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Software Open Source Apple News

OS X Notifier App Growl Goes Closed Source 270

First time accepted submitter para_droid writes "Version 1.3 of the popular open source notification system for Mac OS X, Growl has surprised its users by going closed-source and only available for purchase on the Mac App Store. Any users who provide links to bugfixes and source for the previous version 1.2 are being banned from the discussion group, and their messages deleted. Could it be time for the community to create an OpenGrowl fork?" The linked post above about bugfixes and source ends "Hopefully the Growl 1.3 branch from the official Growl maintainers will eventually become open source again and get straightened out so that it works for most users, but if it doesn't, a fork of the project will be able to provide a working Growl to Mac users."
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OS X Notifier App Growl Goes Closed Source

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  • Stop Spreading FUD (Score:4, Informative)

    by qpqp ( 1969898 ) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @02:24PM (#37780018) []

    We will post source code. However, our bigger concern right now is fixing issues and providing support to folks on our discussions group, and on our support email address, and on Twitter. As soon as the flood of inbound requests slows down, we fully intend to push the 1.3 source over the wall.

    On the other hand, I sure hope that won't be when they release 1.4 to the store.

  • Not true. At all. (Score:4, Informative)

    by CaptainJeff ( 731782 ) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @02:25PM (#37780036)
    Oh good lord, does anyone actually check stories anymore before posting? This is twice is one day!

    Read the New FAQ on the site. Here's a link []. Look at the last question. They are not going closed source, they just haven't packaged it up yet and released it. They will.
  • Re:Haha (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 20, 2011 @02:27PM (#37780082)

    Hows that crowd-think working for you. Read the comments in this thread and understand the situation before you get your Apple-bash on.

  • by SiMac ( 409541 ) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @02:28PM (#37780114) Homepage

    Why? You need to have the copyright to begin with to be able to make it closed source. And if you have the copyright, you can do pretty much anything with your software, including distribute it through the App Store while simultaneously licensing the source under any open source license you want.

    This is just stupidity on the part of the Growl developers. Developers added support for Growl to their products because it was FOSS. The net effect of selling Growl and making it closed source is going to be that developers either won't support Growl, or they will support the older version of Growl that's still FOSS.

  • by curious.corn ( 167387 ) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @03:33PM (#37781498)
    you don't "release the source code"... what you normally do is to maintain a certain kind of website, one that most often has an URL such as then you don't spend a single extra-minute to "release the source", you just use something called a tag. Here's the linky in case you can't google for it:

    That's when you're talking about projects that are truly open source and don't call themselves that, just for marketing...
  • by 1155 ( 538047 ) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @04:20PM (#37782270) Homepage

    Hi, I'm the Project Lead for Growl. I'll be happy to respond to any questions replied to this thread, as long as they are kept nice, courteous, professional, etc.

    So a few items I already know are going to be brought up.

    1) We've had a large amount of inbound support requests in the last 2 weeks, more than we get in a 6 month period of time usually. [] shows the statistics about just this month alone. Bear in mind this month is not done yet, this is not our only list/group/whatever google wants to call those things. We're also fielding support requests on twitter, and a direct email address (due to popular demand).

    2) Source code was planned to be pushed over the wall this weekend. Since this post is up, we're changing our plans and going to work on getting the source up today. We've tried off and on over the last two weeks, but have ran into issues with multiple unclosed heads for instance in the repo, things like that. More technical issues, less issues with regards to actually posting source because we don't want to (we do, just i.e. there are just problems). We have a deadline to meet in order to get the source posted, but we also have people who need 1.3.1 since there are problems in 1.3 (just like in every other software product ever, in every version ever)

    3) This guy was banned for only a month because he was responding in a very hostile way. He was told he would be unbanned at that point. However, he seems just like an angry individual in general, and I hope he gets counseling or something in order to help with anger management issues. He was not banned because he forked Growl, I think that's kind of neat actually and the point of being open source. He was being a poisonous person, and was removed as such. I will not discuss this any further, but wanted to address this here.

    4) We will be providing source in the form of our chosen vcs. If you do not know how to use a vcs but you work with oss, or want to work with oss, not learning a vcs is doing yourself a disservice. Future employers, or current oss projects, will find your knowing a vcs up front an asset, and we want to promote that. Tarball distributions will be ended as of 1.3.

    Chris Forsythe
    Growl Project Lead

  • by growse ( 928427 ) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @04:44PM (#37782760) Homepage don't get to own the definition of 'software freedom' any more than I get to own the definition of 'cornflake cake'. GP's point is these things are inherently subjective. Referencing someone's opinion as a definition betrays a rather closed mind.
  • by javab0y ( 708376 ) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @05:34PM (#37783696)
    The basementcoders interviewed Perry this week and Perry explained why he forked Growl and what happened: []

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