2002.10.24

I had (somewhat) forgotten about Greymatter, from what I remember about it, it was abandoned by it’s author, but not exactly given up on, or set free. foshdawg.net claims to be THE place for Greymatter. I dug around a bit and managed to find this bit which is as close as I can find for a license:

You may freely modify and redistribute this program, so long as every copyright notice (including in this manual and in the Greymatter code) remains fully intact. Finally, you may not sell or in any way make a financial profit from this program, either in original or modified form.

The you may not sell part makes sense, it sounds like the GPL, but the whole ‘make a profit’ thing makes me back away from it. It’s sort of open-source, but sort of not really… The whole line in any way make a financial profit is the deal breaker. What if Apache had that in it’s license? Argh…

Funny that the next section mentioned how Greymatter is a completely free program. Free as in beer I guess… I have no problem with people using open-source software and somehow making a profit off of it. The company I work for uses open-source software, and we certainly make a profit. So did the last company I worked for. So do a zillion companies. And not just Red Hat and Apple, but ordinary everyday comanies as well. So as an individual can you use Greymatter? Not if you have a donate button on your site. Though an Amazon Wish List might be ok, since that’s not technically a ‘financial profit’ then. And again, is there a certain measurable ‘financial profit’ that might be allowed? I don’t know…

Update: I must have missed this section:

“…you are hereby free to do whatever you wish with Greymatter and its code for any personal or commercial purposes…”

So maybe I’m wrong about the whole thing… Still, I’d like to see an ‘official’ license of some sort. Or maybe this is it…

Anyway, this is my plan. I’m going to write some sort of ‘weblog type’ software, using perl, that uses a templating system, and writes out static files. It might suck, it might not have any good features, but it will be open-source, most likely licensed under the GPL, though BSD is an option as well. I need this for myself and people I do work for. Yes, I do work for other people and they pay me, so this tool will be valuable to me. And if others can use it and make a profit, yay for them. I do not wish to restrict other people’s rights…

By the way, this won’t be the first time I’ve written something like this. The first ‘news page’ web app I wrote was probably written in 1998, back before the whole ‘weblog/blog’ craze took off. This time I’ll rewrite it and (try to) do it right.

See nf0′s life and inluminent/weblog for some comments on yesterday’s Movable Type piece…

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