Pliant license

The license

Pliant is copyrighted by Hubert Tonneau, contains a few external contributions (see source code), and is released under the GNU public license, version 2.


In very few words, it means that if you want to use Pliant for writing an application for your company or organization, then you have no special constrains, but if you want to release or sell the application to other companies or organizations, you have to release it under GNU public license version 2, which in very few words means that it has to be free.

If you want to write an application provided as a service (Saas), then from the GNU plublic license version 2 point of view, it's just like using it internally, as opposed to distributing it, so you have no special constrain.

Now, if you want to distribute an application written in Pliant, then keep in mind that from a technical point of view, Pliant is a dynamic compiler, so the application runs from the source code, and as a result, the GNU public license version 2 constrain stating that you have to publish your application source code should not be an extra contrain for you.
Also, there are also a few applications called open source that are proprietary (as opposed to free) but released with source code. Should you want to write such an application in Pliant, and release it, then you would need Hubert Tonneau to release Pliant to you under a less restrictive license than GNU public license version 2. If that is what you expect, please contact Hubert Tonneau before starting your project.

Lastly, there is a Pliant to C translator that enables to turn a Pliant application to an executable, technically suited for distributing an application without the source code, but this software is not publically available on the web. If you intend to use it, please contact Hubert Tonneau.

Pliant development model and license planned evolution

It is not very clear whether the best license for Pliant is GPL or the less restrictive LGPL.
On one side, LGPL is more common for development tools because it does not provide constrains on applications developed using these tools, but on the other hand, since Pliant is a dynamic compiler, the LGPL wording talking a lot of 'library' is ambiguous, and since Pliant is reflexive, the limit between the development tool and the application is a bit fuzzy.
Moreover, as specified in the comments, the fact that LGPL could be applied (Pliant provided as part as a closed source application) is technically unlikely, so that is why I have selected pure GPL in the end.

Over it's first 10 years of existence, Pliant has not spread much if at all. Reasons are: too different, not documented, not seriously marketed, etc. Another important reason is that I was more interested in making my computing visions progress, I mean moving forward on the concepts, than spreading already implemented parts. Many external contributors would have meant spending more time coordinating than thinking, and more progress at features than concepts level.
Now Pliant has reached it's final overall shape, so spreading get's more important, so are external contributors.

These 10 years have been just enough for me to understand what I'm good and not to work at and so decide a suitable organization for Pliant taking off.
I've met some people over the years that wanted to do something new in computing field, I mean create a company or a product. Also they wanted to do it ... in 6 months to 1 year.
It is very consistent from the financial point of view, but I was still finding it strange from the intellectual point of view because something like Pliant requires thinking a lot more than one year. When you start something in one year, not much time remains for the concepts and this is probably why computing softwares are so weak on concepts.

There comes the final organization from: I'm not targeting Pliant for end users or end developers, but rather for people that want to start something new (an application or a product or a company) in a year or so. So external contributors are welcome to fill the gap with end users needs, either through concentrating on proper packaging, or features enhancing of one part, or providing more focused application framework, or providing high quality courses, etc.
In other words, Pliant is mostly a concepts pool people that want to start something new fast can pick from. Of course, there is already working code, but it's largely proof of concept.

Now, if the GPL license is not suited for enabling some Pliant contributors to be fairly rewarded, then I will provide the extra license suited for each particular case, and if at some point the fact that I decide it seems abusive, then it will be time to create a foundation.
For people not very familiar with GPL license, releasing a software under GPL does not prevent the author to also release it on a second less restrictive one.