[antlr-interest] Why ANTLR is not GPL
teddemc at yahoo.com
Wed Sep 21 21:49:47 PDT 2005
Although I am generally a strong advocate of GPLing software, I also agree that BSD is a better choice for something like ANTLR. I might still use it otherwise, but the incentive would be less, depending.
I have some advice though, for the IDE to make more money than by selling per user license fees. GPL the IDE and keep an iron fist on maintainership. The GPL will ensure mass distribution and in the Help->About (if not other places) advertise your consulting services to in developing/debugging/whatever projects for end user organizations.
Every company I am aware of that used this model turned a quick and consistently growing profit, such as Cygnus Solutions (before Red Hat bought them out).
The GPL facilates the following:
(1) Massive global publicity and distribution (Got marketing money/expertise?)
(2) Enters into use in organizations skipping right past normal procurement barriers
(3) Incentive exists for others to share their improvements, making a better product
(4) Customers can still make modifications for their own use, so long as they don't redistribute
Otherwise popularity will be an up-hill battle requiring your own marketing dollars to get popularized. You most likely won't make much and your IDE won't come to much. I must have seen it a million times... If you don't believe it, look at TheKompany's products line.
Indeed the most selfless of open sourcers are those who license BSD/MIT, etc. The GPL model I mention is guerella marketing, one of very few effective ways for a little guy to muscle his way into big markets.
Bryan Ewbank <ewbank at gmail.com> wrote:
FWIW, I wouldn't have considered using ANTLR if it were GPL'ed. The fact that it (and it's generated code) are BSD'd made our legal department very happy - GPL and LGPL make 'em twitch :-)
I, for one, say "thank you terence".
On 9/21/05, Terence Parr <parrt at cs.usfca.edu> wrote: I don't want people to avoid using my work because they cannot extend
it without giving it back to the community. This would essentially
means that businesses would be much less likely to use my software.
I want the most leeway possible for people so that there is no excuse
not to use ANTLR (unless of course it sucks) ;)
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