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Re: [TSVN] To GPL or not to GPL

From: Simon Large <simon_at_skirridsystems.co.uk>
Date: 2005-08-25 10:51:02 CEST

Michael Tiller wrote:
>>>3) Should someone be able to base a proprietary project on TSVN?
>>
>>Who would want to? As Nicolas said, TSVN is a mature product and
>>self-contained. Anyone releasing TurtleSVN would have to compete with
>>the free version from Stefan - personally I would not bother buying
>>shares in that company ;-)
>
> Well, I certainly considered it at one point for a project I was working on.
> As may be clear by my other recent post, I'm trying to get a certain class
> of users (not software developers) to embrace version control. TSVN is as
> close as I can get to what I need but I'd still like to go further. Judging
> by the response my recent proposal (along these lines) got here, I'm
> definitely no holding my breath that the free version will implement such
> changes.

Give us a break! You only put your proposal in 2 days ago. I was waiting
to see if Stefan wanted to comment. If you are referring to my initial
response, you have to understand that we get feature requests from
people who haven't yet found their way around and ask for things that
are already there in a different form. I was just checking the obvious,
so please don't take that as the final word. And it is holiday season,
so not everyone is around to respond...

> As such, I would see a possibility to create a highly customized,
> commercial variation of TSVN for the customer group I have in mind.
>
> But, because TSVN is GPL'd, I ruled such a project out immediately and I'm
> currently taking a different approach.

That's interesting, tell us more. Would that be for use only within your
own company, or is this something you might consider selling? Would it
be a one-time fork from the TSVN code or would you be continually
merging in all the bug fixes and changes? Had you considered submitting
patches to the TSVN project, rather than forking your own variant? What
is the extent of the 'highly customized' changes you were thinking of?

>>And if someone *does* commercialise it, or just integrate it into a
>>larger package, GPL only requires copyright notices in the source code
>>(and maybe the license file?). Most users never look at source code.
>>Other licences can require you to display attribution more prominently.
>>OK, we will never get a big banner, but we might at least appear in the
>>doc and the about box.
>
> I don't understand this comment. Who cares about copyright notices, the GPL
> would require me to provide the source code to my commercial application.
> That is the issue.

Look at it from the other side. The original developers care if someone
takes their product, commercializes it and gives them no credit for it.

>>BTW, the license we are currently looking at is Apache 2.0. It is beefed
>>up a bit from the 1.1 version which Subversion uses, but it is not a
>>copyleft license.
>
> I missed the start of this thread. Are you saying that TSVN might be
> available under an Apache license in the future? If so, when?

It is something we are looking at, yes. But to do that we would have to
get the support of all the developers and contributors, and we have to
give them a reasonable time to respond (allowing for holidays,
out-of-office, etc.). On this list there is certainly a split of opinion
as to whether we should drop the GPL. I can't give you a timescale, but
I suggest you continue to watch this list to see where the discussions
are going.

Simon

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Received on Thu Aug 25 10:51:03 2005

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