Saturday, November 11, 2006

New Twist on "Open" Source?

There's alot of open sourcing in the mapping world, but here's a twist on traditional (boring ;) source code release models - The Carbon Project has included the source code for its powerful Gaia 3 viewer as part of the new CarbonTools PRO software development toolkit.

Under this model when folks acquire the software toolkit (CarbonTools) you get the source code for a nice application too (Gaia 3). Now, you can't turn around and give the source code away to the closest open source community - but you can take it and bake your own new mapping application (probably saving alot of time in the process).

I think this model will help bridge the gap between pure proprietary and open source software approaches - providing a good blend of both source code access and the professional support you get with commercial software.

Gaia 3 itself is pretty interesting stuff - allowing democratic access to Microsoft Virtual Earth, Yahoo! Maps, OGC WMS/WFS/WCS, Google Earth KML/KMZ, Geography Markup Language (GML), ESRI Shapefiles, Autodesk and MapInfo formats and more. Gaia 3 also supports geospatial-notes with digital pictures and custom map symbols that can be embedded in the content.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative 2.5 License and is copyrighted (c) 2006 by The Carbon Project.


At 11/11/2006 03:59:00 PM, Anonymous Taran Rampersad said...

Sorry, that's not 'open source' and is an abuse of the term. By definition, open source has to be able to be given away.

What you are talking about is similar to Microsoft's largely failed 'Shared Source' initiative. With their initiative, developers didn't own what they created with the shared source - Microsoft did - and it takes a certain kind of idiot to give Microsoft stuff for free. All those starving Microsoft employees you see on television...

So no, it's not a new twist and the value of such a thing has been measured and weighed - and found wanting.

At 11/11/2006 05:32:00 PM, Blogger Jeff Harrison said...


That's why I said "open" source? (with the quotation marks and questions mark).

The purpose of the Gaia 3 source code with CarbonTools PRO is to allow software developers to take the code and get a head start on developing and application - and then to be able to deploy the compiled application as freely and as widely as they want.

So the model here is something different than open source software approaches, and I agree with your definition that open source has to be given away - and it's also not like the "Shared Source" initiative from Microsoft.

I guess it's most like an enhanced sample application - except that the entire source code for the Gaia 3 application is made available to developers.

I can't comment on the starving Microsoft employees - I don't work for Microsoft.

Thanks for the thoughts.


At 2/09/2007 04:24:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, developers do own what they produce with Gaia 3 source code, so it is a "New Twist on "Open" Source"


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