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Re: open source tools

From: Derek A. Neighbors
Subject: Re: open source tools
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 2000 19:16:47 -0700


Stuart Quimby wrote:
> While these tool discussions are going around, I bumped into this site for 
> the Wing IDE for Python :
> You guys probably are already familiar with them, but I'm wondering if their 
> license qualifies them as a possible gnue tool?  No charge if you declare to 
> them that development is for non-commercial purposes.

Never heard of them.  Their product looks very nice.  However it is not
"free" so would fail qualification for being an 'official' GNUe tool of
choice.  It has similar issues as wxDesigner.

Here is an acid test for whether software is acceptably free....

``Free software'' is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the
concept, you should think of ``free speech'', not ``free beer.'' 

``Free software'' refers to the users' freedom to run, copy, distribute,
study, change and improve the software. More precisely, it refers to
four kinds of freedom, for the users of the software: 

a. The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0). 
b. The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your
needs (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this. 
c. The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor
(freedom 2). 
d. The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to
the public, so that the whole community benefits. (freedom 3). Access to
the source code is a precondition for this. 

While is seems to meet a and b.  It has serious violations for c and d.  

I will say this would not prevent you from using this in GNUe though. 
As python source is python source.  Just as some people use Cygnus IDE's
with gcc to produce GCC code.  It just wouldnt be an 'official' GNUe
thing.  And those not willing to use non free tools wouldnt use, but its
a good tip for those willing to give up a little freedom for some

I will say I strongly advise against giving up your freedom as in the
long run its a bad thing, but that is of course entirely up to you.  We
will gladly accept code from any IDE. :)  As long as it is usuable by
those not willing to sacrifice their freedom.

Derek Neighbors
GNU Enterprise

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