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Software News   Software News : Original SmartFileSystem source released under LGPL
   posted by DWolfman on 9-May-2005 16:12:43 (2654 reads)
Amiga-news.de reports SmartFileSystem (the original John Hendrix version) has been released under the LGPL. Here is the English page for their news item, and here is the SourceForge page for it.
    

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DWolfman 
Re: Original SmartFileSystem source released under LGPL
Posted on 9-May-2005 16:24:49
#1 ]
Super Member
Joined: 18-Jun-2003
Posts: 1442
From: Kansas City, MO USA

Now, I'm curious as to what can be done with all these more recent changes to SFS, for example the OS4 and MOS versions. I know the SFS code in UBoot/SLB releases had to be watched before because SFS wasn't GPL/LGPL licensed then.

So, could it be possible to see a unified bootloader now for A1/OS4?


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wegster 
Re: Original SmartFileSystem source released under LGPL
Posted on 9-May-2005 16:28:45
#2 ]
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Joined: 29-Nov-2004
Posts: 8554
From: RTP, NC USA

So how different is the version of SFS currently in OS4 from this? Is it a derived work, a ground-up re-implementation, or?

Is it an option/worthwhile to integrate the existing SFS into this project?


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AV 
Re: Original SmartFileSystem source released under LGPL
Posted on 9-May-2005 16:41:12
#3 ]
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Joined: 1-Aug-2003
Posts: 184
From: Unknown

Quote:
So, could it be possible to see a unified bootloader now for A1/OS4?


It's already present since last update. I guess you missed something...

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DWolfman 
Re: Original SmartFileSystem source released under LGPL
Posted on 9-May-2005 16:55:59
#4 ]
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Joined: 18-Jun-2003
Posts: 1442
From: Kansas City, MO USA

@wegster

That's part of what I was thinking. Sure would be nice to go to a unified version with the same functionality everywhere.


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DWolfman 
Re: Original SmartFileSystem source released under LGPL
Posted on 9-May-2005 16:57:40
#5 ]
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Joined: 18-Jun-2003
Posts: 1442
From: Kansas City, MO USA

@AV

Heh, guess I did miss that.


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salass00 
Re: Original SmartFileSystem source released under LGPL
Posted on 9-May-2005 18:27:30
#6 ]
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Joined: 31-Oct-2003
Posts: 2701
From: Finland

Great! I think I will use this as reference for the filesystem I'm currently in the process of writing for OS4 (unless anyone has a problem with that of course).

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wegster 
Re: Original SmartFileSystem source released under LGPL
Posted on 9-May-2005 18:34:44
#7 ]
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Joined: 29-Nov-2004
Posts: 8554
From: RTP, NC USA

@salass00
Why would anyone have a problem? It's open source...although that means we're assuming you're doing an open-source and non commercial filesystem?

Commercial products could have 'issues' using SFS open source as a 'reference'...


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salass00 
Re: Original SmartFileSystem source released under LGPL
Posted on 9-May-2005 19:06:15
#8 ]
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Joined: 31-Oct-2003
Posts: 2701
From: Finland

@wegster

Quote:
Why would anyone have a problem?

I'm no lawyer so I wouldn't know. Just wanted to be sure.

It won't be a commercial project for sure (no money involved). I'm still unsure when/if I want to release the source code though. I've thought about keeping the source to myself at least for the first few releases until I think it's mature enough (still undecided on this though).

Quote:
Commercial products could have 'issues' using SFS open source as a 'reference'...

Even though none of the code is actually used in the product? By 'using it as reference' I meant simply that. Unfortunately the OS docs on the inner workings of filesystem handlers are quite sparse and there aren't that many example sources around either, so it doesn't really leave much choice.

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wegster 
Re: Original SmartFileSystem source released under LGPL
Posted on 9-May-2005 20:18:16
#9 ]
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Joined: 29-Nov-2004
Posts: 8554
From: RTP, NC USA

@salass00
Here's a link to the GNU LGPL license it falls under.

I'm not a lawyer, but have to occasionally deal with them for work, and have seen companies get burned by dealing ith GPL code (in most cases, they were intentionally violating the terms of the GPL).

For commercial projects, it's generally considered 'dangerous' to look at open source equivalents where you are doing the same exact (or very similar) thing...in part due to paranoia, but realistically, even if you 'just glance' at some code, who's to say you didn't then base your design on it perhaps?

These are questions that most companies just don't want to deal with.

If you truly use it as a 'reference,' meaning no copy/paste, but instead to try to determine 'why isn't this working?' I don't think anyone can really fault you, regardless of the license of your own software...but again, more of a potential big deal if you're trying to later sell your (closed source) work, or if you re-use any of the original code...in the latter case, your project then being required to itself be (L)GPL open source, with all the proper credits (original author) etc.

The above AFAIK, is also the case for a derived work that's using the original code base, and is one of the main reasons for the GPL form of licensing.

LGPL differs in it's limited...a true GPL library wouln't even allow linking against it without requiring any such prjects themselves become open source, which IMO is one of the reasons Stallman is a bit 'overboard' when it comes to the real business world. This is also the reason for example, glibc is LGPL and NOT GPL, to allow people writing commercial software to use gcc/g++ etc.

So, I guess in short- if you're going to use it for tru reference (ie, no code), you might still want to give a credit. If you're going to use any of the source, it's arguable, but you should probably release under the LGPL as well, meaning open source.

There's always the third option- violate the terms of the LGPL entirely, and hope that no one ever pressed you on it...but obviously not a 'feel good' sort of solution, and it could be a serious headache down the road, mainly because you simply never know what's going to happen..realistically speaking, if your project will always remain free, even if closed source for a while, it's unlikely you'll have problems.

DISCLAIMER- but if ever in doubt, refer to a lawyer blah blah blah

Last edited by wegster on 09-May-2005 at 08:19 PM.


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olegil 
Re: Original SmartFileSystem source released under LGPL
Posted on 10-May-2005 7:30:06
#10 ]
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Joined: 22-Aug-2003
Posts: 5887
From: Work

@wegster

Releasing a library a GPL instead of LGPL is a very good way of keeping the number of users down

But seriously, nice summary. LGPL differs from GPL in that if you ONLY link to it, you DON'T modify the original source, then you can choose to do whatever you want with your own application. I think LGPL is one of the BEST licenses out there. It stimulates use and growth of the software industry, while still giving credit and feedback to the original author.

If you're going to do a GPL library, at least make provisions for closed-source software houses to purchase a closed-source license for some sum of money (like QT). Closed-source software is not the root of all evil as far as I'm concerned.


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