"shankar" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:

> I am a software writer, my website is http://www.shankar-software.org
> I want to port my business software to other operating systems.  Linux
> seemed
> the obvious first choice.  After studying it for the past one month I am
> completely
> vexed by the gnu licenses covering their glibc libraries.  It seems that if
> I want
> to port my software to linux, I have to write my own libc libraries (which
> is a highly
> time consuming effort) or not-object to giving my software under terms that
> almost
> strips me of all rights.  Some of the frustrating aspects of the LGPL terms
> are:
> a) I must allow the end user to modify my work for "their own use" (should
> picasso
> allow the buyers of his paintings to alter it if it doesn't suit their
> taste?)

In many countries the buyer of a painting is already allowed to do that

> b) I must allow reverse engineering for debugging even if source is not
> provided.

So what? How many of your customers can do that, and how many of
those that can, care about what you allow or not?

> (should or would an artist allow his artwork to be "corrected" by his
> customers?)

Why should the artist care after she got the money?

> I want to port my software to the freebsd os. Now my question to you are
> these.
> 1) Can I keep my software closed source, proprietary?


> 2) Do you have any C library that will ease the porting of my software to
> freebsd
> that I can statically link to, which is not covered by LGPL or any such
> nonsense.

Depends on the definition of "such nonsense", but in general the BSD
licenses are less restrictive than the (L)GPL.
> After the royal treatment that we commercial developers receive under
> windows,
> entering other oses seem prohibitively time consuming because:
> 1) Commercial interests are discouraged.  One linux user said if I copy
> protect my
> system, I will have no takers under linux.  So I said fine, linux then does
> not need me

There are more than one GNU/Linux users, the one you talked
to doesn't speak for the rest of them.

> I will go where I am welcome and where I am allowed to protect my interests.
> The
> price of anything depends on its need.  If my software is very much needed
> people
> will take it even if it is closed source and proprietary and copy protected.
> After all
> there are a lot of buyers for my closed source, proprietary, copy protected
> windows
> version of my software.  If it is not needed then people will not take it
> even if it is
> free and open source.  Ask business users about their ERP source code
> customization
> project disasters and if they still would like to have the source code.
> They will vehemently
> say no.  They want software that will work, that will solve their headaches,
> that will
> solve their problems.  All these does not necessarily come with free source
> code.

But having the source code available is never a disadvantage. 
> The popularity of an operating system depends on the number
> of applications (commercial or otherwise) that are available for it.
> Microsoft
> understands this very very well.  When windows 3.0 was released Bill Gates
> rolled in
> a big trolley full of software packages that would run on windows 3.0 on to
> the stage.  That
> led to the success of windows 3.0 where windows 1.0 and windows 2.0 failed
> due to
> lack of applications on it.
> 2) Porting help like libraries, programming documentation like MSDN is next
> to non
> existent or are most difficult to find.

Are you only talking about GNU/Linux here? At least on the BSDs
there is programming documentation available by default, and if you
write clean C, porting shouldn't be a problem either.
> 3) There is no Platform SDK complete with all libraries, compilers, header
> files that
> encourages developers without stripping them naked.  In fact the windows
> operating
> system is itself one huge library with thousands of functions that we can
> call directly.

There are several cross-platform SDKs available that run on Windows,
GNU/Linux and the BSDs. If you use one of them, porting should be easy
or not even necessary.

> Compared to that huge library of functions, glibc libraries and even the
> entire
> linux system seems pitiful, in addition to being unusable by commercial
> entities.

GNU/Linux seems to be usable enough for a lot of commercial entities.

Some of them successfully sell proprietary dongled software that's even
more expensive than yours is. If your software is as special as you think
it is, you shouldn't have any problems finding new buyers.
> Please let me know if you have a c library for interacting with your
> operating system
> that is under the BSD license or something similar.   Let me know even if it
> is still
> under development, maybe I can lend an helping hand with its completion.

While FreeBSD's libc is BSD licensed, your program looks like it
requires a lot of Windows specific functions. It's probably easier
to port it to one of the cross-platform SDKs and have the program
run on nearly every OS, than to rewrite every non-standard Windows
function that isn't available on FreeBSD. 


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