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Thoughts-on-Free-and-Open-Source-Software-as-it-relates-to-me-right-now

Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FOSS, or FLOSS, or F/LOSS) should be “liberally licensed to grant the right of users to use, study, change, and improve its design through the availability of its source code” (Wikipedia). Here is another description from the Linux Outlaws page.

The whole idea behind this, I believe, is the availablility and portability of the source code, as well as the freedom for users to modify and distribute the code as they see fit. All well and good, I think—definitely not a bad thing, and this is something I can support.

The conundrum that I have is that for the past 4 or so years I have been programming almost exclusively in MS Visual Basic (classic, 6), with just a touch in C for micro controllers. Only recently have we started the conversion to PureBasic, which allows for us to compile cross-platform. So what I am wondering is this: if I create some project using this language and free the source code with something like a GPLv3 license, would this even be valid since the compiler itself is not FOSS which could restrict distribution or other end-user freedoms and things of that sort? Would that be like the Mono projects?

If that would not “count”, or in the more likely case, if it would be shunned by the FOSS community I would rather not even waste my time. In that event, I would much rather get out all of my old C++ books and browse some source code to brush up/re-learn what I have forgotten. Or maybe learn Java, or Python, or…

This would be a much slower process, but if it is the “right way” then that is what I would have to do. It isn’t like I even have a very good idea for a project anyway, just some passing thoughts as arguments against going back to school— So there is plenty of time for me to caught up, I am just impatient.

What is the consensus here? Is it wrong by the FOSS standards to use a non-open source compiler, for an otherwise open and free project? My Opinion:

I don’t mind paying $150, (or approximately 80 euros) for a compiler that is a very easy language to use with a lot of tools and community support. This doesn’t bother me, as I’m not a “free software zealot” or anything like that—I don’t think ALL software can be Free, realistically. Then again, maybe there is some similar FOSS tool available that I am not aware of— I will have to do some research and look for a Free IDE/RAD tool that can compare to what I have been using. Mono was pretty close, but it was more VB-ish, and there are issues with it as well. I better get to looking around :–)

Posted by: jamba

Category: ##code

Published Date: Mon, 12 Jul 2010 11:34:14 +0000

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