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martin_wynne

Templot - Open Source

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My brain will soon be 70 years old. It's well past its "best before" date. It's time to think about the future of Templot.

 

I have decided to release a cut-down version of Templot as open source, provisionally called OpenTemplot.

 

It has to be cut-down, because the full version of Templot (Templot2) contains some licensed code which is not my copyright and can't be open-sourced (the PDF export, for example).

 

The two programs Templot2 and OpenTemplot will exist alongside one another until I sink slowly in the west. After which OpenTemplot will live on for as long as others want to support it. I have created a hosting account on Sourceforge in readiness, but there is nothing there yet: https://sourceforge.net/projects/opentemplot/

 

I'm planning to license the code under the GNU/GPL licence: https://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html

 

There are dozens of open source licences available, so I would welcome some advice from software professionals on whether this is the best one to choose in the context of the model railway hobby. Thanks.

 

Martin.

 

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My brain will soon be 70 years old. It's well past its "best before" date. It's time to think about the future of Templot.

 

I have decided to release a cut-down version of Templot as open source, provisionally called OpenTemplot.

 

It has to be cut-down, because the full version of Templot (Templot2) contains some licensed code which is not my copyright and can't be open-sourced (the PDF export, for example).

 

The two programs Templot2 and OpenTemplot will exist alongside one another until I sink slowly in the west. After which OpenTemplot will live on for as long as others want to support it. I have created a hosting account on Sourceforge in readiness, but there is nothing there yet: https://sourceforge.net/projects/opentemplot/

 

I'm planning to license the code under the GNU/GPL licence: https://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html

 

There are dozens of open source licences available, so I would welcome some advice from software professionals on whether this is the best one to choose in the context of the model railway hobby. Thanks.

 

Martin.

Hi Martin, thank you so much for what you have done for us mere mortals.............your  info and great replies have been incredibly helpful............Templot is a revelation. Hope the new incarnation works well,

 

Rgds.....Mike

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I am not an IT professional, but Gnu has been around for a while. Many people (including me for over 5 years) use Gnu Image Manipulation Programme or GIMP (not that gimp!)

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Hi Martin

 

I am involved with a few open source projects and they all use the GNU/GPL licence so I would say it would be ideal for OpenTemplot.

 

I think I remember you saying its written using Delphi (The Icon also suggests this) just wondering what version you are using? I currently work with Delphi 7 and XE4 although I do have the installation CD's for all the versions going back to Delphi 2

 

Thanks

Edited by Campaman

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My brain will soon be 70 years old. It's well past its "best before" date. It's time to think about the future of Templot.

 

I have decided to release a cut-down version of Templot as open source, provisionally called OpenTemplot.

 

It has to be cut-down, because the full version of Templot (Templot2) contains some licensed code which is not my copyright and can't be open-sourced (the PDF export, for example).

 

The two programs Templot2 and OpenTemplot will exist alongside one another until I sink slowly in the west. After which OpenTemplot will live on for as long as others want to support it. I have created a hosting account on Sourceforge in readiness, but there is nothing there yet: https://sourceforge.net/projects/opentemplot/

 

I'm planning to license the code under the GNU/GPL licence: https://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html

 

There are dozens of open source licences available, so I would welcome some advice from software professionals on whether this is the best one to choose in the context of the model railway hobby. Thanks.

 

Martin.

 

The 2 big open source licenses are the GPL and Apache.

 

The main difference is intent.

 

Apache (and most/all other open source licenses other than the GPL/LGPL) allow anyone to use the code anyway they want.  Thus it is legal to take the code and put it into a closed source application and not release any subsequent code.

 

GPL is designed to prevent that, in as much as the code must always be available and if a 3rd party wishes to modify the code and release a binary using it they must also release the changed source code.

 

Either is fine, the choice is yours at to what you want to happen.  The only real key is to use an existing license rather than create your own.

 

As for where to put the code, I would advise against Sourceforge which has been in decline for years.  The most popular site for source code hosting these days is Github.com which has the most active community (and is even used by companies like Microsoft for their ever growing open sourced software like the open source .Net Core).

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Given the recent problems, please reconsider hosting it on Sourceforge. A github repository would be a much better proposition.

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An additional restriction that the GPL places is the inability for anyone to use the code to create an iOS version as the iOS app store and GPL are incompatible, and it may well be any future app stores may have a similar issue.

 

Only you as the creator of the code can determine whether this limitation matters.

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An additional restriction that the GPL places is the inability for anyone to use the code to create an iOS version as the iOS app store and GPL are incompatible, and it may well be any future app stores may have a similar issue.

 

Only you as the creator of the code can determine whether this limitation matters.

It matters to users of Apple computers.

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I think I remember you saying its written using Delphi (The Icon also suggests this) just wondering what version you are using? I currently work with Delphi 7 and XE4 although I do have the installation CD's for all the versions going back to Delphi 2

 

Thanks Andy. Templot2 is currently using Delphi 5. However OpenTemplot will be for Lazarus (free), so that anyone can join in. See: http://85a.co.uk/forum/view_topic.php?id=2956&forum_id=5&jump_to=24853#p21508

 

cheers,

 

Martin.

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Given the recent problems, please reconsider hosting it on Sourceforge. A github repository would be a much better proposition.

 

What recent problems?

 

Lazarus is hosted on Sourceforge without any apparent problems: http://sourceforge.net/projects/lazarus/

 

cheers,

 

Martin.

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It matters to users of Apple computers.

 

Hi John,

 

Please explain -- I know nothing about Apple.

 

Do you mean that I'm not allowed to release a version of Templot for Apple computers without Apple's say so?

 

p.s. the existing version of Templot2 runs fine on Apple Macs using CrossOver/Winebottler/Wine. Lots of users run Templot on an Apple Mac that way.

 

cheers,

 

Martin.

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Please explain -- I know nothing about Apple.

 

Do you mean that I'm not allowed to release a version of Templot for Apple computers without Apple's say so?

 

He is slightly incorrect depending on what you want to call an iPad/iPhone.

 

Users of "traditional" Apple computers - Macs, which run macOS - have no troubles with the GPL as they can download and run software from anywhere in addition to using the Mac app store.

 

If you used the GPL you (or anyone else) would be unable to release any future version targeting iOS (iPad/iPhone) as the only way for a user to get software on the iOS platform is to use the iOS app store, which is incompatible with the GPL.

 

My understanding is that the other app stores (Android, Microsoft Windows) allow GPL software though that could change in the future.

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What recent problems?

 

Lazarus is hosted on Sourceforge without any apparent problems: http://sourceforge.net/projects/lazarus/

 

Yes, as are many other things, at the moment. So what?

 

Many have already migrated, JMRI did so some time ago, but left their website on Sourceforge and suffered in the most recent Sourceforge outages.

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It matters to users of Apple computers.

I suspect most Apple users wanting to run Templot will be doing so on a desktop or laptop running MacOS.

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I suspect most Apple users wanting to run Templot will be doing so on a desktop or laptop running MacOS.

 

You are thinking of what is currently available.

 

The beauty of going open source is that users with the required skills have the ability to take the software in additional directions that the current developer either has neither the interest nor the time to do.

 

Given that many laptops are running on 12" or so screens there is no reason a dedicated person (or group) couldn't modify OpenTemplot to run on a tablet, whether it be iOS or even better touch support for that assorted Windows tablets.

 

We have seen a dramatic change in the computing space in the last decade and I don't think it would be unreasonable if someone wanted the ability to use a tablet of some sort to work on things sitting in a coffee shop, on the train, or any of the other numerous places people use tablets for.

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Yes, as are many other things, at the moment. So what?

 

That was a genuine question about problems at Sourceforge, I didn't know anything about them. The site has worked fine every time I have visited it. Please can you explain? Thanks.

 

Martin.

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I don't think it would be unreasonable if someone wanted the ability to use a tablet of some sort to work on things sitting in a coffee shop, on the train, or any of the other numerous places people use tablets for.

 

I agree. It is also possible to broadcast the screen from a tablet to a SmartTV.

 

But I'm puzzled what it is about a GPL program that Apple objects to? If you buy a tablet computer it belongs to you, not Apple.

 

cheers,

 

Martin.

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Just a quick post to say thank you, Martin, for devoting many years to Templot. Though I haven't been able to use it for a number of years now due to problems in my living circumstances, I hope to return to it one day.

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I agree. It is also possible to broadcast the screen from a tablet to a SmartTV.

 

But I'm puzzled what it is about a GPL program that Apple objects to? If you buy a tablet computer it belongs to you, not Apple.

 

 

It's not so much that Apple objects to it, rather the GPL's license requirements are incompatible with the iOS app store.

 

Specifically from the GPL there is this section:

 

"You may not impose any further restrictions on the recipients' exercise of the rights granted herein."

 

The app store imposes additional restrictions, thus GPL software cannot (legally) be distributed through the app store.

 

One specific example is that the user of an app can't give a copy to a friend, as the app store has no capability for that sort of action.

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That was a genuine question about problems at Sourceforge, I didn't know anything about them. The site has worked fine every time I have visited it. Please can you explain? Thanks.

 

Martin.

 

Why did you snip the rest of my reply where I went on to explain that Sourceforge had a recent very serious (multi-day) outage. It's not the first time, either. Please don't assume your singular experience is representative. I'm not the only one advising against Sourceforge. Please listen to those who have experienced the problems.

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Why did you snip the rest of my reply

 

Because I was responding to your unfriendly "So what?" comment on the previous line.

 

I've got the message that Sourceforge has had problems, but I still don't know what problems? All web sites have down times occasionally. I have looked several times in the last few days and not seen anything wrong.

 

cheers,

 

Martin.

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Thanks Andy. Templot2 is currently using Delphi 5. However OpenTemplot will be for Lazarus (free), so that anyone can join in. See: http://85a.co.uk/forum/view_topic.php?id=2956&forum_id=5&jump_to=24853#p21508

 

cheers,

 

Martin.

 

It would be interesting to get involved, but alas I wrote my last Pascal program in 1988 (although with a brief excursion into Ada, which has a similar syntax, in the mid-90s). Since then it's been mostly C and then C++. I might be a bit rusty now! 

 

Hopefully, Martin, your 'use by' date is still many years away! 

 

However, this thread has put one question in my mind. The current Templot always appears to insist on phoning home to find out if there's a latest version, and won't run until it's done so (at least when I last used it, which was about a month ago) - if something untoward were to happen to you (heaven forbid!) have you put into place any provision for "home's" continuation so the full Templot doesn't expire with you? 

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Hi Martin,

 

 


However, this thread has put one question in my mind. The current Templot always appears to insist on phoning home to find out if there's a latest version, and won't run until it's done so (at least when I last used it, which was about a month ago) - if something untoward were to happen to you (heaven forbid!) have you put into place any provision for "home's" continuation so the full Templot doesn't expire with you? 

 

Hi Martin,

I had similar thoughts, especially as I first received Templot when it was a paid-for program.  I realise why the current Templot phones home (i.e. to ensure users are running the latest variant and thus make support questions easier).  However, it would be good to have a variant of Templot (hopefully without losing any functionality such as pdf) that doesn't require phone-home, nor lock - release codes as per "the old days".  Then it would be possible for users to have back-up copies on external hard-drives etc. to ensure Templot "lives on".  Any thoughts?

 

Kind Regards,

Brian

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