[reportlab-users] print on non-text-capable printers from DOS software

Luc Saffre reportlab-users@reportlab.com
Tue, 12 Nov 2002 14:13:09 +0200

On 11/12/2002 9:11 AM, Andy Robinson wrote:

>>source code of prn2pdf.py at
>>Thanks to the Reportlab team for their work and to the Reportlab 
>>managers for deciding to make it GPL.
>>Luc Saffre
>This looks very neat, thanks!  If you have a nice page of output
>to show some formatting capabilities, that would be even cooler;
Yes, why not. I added 2 examples.
Although the text output of a DOS application is not going to trigger 
any wows or ahs.

>some people may be interested to adapt the approach to other
>printers even if they do not have an LQ.
They don't need to have an Epson LQ.
Supporting other printers would be useful only if some DOS software is 
lacking a driver for LQ.

>Would you mind amending your page to say just "Open Source" instead 
>of a specific license?  Quite a large group of people would be angry 
>if they thought it was GPL, and most Python software isn't.
>The GPL can be quite a 'commercial license'. It is often used to say
>"if you want to use this in your commercial product, you have to come 
>back and negotiate a separate license with me". That is how MySQL and 
>many other firms made money.   The Python license, and FreeBSD/LGPL etc,
>are genuinely free in that you can do pretty much anything you
>want, and our users do.  When the Python license got complicated,
>we surveyed them all and picked the one with the least words.
>If-it-was-GPL-I-might-be-rich-by-now'ly yours
Sorry if I wrongly stated that the reportlab toolkit is GPL.
I corrected this on my home page.

I am myself going to use this software in a non-free context: some users 
of my proprietary accounting package are glad to be now less hardware 
dependant. They are even going to pay my time if I go to their place and 
install it for them. This tool is not a library, and the proprietary 
software package does not depend on it. Otherwise I would in fact have 
to distribute using a less restrictive license.

Please correct me if I missed something, but I insist of distributing 
this script under the terms of the GPL. And not because I want to sell 
other (paying) licenses for commercial use but only because "I believe 
in Richard Stallman".
I only now realized that we are perhaps going to have a religious debate 
about software freedom. So here are some "bible" excerpts ;-)

«Using the GNU GPL will require that all the released improved
versions be free software. This means you can avoid the risk of having
to compete with a proprietary modified version of your own work.»

«Proprietary software developers (...) will try to convince authors
not to contribute libraries to the GPL-covered collection. For
example, they may appeal to the ego, promising "more users for this
library" if we let them use the code in proprietary software
products. Popularity is tempting, and it is easy for a library
developer to rationalize the idea that boosting the popularity of that
one library is what the community needs above all.  But we should not
listen to these temptations, because we can achieve much more if we
stand together. We free software developers should support one
another. By releasing libraries that are limited to free software
only, we can help each other's free software packages outdo the
proprietary alternatives. The whole free software movement will have
more popularity, because free software as a whole will stack up better
against the competition.»

Again: please correct me if I missed something...