[Mono-devel-list] ByteFX development

Miguel de Icaza miguel at ximian.com
Sun Oct 3 22:19:59 EDT 2004


> None of this changes the fact that this is only an issue for someone who
> wants to write a proprietary app without paying the associated licensing
> fees.  It's my understanding that the exception allows you to write
> almost any kind of open source app you want while using the GPL
> connector.  It's only when you are building a proprietary app that the
> license fee comes in.  With very few exceptions, people who write
> closed-source proprietary apps are either currently selling or planning
> to sell their software.
> Allowing someone to write proprietary apps using your code without
> charging them a fee is an excellent technique to increase the ubiquity
> of your code (that's why I chose LGPL for ByteFX), however this is
> possible only if the contributors all have day jobs or you eventually
> sell other products or services for a fee.

This is fine, but Linux and most of the development stack today is
licensed in a way that allows for commercial developers to create
applications without having to license or pay royalties to a third

Depending on where you are standing: pure free software to practicality
there are different arguments about why and when to use the more
liberal licensing that allows developers to build commercial applications.

With Mono, I chose a licensing system that would maximize adoption as
opposed to one that would maximize profits, since we believe that
bringing the ECMA CLI is strategically important for free software.

Many free software companies have chosen a business model that gives
the software for free for free software, but it is a pay-for system for
proprietary developers (Sleepycat, Qt, MySQL).  

Today there are strong communities that support the `fully free' model:
Gtk+ for GUI programming and Postgress/Firebird for the databases.  And
depending who you ask, you will get a different answer.

But I can see an ISV coming from Windows to the Linux world in the
future facing problems: if for each piece of functionality they have to
license a toolkit to develop applications they might as well just stay
in Windows if the price is right.

>From the Mono perspective, we will continue to encourage a royalty-free
development toolkit.  Even if that means that we must replicate code.


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