Research Log of Web Science Students

Computer Science is not simply programming

Hardwire to use GPL

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After one week of mulling over what license Hardwire will use, I’ve finally decided to use GPL v.3.

Here’s a peek at my comparison matrix:

I didn’t use MIT and LGPL because I thought it was too permissive. I didn’t want others to earn from my work without them contributing to the code base.

LGPL was out of the question because it is mainly used for libraries. Hardwire isn’t a library.

This narrowed down the decision between Apache and GPL. Initially I liked Apache because a lot of users at code.google were using Apache. GWT is licensed under Apache as well. But licensing under Apache would mean allowing Hardwire to be modified and used in commercial closed source software. This is something that is contrary to the goals of free software. I was sold on the idea that free software wasn’t about price but about contribution and making things better. I believe that a collective effort is always better and with many people, many good things can be achieved. In terms of code that means a wide user base and lots of support. This is what I think is behind the success of WordPress and the programming language PHP. PHP isn’t a great and pure a language as Python but there are a lot of PHP users compared to Python which I think makes it more attractive to use (though having said that Python is still better for me! :P).

So aside from the issue with commercial closed source software usage, Apache and GPL are pretty much the same.

For the benefit of everyone, I think I’ll post my findings in another blog post soon. 😀

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Written by Jose Asuncion

March 13, 2010 at 4:54 pm

Posted in Hardwire

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