- From: "Steve Whalen" <SteveWhalen001@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: 15 Oct 2005 02:39:05 -0700
Marc A. Criley wrote:
> Lucretia wrote:
> > After having waited absolutely ages for a GNAT from AdaCore, I was
> > supremely pissed off that they GPL'd it, as the extra tools are only
> > available through them. Now, I'm working on some code that wanted to
> > (attempt to ;-D) make money on.
> The GPL doesn't stop you from selling your product. And for as much
> money as you want to ask and can get.
I suspect that to most of the several million computer programmers on
the planet, listing all of the special cases in which the GPL does NOT
interfere with what most programmers would call "making money" on a
program, is misleading.
Most programmers are NOT open source programmers, do NOT ship source
code with the programs they sell, and would find the requirements of
the GPL unacceptable for what is generally called "proprietary"
software. The universe of professional programmers who write
proprietary (closed source) programs to whom the GPL is NOT an
impediment is very small in relation to the universe of computer
programmers who write proprietary software.
Since we are no longer permitted to include AdaCore's runtime library
from their "free" Ada compiler when selling a binary only distribution,
I suspect the original author was correct in guessing that AdaCore's
GPL compiler is NOT appropriate for the intended use. The only legal
way to do a binary only distribution with an AdaCore Ada 2005 compiler
is to buy support from AdaCore.
Why do people keep pretending that AdaCore's removal of the GMGPL
license exception from their runtime isn't a really big change for the
Ada community? It really does make a difference to a lot of individual
programmers (and thus to Ada). Programmers who cannot afford to pay
AdaCore (or who choose not to) now must rely on significantly out of
date versions of compilers and tools in order to "make money" on a
program they wrote.
Getting people to use Ada as much as possible is one of the reasons the
DOD required the versions of GNAT they paid for to be free for ALL uses
including proprietary. AdaCore apparently doesn't feel there's enough
original "paid for by the DOD" content left over from the original DOD
contract in their Ada 2005 compiler to adhere to the spirit of the
original DOD contract requirement that there should be a free Ada
compiler available which allows proprietary code development for the
good of the Ada community.
The AdaCore removal of the GMGPL exception IS bad for Ada and I wish
people would quit pretending it isn't. No longer having a reliable +
free + up to date + easy to install Ada compiler makes "Ada
proselytizing" much harder (I don't consider having to compile your own
compiler and libraries from CVS as being "easy to install").
By way of introducing sharp programmers to Ada, I used to set up a GNAT
compiler on Windows or OS/2 or whatever machine a programmer used as
their primary development environment. I would do this so he or she
could learn Ada without any effort on their part to find and install
all the necessary pieces to write useful code that they could run on
their main machine.
I know of at least one programmer who wrote and sold a program after I
got him interested in Ada via the GNAT compilers. That cannot happen
anymore because a binary only program cannot be "sold" from the AdaCore
GPL compiler (the program that was sold that I'm referring to here did
NOT generate enough money to pay for an AdaCore support contract,
though it did pay for a few presents for the wife to make up for late
nights spent on the computer <g>). It is now much harder to get these
kinds of Ada converts without a free Ada compiler.
(the other one (not "The Duck") <g>)
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