CLIM mail archive


Re: The cost of CLIM and its future

At least a couple of people have complained that it's not possible
to freely distribute CLIM-based software to their users. While
this is clearly a problem for users of public domain CLs, it's not
necessarily so for commercial implementations. Check this
assumption with your favorite vendor.

This was a serious problem for us also. On technical grounds, we
were ready to start using CLIM, but held back since there was
apparently no provision for runtime licensing of CLIM applications.
We didn't want to alienate the substantial number of academic sites
using our software by building interfaces that would require them
to purchase a CLIM development license (even if they had no
intention of building CLIM applications themselves). As it turns
out, at least one vendor does in fact allow CLIM application 
delivery without cost/restriction (I found this a little hard to 
believe!); another was (eventually) willing to license CLIM-based 
applications with only a signed license agreement (no $$, at least 
for academic users). Symbolics of course bundles CLIM so that
platform isn't a problem. That's only three vendors, but this was 
good enough for me to decide to go ahead with CLIM. 

These are fine decisions on the part of those vendors to allow such
liberal runtime licensing, as it's bound to help CLIM applications
spread around, which should help the popularity of CLIM in the 
long run (as long as the application users are reasonably honest, 
since there's no technical distinction between the CLIM `runtime' 
and `development' systems). I believe CLIM is worth the bucks
that vendors are charging if I'm going to develop applications
with it, but it's obviously worth less to end users.

I think it's not my business to advertise publicly who the unnamed 
vendors are; they can, and should, speak for themselves. Clearly
the word isn't getting around. If your vendor doesn't allow free
or cheap CLIM runtime licensing, challenge them to change their 
policy; it's to everyone's advantage, including their own.


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