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digitalmars.D - why do people worry about the D license

reply imr1984 <imr1984_member pathlink.com> writes:
I see so many people here asking if they can use D for commercial projects, and
I dont understand how this could ever be a problem because no language could
ever take off if it wasnt available freely. And even if the current D license
prevents commercial apps, other people are going to make implementations of D
with their own licenses - so why worry? Just enjoy D.
May 21 2004
next sibling parent reply Hauke Duden <H.NS.Duden gmx.net> writes:
imr1984 wrote:
 I see so many people here asking if they can use D for commercial projects, and
 I dont understand how this could ever be a problem because no language could
 ever take off if it wasnt available freely. And even if the current D license
 prevents commercial apps, other people are going to make implementations of D
 with their own licenses - so why worry? Just enjoy D.

Because people make stupid license choices all the time. There are lots of languages out there with restrictive licenses and their inventors still wonder why they don't "take off". Regarding other implementations: there may be patents on some of the language constructs that prevent that. For example, I guess Walter could have obtained a patent on his variation of the foreach mechanism for classes (i.e. opApply). That would make other implementations impossible if Walter decided not to license the patent. Because of these issues it is reasonable to investigate the licensing issues of any language one plans to use. Both because you could end up in a costly infringement lawsuit and because such things might prevent wide-spread adoption of the language. Hauke
May 21 2004
next sibling parent reply Juan C <Juan_member pathlink.com> writes:
All EXEs are written in machine code  :)

I'm left wondering how, given an EXE, one could determine the language used in
its design. Of course, detecting a garbage collector could be a big clue.
May 21 2004
parent "Walter" <newshound digitalmars.com> writes:
"Juan C" <Juan_member pathlink.com> wrote in message
news:c8l7bd$8sf$1 digitaldaemon.com...
 All EXEs are written in machine code  :)

 I'm left wondering how, given an EXE, one could determine the language

 its design. Of course, detecting a garbage collector could be a big clue.

It's not too hard if the spelunker is familiar with the 'fingerprint' of how a particular compiler generates code.
May 21 2004
prev sibling parent reply =?ISO-8859-1?Q?Sigbj=F8rn_Lund_Olsen?= <sigbjorn lundolsen.net> writes:
Hauke Duden wrote:

 imr1984 wrote:
 
 I see so many people here asking if they can use D for commercial 
 projects, and
 I dont understand how this could ever be a problem because no language 
 could
 ever take off if it wasnt available freely. And even if the current D 
 license
 prevents commercial apps, other people are going to make 
 implementations of D
 with their own licenses - so why worry? Just enjoy D.


Well, mainly because it's be illegal. A little correction though, Walter can't protect his programming language much - just the compiler. I'd imagine that using GDC for example would avoid any license restrictions. The problem D has currently is the fact that the license is, well, really quite vague and more like a disclaimer than a license. It reads to me (and others, I would assume) like: "I'm not sure how to avoid any and all legal consequences so I'm just going to dump blanket restrictions on the use of this software, and generally be as vague as possible so I can defend myself in an American court." And I can sort of understand this - I too would be scared to death by any legal system that doesn't assume humans may have an inkling of intelligence/common sense. "The Software is not generally available software." Does this mean that I'm not *really* supposed to have this software? "Do not use this software for life critical applications, or applications that could cause significant harm or property damage." This rules out pretty much absolutely any non-trivial software. And it's not even a disclaimer. It's explicitly saying that you can't use this to write complexish software. "Do not", not "Do this at your own risk." Basically it's all rather confusing. A license is something that should tell you what you are *allowed* to do beyond the base of copyright law. It can also explicitly disallow a certain use, such as the redistribution bit in the current license. A disclaimer is something specifying what the producer of the Thing (compiler) isn't liable for. The second paragraph in the 'license' is a disclaimer. It's wordier than I would write one, but I guess if it makes you sleep better... Saying "This software is provided 'as is', and by using the software you assume complete responsibility for any consequence the use of this software may have. I'm not liable for anything, whether related to the software provided or not." would probably be enough. A new bright addition: "If you send any messages to Digital Mars, on either the Digital Mars newsgroups, the Digital Mars mailing list, or via email, you agree not to make any claims of intellectual property rights over the contents of those messages." No. You can't write something in a reasonably unrelated document and expect it to apply legally. And I most certainly do not agree to make any claims of intellectual property rights over for instance this message. The portions of this message that are written by me are, as it is, copyright me. You can't do anything about that, not with the news server being a public server. *sigh* Americans. You have Fair Use rights, you know, no matter what some Big Companies might desire. To make it all further confusing, the Phobos seems to be covered by a number of different licenses - basically whatever the author of a part wishes. The Phobos 'license', per se, doesn't exist, and therefore people must assume that it's the DMD license that applies, which is why people keep asking about this here, and why Walter keeps having to reply that the license is an Artistic/GPL (except the bits Walter doesn't own, of course).
 Because people make stupid license choices all the time. There are lots 
 of languages out there with restrictive licenses and their inventors 
 still wonder why they don't "take off".
 
 Regarding other implementations: there may be patents on some of the 
 language constructs that prevent that. For example, I guess Walter could 
 have obtained a patent on his variation of the foreach mechanism for 
 classes (i.e. opApply). That would make other implementations impossible 
 if Walter decided not to license the patent.

Thank goodness that ideas aren't patentable where I live. It's rather quixotic, don't you think, how ideas are patentable in a country that allegedly values the freedom of expression so much. Cheers, Sigbjørn Lunf Olsen
May 21 2004
parent reply imr1984 <imr1984_member pathlink.com> writes:
Ok youve proved your point - the D license is a bit crappy. But I still dont
think why anyone should worry about this. I mean, by the time anyone here
finishes something worth selling in D, there will be other implementations for
sure / or the license will be fixed.

In article <c8mt7i$2npe$1 digitaldaemon.com>,
=?ISO-8859-1?Q?Sigbj=F8rn_Lund_Olsen?= says...
Hauke Duden wrote:

 imr1984 wrote:
 
 I see so many people here asking if they can use D for commercial 
 projects, and
 I dont understand how this could ever be a problem because no language 
 could
 ever take off if it wasnt available freely. And even if the current D 
 license
 prevents commercial apps, other people are going to make 
 implementations of D
 with their own licenses - so why worry? Just enjoy D.


Well, mainly because it's be illegal. A little correction though, Walter can't protect his programming language much - just the compiler. I'd imagine that using GDC for example would avoid any license restrictions. The problem D has currently is the fact that the license is, well, really quite vague and more like a disclaimer than a license. It reads to me (and others, I would assume) like: "I'm not sure how to avoid any and all legal consequences so I'm just going to dump blanket restrictions on the use of this software, and generally be as vague as possible so I can defend myself in an American court." And I can sort of understand this - I too would be scared to death by any legal system that doesn't assume humans may have an inkling of intelligence/common sense. "The Software is not generally available software." Does this mean that I'm not *really* supposed to have this software? "Do not use this software for life critical applications, or applications that could cause significant harm or property damage." This rules out pretty much absolutely any non-trivial software. And it's not even a disclaimer. It's explicitly saying that you can't use this to write complexish software. "Do not", not "Do this at your own risk." Basically it's all rather confusing. A license is something that should tell you what you are *allowed* to do beyond the base of copyright law. It can also explicitly disallow a certain use, such as the redistribution bit in the current license. A disclaimer is something specifying what the producer of the Thing (compiler) isn't liable for. The second paragraph in the 'license' is a disclaimer. It's wordier than I would write one, but I guess if it makes you sleep better... Saying "This software is provided 'as is', and by using the software you assume complete responsibility for any consequence the use of this software may have. I'm not liable for anything, whether related to the software provided or not." would probably be enough. A new bright addition: "If you send any messages to Digital Mars, on either the Digital Mars newsgroups, the Digital Mars mailing list, or via email, you agree not to make any claims of intellectual property rights over the contents of those messages." No. You can't write something in a reasonably unrelated document and expect it to apply legally. And I most certainly do not agree to make any claims of intellectual property rights over for instance this message. The portions of this message that are written by me are, as it is, copyright me. You can't do anything about that, not with the news server being a public server. *sigh* Americans. You have Fair Use rights, you know, no matter what some Big Companies might desire. To make it all further confusing, the Phobos seems to be covered by a number of different licenses - basically whatever the author of a part wishes. The Phobos 'license', per se, doesn't exist, and therefore people must assume that it's the DMD license that applies, which is why people keep asking about this here, and why Walter keeps having to reply that the license is an Artistic/GPL (except the bits Walter doesn't own, of course).
 Because people make stupid license choices all the time. There are lots 
 of languages out there with restrictive licenses and their inventors 
 still wonder why they don't "take off".
 
 Regarding other implementations: there may be patents on some of the 
 language constructs that prevent that. For example, I guess Walter could 
 have obtained a patent on his variation of the foreach mechanism for 
 classes (i.e. opApply). That would make other implementations impossible 
 if Walter decided not to license the patent.

Thank goodness that ideas aren't patentable where I live. It's rather quixotic, don't you think, how ideas are patentable in a country that allegedly values the freedom of expression so much. Cheers, Sigbjørn Lunf Olsen

May 22 2004
parent reply "Phill" <phill pacific.net.au> writes:
"imr1984" <imr1984_member pathlink.com> wrote in message
news:c8n2gh$30h4$1 digitaldaemon.com...
 Ok youve proved your point - the D license is a bit crappy. But I still

 think why anyone should worry about this. I mean, by the time anyone here
 finishes something worth selling in D, there will be other implementations

 sure / or the license will be fixed.

the risk, and would ask questions. Phill.
May 22 2004
parent imr1984 <imr1984_member pathlink.com> writes:
In article <c8n814$9un$1 digitaldaemon.com>, Phill says...
"imr1984" <imr1984_member pathlink.com> wrote in message
news:c8n2gh$30h4$1 digitaldaemon.com...
 Ok youve proved your point - the D license is a bit crappy. But I still

 think why anyone should worry about this. I mean, by the time anyone here
 finishes something worth selling in D, there will be other implementations

 sure / or the license will be fixed.

the risk, and would ask questions. Phill.

I think the main risk from using D, comes from the fact thats its new and unproven; the license is more of a side issue (IMHO).
May 23 2004
prev sibling next sibling parent Sean Kelly <sean f4.ca> writes:
imr1984 wrote:
 I see so many people here asking if they can use D for commercial projects, and
 I dont understand how this could ever be a problem because no language could
 ever take off if it wasnt available freely. And even if the current D license
 prevents commercial apps, other people are going to make implementations of D
 with their own licenses - so why worry? Just enjoy D.

In a world with terribly paranoid management it's a reasonable question to ask. If I am to have any hope in justifying the use of D in a commercial project at my current work (new offers welcome ;) ), my argument will have to pass the scrutiny of the legal department before I go to the build team and try to convince them to support a new compiler. And their desire to read, understand, or accept any license besides a contract that allows them to pass the buck if something goes wrong is basically nonexistent. Since many programmers probably aren't too good with legalese, the easiest way to know if a license allows something is to ask. :) Sean
May 21 2004
prev sibling parent "Walter" <newshound digitalmars.com> writes:
"imr1984" <imr1984_member pathlink.com> wrote in message
news:c8kroh$2of8$1 digitaldaemon.com...
 I see so many people here asking if they can use D for commercial

 I dont understand how this could ever be a problem because no language

 ever take off if it wasnt available freely. And even if the current D

 prevents commercial apps, other people are going to make implementations

 with their own licenses - so why worry? Just enjoy D.

Just to be clear, the current D license allows creating commercial, closed source, proprietary apps.
May 21 2004