Arduboy Assistant - Handy Arduboy Management Tool

(Miloslav Číž) #21

Is there any license? If not, would you consider attaching one? Thank you :slight_smile:

(Holmes) #22

I don’t know much about licenses, but you’re free to distribute the compiled files and unmodified code as much as you want. What are you wanting to do?

(Miloslav Číž) #23

I just want to use it, but I only use free and open-source programs :slight_smile: In order for this to be open source, by definition there has to be an appropriate license that allows free use, modification and redistribution - you simply mention somewhere in the code which license you’re using, or add a LICENSE file. Basically there are two options:

MIT - You allow other people to do basically anything with your source code. From what I’ve seen, Arduboy projects use this most often. But if you don’t want someone to make your program closed-source and start selling it, you may want to choose GPL.

GPL - You allow others to use, modify and redistribute your program, on the condition that they keep the same license. That means people can improve the program and freely use it but no one can make it closed source.

Many people, including me, won’t use or help improve programs without such license, because technically it’s a copyright infringement. So please consider this, take a look at Wikipedia and other projects if you’re unsure. I personally share all my projects under these licenses.

If you don’t want to allow others to make modifications, then sadly this program cannot be called open source. It’s okay, but I will personally prefer to write my own version and release it with a free license. I wouldn’t want to reinvent wheels though.

Hope this info helps you decide. Also let me add a thank you for a nice program :slight_smile:

(Holmes) #24

That’s a shame. There’s a lot of really great work out there that people put their time and effort into where they don’t feel comfortable sharing their source code for various reasons or don’t want to have to maintain a bunch of people’s various branches and offshoots of their software.

You can surely do that if you want to. I provide source code of my Arduboy projects for simplicity of people being able to install them on their devices with the Arduino IDE. I also provide the source code for educational purposes.

(Pharap) #25

No licence I’m aware of obliges someone to maintain other people’s offshoots of their projects.
No matter whether you have a licence or not, you’re entitled to say “I didn’t make those modifications, so it’s not my problem”.

In fact you don’t even have to fix issues with your own code if you don’t want to,
you’re free to say “here’s my code I won’t be providing any bugfixes”.
Github even lets you turn issues off to stop people posting issues.

Personally I think having the code published under an open source licence would be a good thing,
because without a licence you still technically have copyright of the code and anyone who modifies it is technically infringing on your copyright.

But on the other hand you’re completely free to not have a licence,
and you don’t have to give a reason for not wanting to have a licence.

If your main reason for being here is solely to encourage people to open-source their code then I think that rather than continually bumping 2-year old threads you’d be better off making a new thread about:

  • why people should put a licence on their code
  • why people should open source their code
  • encouraging people to look at their old code and add a licence/relicense it

Or better yet, you could write an article for the magazine about it.
Since you don’t currently have the ‘trust level’ required to send PMs, I’d be happy to notify @arduboymag/@Celinebins on your behalf if you’d like to investigate that option.

Alternatively you could just raise an issue on people’s Github pages if they have one.

Also please remember that there are more than just two open source licences.
Both the Open Source Initiative and the GNU project have lists of licences that they consider to be open source.
The OSI’s list of licences by category can be found here and the GNU projects list of licences classified by ‘degree of freedom’ can be found here.

(Holmes) #26

Yeah, but I’d like to be able to help people whenever they say my stuff doesn’t work. If there’s a lot of branches going around that have different features/whatever, that makes it harder for newbies and also makes it harder to tell them how to overcome their issue.

I’ve seen it happen before elsewhere on the internet and I’ve also had my own source code stolen and re-released with new graphics as someone else’s work in the past. I have never shared source code openly online since then except with the Arduboy. Open source really isn’t my thing, but if others really do like OSS projects to contribute to, then that’s cool. There’s cool projects out there that are both open source as well as closed source. I don’t think that makes either of them particularly better or worse than the other.

(Pharap) #27

I was just making a point that the licence or absence thereupon doesn’t actually affect whether you have to “maintain a bunch of people’s various branches and offshoots”.

Strictly speaking you’re never obligated to do so, but not having a licence won’t stop it happening.

Again, that’s not strictly a licensing issue.

It is in the sense that selecting a licence that allows modification allows people to create and publish their own modifications.

But from what you’re saying, you’re trying to allow people to modify the code anyway,
so there’s nothing to stop them uploading the code to (for example) Github,
adding features and then other people forking it and adding more features.

That’s half the point of the licence - to say “you are allowed to modify the code but cannot misrepresent where it comes from - you must include this licence header”,
so that if something like that does happen you can say “you have breached the licence and are therefore breaking the law”.

Really though the best defence against theft is to make it well known that you wrote the code
(which is why many licences say “you must retain this copyright notice”),
and the more public your code is and the more forks there are of it, the harder it becomes to steal.

For example, if someone here tried to publish a modified version of another well known game where the source code was freely available and claim it was all their own work,
simply reading the source code would soon make it clear what game they’d ripped off.

In a closed source environment, people could take a .hex, disassemble it,
replace the graphics and republish it as their own and it would be harder to prove what they’d done.
The original author might never even know what’s happened.

(Granted you’d have to have some skill to do that,
but machine code isn’t actually as hard as many people think.)

(Celine) #28

Yes! I have been notified… @drummyfish Let me know if you are keen to contribute an article to the upcoming issue. :slight_smile: There are no restrictions / rules so it can be (reasonably) long or as short as you want it to be. It also doesn’t matter if English is not your first language, we usually have someone proofread it.

(Simon) #29

Maybe @pharap can write an article on the various licences that are available :slight_smile:

(Pharap) #30

It would be a long list.

To be honest, I think sites like already do a better job than I could (as well as the other two links I referred to before).
Their no licence section already perfectly explains what not using a licence means for your code.

(Miloslav Číž) #31

Yeah, I’ve already been thinking about this. Let me see :slight_smile:

That’s usually the most convenient way, but I stopped using GitHub due to recent events.

(Simon) #32

A recent acquisition?

(Miloslav Číž) #33

Yep :slight_smile:

I started working on the article, hopefully this will help prevent my comment spams :slight_smile:


Microsoft acquired GitHub recently. Some people have swapped to Gitlab as a result. Gitlab is hosted on Azure servers though so its somewhat of a moot point.

@drummyfish have you considered that it’s nearly impossible to fully avoid non-free software? Unless your using a yeelong lemote I doubt your system is comprised solely of free as in freedom software. Do you also not have a mobile phone like RMS?

(Miloslav Číž) #35


GitLab - I care about the platform software, not where it’s hosted. In emergency GitLab can be self-hosted. But yes, it has flaws, I’m aware.

Using only free software - It’s near impossible for a mere mortal, I’m using some proprietary software (BIOS, drivers, …). Thinking about getting rid of my phone too. However, the key point is to not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. We should get as close to perfection as we can even if we can’t reach it.

If you want to discuss this further, we should probably make a separate thread. I wanted to point out the lack of license for Arduboy Assistant, but going into goods and bads of free software in general would just flood the comment here. Feel free to start a thread or send me a PM, I’ll be glad to talk :slight_smile:

(Pharap) split this topic #36

7 posts were split to a new topic: Questions about a menu in an SD project