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Re: [Help-smalltalk] Re: GNU vs. Squeak vs. VW

From: Paul D. Fernhout
Subject: Re: [Help-smalltalk] Re: GNU vs. Squeak vs. VW
Date: Tue, 17 Jul 2007 15:28:19 -0400
User-agent: Icedove (X11/20070607)

Serge Stinckwich wrote:
> Squeak licencing isssues will soon be old story. Squeak 1.1 was
> relicensed by Apple under the Apache License 2.0 last year and all the
> developers have been asked to relicensed their work under MIT, so we
> have a complete free system.

[By the way, the embedded link to the contributors list at the second
link doe not work anymore.]

I can hope you are right, and I admire the vast amount of work going
into the license change, and it feels great that the Squeak community
has finally made it a priority, but "Disney" is apparently not on the
list of contributors needing to sign a waiver last I looked (a few
months ago). Disney has a blanket copyright statement in the image (or
had). The Squeak community is essentially left with a few comments that
could be interpreted as that somehow those previous contributions by
SqueakC members were OK to rerelease under a new license because of
general aspects of Disney's contract with SqueakC members, but if that
was true, then why was the Disney copyright statement in there in the
first place? Disney has almost singlehandedly driven copyright extension
-- they are for that reason one company from which not to take anything
for granted on copyright.

One thing the FSF sometimes gets scorn about is for its very strict
attitude towards copyright assignment or usage permission for any
contribution to GNU free software, but I think this Squeak situation
shows the benefit of the FSF procedures. That's why GNU Smalltalk will
likely always be in a better licensing position as a system to extend or
draw from.

> The work for the modularisation is also underway : for example there is
> a now a Squeak image for developers called squeak-dev
> ( with the last developers
> goodies and you can add and remove packages with the Universe Browser.

Again, I can hope you are right, and it does seem like good progress is
being made on that issue (finally).

Remember, I wrote that comment many years ago and only after years of
frustration by myself and several others with getting the community or
SqueakC to consider these issues of modularity and "free" licensing to
be of importance.

--Paul Fernhout

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