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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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  • by Desler ( 1608317 ) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @02:45PM (#37780506)

    They can't pull the license from older versions:

    This is often claimed but no with case law to back it up. And in fact there is US case law that contradicts this claim.

  • I'm confused - you talk about VCS as though it's something new, unusual, or unexpected. It's the oppoite of those things. For any decent-sized project, and many tiny ones (see Sourceforge/Codeplex/etc.), enlisting in a version control repository is the best way to get the source code, and often the only one (who wants to spend time packaging it up?).

    You've obviously already got a branch that builds version 1.3. Instead of tarballing it, why not just allow unauthoried read access to the repo and publish the link? That's what the open-source community generally expects, and it requires no additional work on your part. It also means that people can't truthfully complain, for even a very short period, that the source isn't available. The community is happy, the users are happy (or don't know/care), the developers are happy (less time wasted), you don't wind up with a negative story on the front page of Slashdot...

    OK, the last one *might* be beneficial to you guys in the long run. Or it might not. Contrary to silly sayings that people parrot out of context, there is such a thing as bad publicity.

    Oh, and was it really only one user who got banned, like your post implies? Or is it true that "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" as stated in the summary? I've been here long enough to know that /. summaries have a habit of being twisted where not factually wrong, but they're also right on occasion, and definitley imply multiple users / posts here.

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." -- Will Rogers