Mike:

How would you do this?  Unless you have the source code for 99SE and
Altium's blessing to make it open source, I don't see how you could make
99SE open source for a SP7.  I assume you mean you would write add-on
utilities for 99SE, and your add-ons would be open source?  I'm not sure
that add-on utilities could correct bugs in the core 99SE programs/servers.

I don't know what the current state of open-source SCH and PCB programs is.
But it would be nice to have an open-source alternative to pricey packages
such as Protel.  Supposedly Eagle http://www.cadsoftusa.com/ has a Linux
version, for a lot less money than Protel.  Maybe your time would be better
spent writing translators to/from Protel formats, so that sch and pcb data
can be exchanged freely with other packages.  The main vendor lock-in method
is the use of proprietary, undocumented data formats, which I think is evil
that should be vanquished from the world.  Too bad the U.S. Dept of Justice
didn't impose an effective remedy on Microsoft, that is, to publish all of
their APIs and formats.  But that is another topic...

IMO, the software world is going to have to move back to what worked in the
80's:  low-cost shrink-wrapped software that is well documented, nearly
bug-free, and needs little support.  I think the main reason why open source
has made so much progress is that the software business went away from this
model in the early 90's.  What used to be shrink-wrapped became more
expensive, forced upgrades, more buggy, less documented, patch-needy (i.e.
AutoCAD, Protel, MS Office and others).  This left a big vacuum.  The folks
that are occupying this vacuum are the ones who won't pay obscene sums for
custom software or software that requires "maintenance" or periodic
re-licensing.  I would certainly like to see a return to the days where you
got a big printed manual (or set of manuals) with your floppy or CD software
media.  I still have my printed manuals from Quattro Pro 3.0, Borland C/C++
3.0, MS-DOS 5.0, WordPerfect 5.1, etc.  Did Microsoft ever give me any
manuals for Word?  Nope.  Will I be upgrading to new versions of Word in the
future?  Probably not - OpenOffice works just as good, doesn't come with
manuals either, and it's free.

If you do manage to write some open source stuff for 99SE, take care to
choose the open source license you think most appropriate.  GPL, LGPL, and
BSD licenses you may want to consider.  Take care with BSD - Altium could
use your work, build it into a future product, not give out the source to
that product, and make money from it, without having to pay you anything,
and not having to contribute any improvements back to your code base.  Sort
of how Microsoft added TCP/IP to Windows (yes, they used the BSD sources)...

Best regards,
Ivan Baggett
Bagotronix Inc.
website:  www.bagotronix.com


----- Original Message -----
From: "Mike Reagan" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "'Protel EDA Forum'" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Wednesday, October 15, 2003 2:45 PM
Subject: [PEDA] Open source SP7


>
> Hello All,
>
> I was contemplating  what my next move with Protel will be and came up
with
> an idea of creating an open sourced SP7 software for 99SE.  Before I put
my
> foot in my mouth, is there a future for open sourced Service Packs?
> is it legal?
>
> Mike Reagan
> EDSI
>
>
>



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