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  • Power Basic license

    I have Power Basic 3.0c, and I have started on a project that I
    will most likely make available in open source form. I will have
    to offer a compiled form of the program too since most DOS users
    will not be able to compile it themselves. Which, if any, of
    the licenses approved by opensource.org are compatible with my
    Power Basic license?

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    Erich Schulman (KT4VOL/KTN4CA)
    Go Big Orange

  • #2
    Erich,
    Unless I'm missing something with your question, you are free to use whatever license you wish. PB doesn't restrict your use of source code you create. You are completely free to do whatever you want with your souce code, even make it freely avaialbe (as many do right here in the forum).

    What you wouldn't be able to do, is supply the PB compiler, or any portion of the PB software that you purchased a license for. (just about everything that is on the install diskette other than the sample source code).


    ------------------
    Joe Byrne
    mailto:[email protected]
    [email protected]
    </A>
    Software makes Hardware Happen

    Comment


    • #3
      If I release the source only and require everyone to compile it
      for themselves, I can use any license or make it public domain.
      But when I release it in compiled form also, then PB's license
      becomes a factor now that some PB code is going out too. Some of
      the open source licenses cover both source and binary distributions,
      so I must choose one that either does not (so I can put the
      binary under a different license) or one that is compatible with
      PB's license.

      ------------------
      Erich Schulman (KT4VOL/KTN4CA)
      Go Big Orange

      Comment


      • #4
        As far as I've always been told, PowerBASIC provides you a royalty free license to distribute binaries you create. This means you can use whatever license you wish.

        Now, the GPL can be really tricky here, in that programs linked against your code must be compatible with the GPL. Obviously the PowerBASIC runtime is not. However, the intent of the GPL, as explained by RMS, is that the system libraries and compiler runtime libraries are exempt from the linking aspect of the GPL. If this was not so, we couldn't have any GPL'd win32 programs, of which we do have plenty, even though the msvcrt.dll is not GPL'd, and neither is Kernel32.dll and the other system dlls.

        So as I see it, you can release your project in binary and source forms according to the terms of the source license you choose.

        This whole distribution issue has been a critical issue in the past. That's why one of the selling points of Turbo/PowerBASIC back in the day for me was a royatly-free runtime, when there were others who did not offer such things. Now adays, of course, almost everyone (except for microsoft) distributes their runtimes with their compilers under such no-royalty terms and the open source license are aware of runtimes and account for them.

        The legal word of warning concerning Microsoft products: In their crusuade against the un-american open-source license (isn't that ironic) they have put clauses in some of their tools to disallow the creation and distribution of programs under the GPL. The only one I know of for sure is the Win CE development toolkit. But the rumors are that this will some day make it's way into the license for Visual Studio .NET. Whether this is really legal or not, I don't know. And some day it won't matter, since we are getting some pretty nice all-open-source tools (even a GPL'd msvcrt.dll in wine) so we can keep going.

        One last interesting licensing issue is that I was told Microsoft was revoking all general OS licenses for pre-windows 95 products as of January of this year. That would mean we couldn't even run MS-DOS at all. If this is true or becomes true, there are many non-ms DOS products that would work fine (many of you already use them, including that one from the Russian company).

        Finally, with all the FUD flying around the unix/linux communities over SCO and the GPL and intellectual property, let me say that there is nothing in open source licenses that magically swallow your IP or magically force other software programs and libraries to be open source. If a program is found to be in violation of the GPL, then you can either GPL the rest of your code or just fix the problem by either relisensing your own code, or ditch all the GPL code altogether. OSS licenses are like any other license. If you abide by it's terms, you're okay. If you don't, then you'll have to fix it.

        Michael


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        [This message has been edited by Michael Torrie (edited August 23, 2003).]

        Comment


        • #5
          Erich,
          As Michael pointed out, any programs you create and compile with PB are yours. You have a royalty free right to distribute your executables anyway you wish. The only restrictions from PB is (obviously) that you can't distribute the compiler, or any componets related to the compiler. And to clarify one small point, PB doesn't have a "run-time" modual as say VB does. Once you compile your program, it will execute on its own without any further files from PB. Thererfore, you can distribute your source code and a compiled copy of your program without restriction under your PB license.

          ------------------
          Joe Byrne
          mailto:[email protected]
          [email protected]
          </A>
          Software makes Hardware Happen

          Comment


          • #6
            PB actually does have a runtime "library" but the smart linker will automatically put the relevant subroutines into your EXE for you. As mentioned before, PB produces EXE's that are royalty-free, dispite the fact that there is PB-owned runtime code in your EXE.

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            Comment

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