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digitalmars.D.announce - my opinion on secrecy of D license

reply arnuld <arnuld_member pathlink.com> writes:
i just started to learn c++, then i heard about "D". it looked good. i searched
your web-site for information, i thought i should start learning it but you are
secretive about exact information of your licence. i tried to search your
web-site for license of D but concluded that you do not want to tell openly how
exactly you licensed D. If you want to keep D under a ``Proprietary license'',
then just go ahead and do it. what do you fear?. if you want to keep D
open-source, then go ahead and do it.

-----------------------
you have made things confusing like this:

Q. Will D be open source?

A: The front end for D is open source, and the source comes with the compiler.
There is a  SourceForge project underway to create a Gnu implementation of D
from this.

 it is like :
 Q: what's your name?
 A: yeah, i am hungry.

Q: Which parts of the Digital Mars D implementation are Free software? [Apr 04] The DMD front-end source is available under dual ( GPL and Artistic) license. Phobos, the D standard library, is now licensed under a zlib/libpng license unless the individual file specifies otherwise. The DMD compiler, back-end and libraries are licensed non-distributable under a DigitalMars license. The D language specification and accompanying documents are similarly copyrighted to DigitalMars. -- JustinCalvarese, additions by AndersFBjörklund
 this time Q has put limit on the answer.

The D language comes free. You can download the compiler (DMD) and standard library (Phobos) in a package that includes the Windows and the Linux (x86) system.
 even Microsoft distributes its Media layer free & that is not FLOSS.

---- i am not asking you to make D OpenSource, i am asking you to be clear. Keeping users of D confused will not make things better and only making things technically better does not guarntee any success. see WINDOWS, the much buggier OS, if not most, *but* it is a success. the richest person on this planet made his fortune not by selling airplanes, rails or petroleum but by selling most buggy OS. *technical* matter (at OS level) doensn'n play here. what do you think? it is just a logical explanation. be clear on D, please. just a user. thanks for your precious time. -- arnuld "the great intellectuals"
May 25 2006
next sibling parent reply Mike Parker <aldacron71 yahoo.com> writes:
arnuld wrote:
 i just started to learn c++, then i heard about "D". it looked good. i searched
 your web-site for information, i thought i should start learning it but you are
 secretive about exact information of your licence. i tried to search your
 web-site for license of D but concluded that you do not want to tell openly how
 exactly you licensed D. If you want to keep D under a ``Proprietary license'',
 then just go ahead and do it. what do you fear?. if you want to keep D
 open-source, then go ahead and do it.
 
 -----------------------
 you have made things confusing like this:
 
 Q. Will D be open source?
 
 A: The front end for D is open source, and the source comes with the compiler.
 There is a  SourceForge project underway to create a Gnu implementation of D
 from this.
 
 it is like :
 Q: what's your name?
 A: yeah, i am hungry.

Q: Which parts of the Digital Mars D implementation are Free software? [Apr 04] The DMD front-end source is available under dual ( GPL and Artistic) license. Phobos, the D standard library, is now licensed under a zlib/libpng license unless the individual file specifies otherwise. The DMD compiler, back-end and libraries are licensed non-distributable under a DigitalMars license. The D language specification and accompanying documents are similarly copyrighted to DigitalMars. -- JustinCalvarese, additions by AndersFBjörklund
 this time Q has put limit on the answer.

The D language comes free. You can download the compiler (DMD) and standard library (Phobos) in a package that includes the Windows and the Linux (x86) system.
 even Microsoft distributes its Media layer free & that is not FLOSS.

---- i am not asking you to make D OpenSource, i am asking you to be clear. Keeping users of D confused will not make things better and only making things technically better does not guarntee any success. see WINDOWS, the much buggier OS, if not most, *but* it is a success. the richest person on this planet made his fortune not by selling airplanes, rails or petroleum but by selling most buggy OS. *technical* matter (at OS level) doensn'n play here. what do you think? it is just a logical explanation. be clear on D, please. just a user. thanks for your precious time.

There's nothing secretive about it. Everything you need to know is answered right there in the second question you quoted. If that's not clear enough for you, I don't know what is. The front-end is open source under dual GPL and Artistic licenses, Phobos is licenses under a zlib/libpng license, while the compiler and the rest of the back-end are proprietary. What's the problem?
May 25 2006
parent Hasan Aljudy <hasan.aljudy gmail.com> writes:
This kind of legal crap is never clear anyway. Just deal with it!

Mike Parker wrote:
 arnuld wrote:
 
 i just started to learn c++, then i heard about "D". it looked good. i 
 searched
 your web-site for information, i thought i should start learning it 
 but you are
 secretive about exact information of your licence. i tried to search your
 web-site for license of D but concluded that you do not want to tell 
 openly how
 exactly you licensed D. If you want to keep D under a ``Proprietary 
 license'',
 then just go ahead and do it. what do you fear?. if you want to keep D
 open-source, then go ahead and do it.

 -----------------------
 you have made things confusing like this:

 Q. Will D be open source?

 A: The front end for D is open source, and the source comes with the 
 compiler.
 There is a  SourceForge project underway to create a Gnu 
 implementation of D
 from this.

 it is like :
 Q: what's your name?
 A: yeah, i am hungry.

Q: Which parts of the Digital Mars D implementation are Free software? [Apr 04] The DMD front-end source is available under dual ( GPL and Artistic) license. Phobos, the D standard library, is now licensed under a zlib/libpng license unless the individual file specifies otherwise. The DMD compiler, back-end and libraries are licensed non-distributable under a DigitalMars license. The D language specification and accompanying documents are similarly copyrighted to DigitalMars. -- JustinCalvarese, additions by AndersFBjörklund
 this time Q has put limit on the answer.

The D language comes free. You can download the compiler (DMD) and standard library (Phobos) in a package that includes the Windows and the Linux (x86) system.
 even Microsoft distributes its Media layer free & that is not FLOSS.

---- i am not asking you to make D OpenSource, i am asking you to be clear. Keeping users of D confused will not make things better and only making things technically better does not guarntee any success. see WINDOWS, the much buggier OS, if not most, *but* it is a success. the richest person on this planet made his fortune not by selling airplanes, rails or petroleum but by selling most buggy OS. *technical* matter (at OS level) doensn'n play here. what do you think? it is just a logical explanation. be clear on D, please. just a user. thanks for your precious time.

There's nothing secretive about it. Everything you need to know is answered right there in the second question you quoted. If that's not clear enough for you, I don't know what is. The front-end is open source under dual GPL and Artistic licenses, Phobos is licenses under a zlib/libpng license, while the compiler and the rest of the back-end are proprietary. What's the problem?

May 25 2006
prev sibling next sibling parent reply BCS <BCS pathlink.com> writes:
arnuld wrote:
 i just started to learn c++, then i heard about "D". it looked good. i searched
 your web-site for information, i thought i should start learning it but you are
 secretive about exact information of your licence. i tried to search your
 web-site for license of D but concluded that you do not want to tell openly how
 exactly you licensed D. If you want to keep D under a ``Proprietary license'',
 then just go ahead and do it. what do you fear?. if you want to keep D
 open-source, then go ahead and do it.
 
 -----------------------
 you have made things confusing like this:

To arnuld: If I understand correctly (both your question and about how D is distributed): DMD, the compiler, is free to download and use but your not supposed to redistribute it. Phobos, the standard lib, is mostly open source. You can (I'm almost positive) use it in any project, change it, recompile it, redistribute it or print it out and use it to decorate you room. Provided you don't lie about where it came from or what it is. The D spec. (the actual text) is copywriter. However using it to make a new D compiler is more than OK. In fact, I expect we'd all be really happy if you did that. To the rest of us: If this guy (who appears top have done a more than cursory examination of the docs) has trouble figuring these things out. Maybe we need to take another look at it. (Drifting off on a tangent) Maybe we need someone to manage the not so technical aspects of the website. Besides, that might free Walter up for more work on DMD. Putting up a CVS/SVC/etc. copy of the website would let us all contribute. Then Walter could merge in the stuff he likes.
May 25 2006
next sibling parent reply =?ISO-8859-1?Q?Anders_F_Bj=F6rklund?= <afb algonet.se> writes:
BCS wrote:

 (Drifting off on a tangent)
     Maybe we need someone to manage the not so technical aspects of the 
 website. Besides, that might free Walter up for more work on DMD. 
 Putting up a CVS/SVC/etc. copy of the website would let us all 
 contribute. Then Walter could merge in the stuff he likes.

Isn't that what the Wiki4D is for ? It's linked from every page ? http://www.prowiki.org/wiki4d/wiki.cgi --anders
May 25 2006
parent BCS <BCS pathlink.com> writes:
Yes, but having some sort of formal *managed* set of docs has its 
advantages also.


Anders F Björklund wrote:
 BCS wrote:
 
 (Drifting off on a tangent)
     Maybe we need someone to manage the not so technical aspects of 
 the website. Besides, that might free Walter up for more work on DMD. 
 Putting up a CVS/SVC/etc. copy of the website would let us all 
 contribute. Then Walter could merge in the stuff he likes.

Isn't that what the Wiki4D is for ? It's linked from every page ? http://www.prowiki.org/wiki4d/wiki.cgi --anders

May 25 2006
prev sibling parent reply Dave <Dave_member pathlink.com> writes:
 
     DMD, the compiler, is free to download and use but your not supposed 
 to redistribute it.
 
     Phobos, the standard lib, is mostly open source. You can (I'm almost 
 positive) use it in any project, change it, recompile it, redistribute 
 it or print it out and use it to decorate you room. Provided you don't 
 lie about where it came from or what it is.
 
     The D spec. (the actual text) is copywriter. However using it to 
 make a new D compiler is more than OK. In fact, I expect we'd all be 
 really happy if you did that.
 
 
 To the rest of us:
     If this guy (who appears top have done a more than cursory 
 examination of the docs) has trouble figuring these things out. Maybe we 
 need to take another look at it.
 

This comes up often enough that I think a mini-FAQ should be added right by the download links summing up what you've mentioned above. Something like: License summary --------------- DMD --- - You can distribute anything compiled w/ DMD in any way you see fit as long as you follow licensing restrictions (if any) on your applications source code. - DMD is non-distributable except by Digital Mars or authorized affiliates. - The DMD compiler front-end is open source. However, <license restrictions here>. Phobos (a D language standard library implementation packaged w/ DMD) ------ - You can distribute anything built w/ DMD in any way you see fit as long as you follow licensing restrictions (if any) on your applications source code. - Phobos is open-source, but you must follow the license restrictions found at the beginning of each module to distribute any Phobos source code. DMD and Phobos Documentation ------------- - The DMD and Phobos documentation is provided publicly for your use. - You may distribute the DMD and Phobos documentation under the terms of <whatever the license is>.
May 25 2006
parent reply Tydr Schnubbis <fake address.dude> writes:
Dave wrote:
 This comes up often enough that I think a mini-FAQ should be added right
 by the download links summing up what you've mentioned above. Something
 like:

 License summary
 ---------------

 DMD
 ---
 - You can distribute anything compiled w/ DMD in any way you see fit as
 long as you follow licensing restrictions (if any) on your applications
 source code.
 - DMD is non-distributable except by Digital Mars or authorized 

 - The DMD compiler front-end is open source. However, <license
 restrictions here>.

 Phobos (a D language standard library implementation packaged w/ DMD)
 ------
 - You can distribute anything built w/ DMD in any way you see fit as
 long as you follow licensing restrictions (if any) on your applications
 source code.
 - Phobos is open-source, but you must follow the license restrictions
 found at the beginning of each module to distribute any Phobos source 

 DMD and Phobos Documentation
 -------------
 - The DMD and Phobos documentation is provided publicly for your use.
 - You may distribute the DMD and Phobos documentation under the terms of
 <whatever the license is>.

Too me it still sounds like you don't want me to use your software. Or like you're covering your back so you can screw me badly and get away with it. Like the sales contract for a second-hand car. That's the problem, I think. Both your version and the dmd faq give me the inital impression that this is unsafe territory. Or at least, that it might be. Just the fact that reading the faq doesn't really clear the issue up completely is a danger sign for many, I imagine. It's like the door is closed, and then you open it up just a little bit. The first impression should be that it's wide open - come on and use D for whatever you like. No slimey lawyers attached. The restrictions that are actually there, seem more important than actually are. Most people are probably fed up with reading licences and trying to figure out if there's anything hidden between the lines, or not. I think there should be a simple summary of the licence somewhere (outside the faq), and then you can read the whole thing when you're actually gearing up toward using D for a major project. It think the way they explain the licencing issues on these pages is nice, even if D's license might be more complicated: http://www.python.org/ http://www.python.org/psf/license/
May 27 2006
next sibling parent Charles D Hixson <charleshixsn earthlink.net> writes:
Yes, Python has a nice license.  So does Ruby.

D has the license that Walter has chosen.  He is the author, it is his
right.

Perhaps you should look at GDC?  It's thoroughly licensed under the GPL.
 It's not quite as far along a DMD, since for one thing the author has
less time to devote to it, and for another whenever DMD makes a change,
GDC has to play catch-up.  It's also not as easy to install.  (It
requires a recompilation of GCC.)  It used to be a part of the Gentoo
repository, but that seems to have disappeared (i.e., the last time I
had Gentoo installed I looked for it to install and couldn't find it).

My suspicion is that part of Walter's code is proprietary to someone
else, and that he licensed the right to use it while writing his C++
compiler...but not the right to reveal it.  He hasn't ever said so, however.

Still, if you want a GPL licensed compiler for D, GDC is what you're
looking for.  (If you want a MIT, BSD, or Artistic license, however,
there isn't one.  You'll need to write it yourself.)
May 27 2006
prev sibling parent BCS <BCS_member pathlink.com> writes:
In article <e5a17l$i1k$1 digitaldaemon.com>, Tydr Schnubbis says...

Too me it still sounds like you don't want me to use your software.  Or 
like you're covering your back so you can screw me badly and get away 
with it.  Like the sales contract for a second-hand car.

That's the problem, I think.  Both your version and the dmd faq give me 
the inital impression that this is unsafe territory.  Or at least, that 
it might be.  Just the fact that reading the faq doesn't really clear 
the issue up completely is a danger sign for many, I imagine.

Why? This is not a rectorial question, what about it gives this impression?
It's like the door is closed, and then you open it up just a little bit. 
  The first impression should be that it's wide open - come on and use D 
for whatever you like.  No slimey lawyers attached.  The restrictions 
that are actually there, seem more important than actually are.

How about if this is put at the top of the licence page: "At a minimum, DMD and Phobos can be downloaded for your own use. You may use both without any restrictions with regards to the use or distribution of the programs developed with them."
Most people are probably fed up with reading licences and trying to 
figure out if there's anything hidden between the lines, or not.  I 
think there should be a simple summary of the licence somewhere (outside 
the faq), and then you can read the whole thing when you're actually 
gearing up toward using D for a major project.

I hear you, I hate it when I run up against a 40 page licence. In this respect DMD is much better than a lot of stuff. It has one of the shorter licences I have ever run across (excluding the I-don't-care-what-you-do-with-this licence)
May 27 2006
prev sibling parent reply Dejan Lekic <dejan nu6.org> writes:
 i am not asking you to make D OpenSource, i am asking you to be clear. Keeping
 users of D confused will not make things better and only making things

Nobody is confused about the license. libphobos is completely free and that is the only thing "user" should care about, because that is the only thing that might be deployed together with executable (or linked together).
May 30 2006
parent reply Georg Wrede <georg.wrede nospam.org> writes:
Dejan Lekic wrote:
 
 i am not asking you to make D OpenSource, i am asking you to be clear. 
 Keeping
 users of D confused will not make things better and only making things

Nobody is confused about the license. libphobos is completely free and that is the only thing "user" should care about, because that is the only thing that might be deployed together with executable (or linked together).

Wrong. Everybody is confused about the license. Except for the old-timers in this newsgroup. I wrote a draft for Walter a couple of weeks ago, so he'd put it on the DM website. PROMINENTLY. Until he does that, we'll just have to answer all these (IMHO valid) questions over and over again. georg PS: the draft was carefully thought-out, and should be usable as-is. If we'd even begin to appreciate how much FUD the "opaque" D/DMD licensing thing generates at large, we'd fix it for good, right now.
May 30 2006
next sibling parent Derek Parnell <derek psych.ward> writes:
On Wed, 31 May 2006 02:55:32 +0300, Georg Wrede wrote:

 I wrote a draft for Walter a couple of weeks ago, so he'd put it on the 
 DM website. PROMINENTLY. Until he does that, we'll just have to answer 
 all these (IMHO valid) questions over and over again.

I can't find *any* licence on the DigitalMars D web site. -- Derek (skype: derek.j.parnell) Melbourne, Australia "Down with mediocracy!" 31/05/2006 12:36:14 PM
May 30 2006
prev sibling parent reply Dejan Lekic <dejan nu6.org> writes:
Well, you might think it is wrong - i certainly do not. dmd\license.txt 
and dmd\src\phobos\phoboslicense.txt files in DMD package tell 
everything people shold know, in plain english.
May 31 2006
parent reply Georg Wrede <georg.wrede nospam.org> writes:
Dejan Lekic wrote:
 Well, you might think it is wrong - i certainly do not. dmd\license.txt 
 and dmd\src\phobos\phoboslicense.txt files in DMD package tell 
 everything people shold know, in plain english.

The problem is just that not everybody does find, download and unzip the DMD package, and then seek the files you mentioned. (I'm an old one here, but I'm not talking about myself, rather the thousands of new-to-D people who come and go.) A lot of people want to know the licensing issues up front, before wasting their time downloading stuff. So, first, the license stuff has to be so prominent that folks see it before having to search for it. And second, it has to be written "in plain language". (There can then of course be a pointer to the Real Legalese, or to those two files you mentioned, but the prominently visible text itself just has to be understandable right off the bat.)
Jun 01 2006
next sibling parent kris <foo bar.com> writes:
Georg Wrede wrote:
 Dejan Lekic wrote:
 
 Well, you might think it is wrong - i certainly do not. 
 dmd\license.txt and dmd\src\phobos\phoboslicense.txt files in DMD 
 package tell everything people shold know, in plain english.

The problem is just that not everybody does find, download and unzip the DMD package, and then seek the files you mentioned. (I'm an old one here, but I'm not talking about myself, rather the thousands of new-to-D people who come and go.) A lot of people want to know the licensing issues up front, before wasting their time downloading stuff. So, first, the license stuff has to be so prominent that folks see it before having to search for it. And second, it has to be written "in plain language". (There can then of course be a pointer to the Real Legalese, or to those two files you mentioned, but the prominently visible text itself just has to be understandable right off the bat.)

++ on that
Jun 01 2006
prev sibling parent Dave <Dave_member pathlink.com> writes:
Georg Wrede wrote:
 Dejan Lekic wrote:
 Well, you might think it is wrong - i certainly do not. 
 dmd\license.txt and dmd\src\phobos\phoboslicense.txt files in DMD 
 package tell everything people shold know, in plain english.

The problem is just that not everybody does find, download and unzip the DMD package, and then seek the files you mentioned. (I'm an old one here, but I'm not talking about myself, rather the thousands of new-to-D people who come and go.) A lot of people want to know the licensing issues up front, before wasting their time downloading stuff. So, first, the license stuff has to be so prominent that folks see it before having to search for it. And second, it has to be written "in plain language". (There can then of course be a pointer to the Real Legalese, or to those two files you mentioned, but the prominently visible text itself just has to be understandable right off the bat.)

Yes - right by the download links something simply stating that DMD / Phobos can be used in any way the programmer sees fit to build applications and libraries, and DMD / Phobos themselves do not place any distribution restrictions on anything built with them. Then a pointer to where the license text is in the package should do it.
Jun 02 2006