX threads, for example.
> POSIX things are lacking too. There is no standard way of doing "mmap"
> (although there IS a way, as far as I remember).

We're asking the same questions, since I'm thinking about working on a
native port of GST to Windows, with full native support for the few things
it needs Cygwin for. However, I believe GST is not so hard to port - there
are apparently few tricky issues to solve. Of course, those few tricky
issues may be *big* issues, but I don't think that's the case.

> 3) How are threads implemented? (not so important, but... out of

As far as I know, processes on GST are user-level - that means no OS
threads. I may be wrong though.

> If the answer to 1) is "yes" and answer to 2) is not something along the
> lines of "forget it", I would like to make a try at porting GNU Smalltalk
> BeOS. I think with the proper bindings to the graphical part (and other
parts as
> well) of the API it can become a very attractive alternative for doing
> application programming (in BeOS you're pretty much stucked with C++, in
> after knowing Eiffel and Smalltalk I refuse to code... no problem with C
> though). Maybe I should begin by stating that I'm not a hard-core
programmer, no
> kernel guru, no device-driver writer... I mean, I don't have that much
> knowledge (no assembly, just notions), but I have average C and C++
> knowledge (plus Smalltalk, Eiffel, Java...). Is it enough? On the other
hand I think
> I could learn a lot by doing this and I think... after a while it will be
> as hard as I think, and definitely lot of fun.

The "graphical part" port would be a little trickier than the VM itself, but
still doable. I think about doing the same interface on Windows (some kind
of Blox/MFC, if you will :-) ). And yes, it would be a lot of fun to do
that... you'd learn a lot of things all the way.

> Well, hope to hear from you,

I'm sure Paolo will answer as soon as possible. But I sincerely hope my
answers above were helpful and not misleading. :-)

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