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Contents of /openisis/current/doc/OpenSource.txt

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Mon Mar 8 17:43:12 2004 UTC (16 years, 7 months ago) by dpavlin
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initial import of openisis 0.9.0 vendor drop

1 So why are we writing the openisis software? Because Isis is not open
2 source software, it's not even free software, and that leads to a
3 whole bunch of problems.
5 * problems resulting from closed software
7 - Availability (in theory)
8 Versions of the software exist for some operating systems, library
9 versions and languages. For other environments, there is no
10 version of the software, and there is not much one can do about
11 it.
12 - Availability (in practice)
13 You may download most the software, but it's partly protected with
14 passwords, which you have to order at some national distributor.
15 You have to pay some fee and/or declare some good reasons, why you
16 want to use the software. Then you have to wait. In germany, for
17 example, it didn't work at all for some time, until the newly
18 founded
19 > http://www.isisnetz.de/ IsisNetz
20 remedied the situation.
21 - Availability (in legal terms)
22 Some parts of the software are accompanied by different documents
23 stating some license terms, others are not. Terms seem to be
24 pretty different between countries. One can not easily figure out,
25 what exactly might be allowed usage.
26 - Availability (of documentation)
27 Some documentation is available in english, some only in
28 portugese, espanol or italiano. Only a small part is downloadable
29 at all, most is paperware.
30 - Bugfixing
31 There is no way one can fix a bug, and not much one can do about
32 having somebody fix it.
33 - Extending
34 The only way one could write a Binding for perl or Java would be
35 using the isis.dll. There are problems with regard to required
36 additional libraries (especially some C++ stuff), there are no
37 statements about thread safety, unicode compatibility and so on.
38 As a consequence, it's practically impossible to write a
39 state-of-the-art web application based on an isis db.
40 - Improving
41 Many users develop useful ideas for improvements from practice.
42 Their expertise is lost as they are not able to turn it into
43 improved software.
44 - Enabling
45 While open source software enables people all over the world to
46 shape their tools themselves, closed software lets them in
47 dependency.
49 * benefits of open software
51 To address these problems we feel the need for an open source
52 implementation of isis. Of course it would be best to have all of the
53 existing isis code under one or the other form of open license (GPL,
54 LGPL, artistic or similar as appropriate).
57 On the other hand, an independent secondary implementation has
58 advantages in it's own right. It may have a different focus and
59 develop strengths in one aspect while another aproach performs better
60 in other situations. For example, openisis will have some support for
61 multithreading and unicode, which is paid for by a certain overhead. A
62 rewrite by developers with a different background might introduce new
63 ideas which finally, after having had their indepent test bed, help
64 improve the standard.
67 OpenIsis as a software to access isis databases is and will be freely
68 available for everybody with full sourcecode, no fee, no restrictions.

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