Re: [ Re: 3.99.3]

From: Jay Carlson <>
Date: Sun, 04 Oct 1998 15:13:02 -0500

> > I would like to see the efforts of the STk maintainers and users reach
> > the widest possible audience. I think that an STk based on guile will
> > reach a wider audience than the current STk. And I don't just mean
> > today, I'm also taking into account the future (more on this below).
> As it stands, the interpreters and compilers are available at no cost
> with source.

In the case of STk, it's available for exactly zero explicit cost.

> As far as I can tell, the only thing bringing in GUILE
> would do is force the other two systems under GPL. While I certainly
> approve of the Free Software movement, I am not an activist. Even
> Eric Raymond grants that other license models should be recognized.
> I believe that STk and Bigloo are licensed in a way that permits both
> open and closed software. This is a good thing.

Bigloo appears to be fine (finally, in 1.9d), but STk can't be branded
under the Open Source (R) certification program. From the STk

 * Permission to use, copy, and/or distribute this software and its
 * documentation for any purpose and without fee is hereby granted, provided
 * that both the above copyright notice and this permission notice appear in
 * all copies and derived works. Fees for distribution or use of this
 * software or derived works may only be charged with express written
 * permission of the copyright holder.

Which fails :

| 1. Free Redistribution
| The license may not restrict any party from selling or giving away
| the software as a component of an aggregate software distribution
| containing programs from several different sources. The license may
| not require a royalty or other fee for such sale.

This keeps STk from being distributed as part of Linux distributions,
if nothing else---you can't sell a CD with STk on it even if it costs
$1.99. Well, you can if you get written permission, but then other
resellers of your distribution have to get it too, and even broad
grants of permission aren't really good enough for full reuse. This
also leads to the death of a thousand cuts, where you have 273
packages each requiring written permission and that's a huge cost to
go through.

Guile doesn't have this problem and ships as part of Debian, for
example. When your average newbie to the Scheme/Tk world wants to
start playing with stuff, they'll probably use the one that's on their

Software that fails the Open Source (R) definition creates FUD in
corporate settings as well as the hobbyist realm. STk has been off my
radar screen for Real Work because of this.

Jay Carlson
Received on Sun Oct 04 1998 - 22:15:09 CEST

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