Subject: (FSB) Ghostscript: AFPL => GPL policy & timing
From: "L. Peter Deutsch" <ghost@aladdin.com>
Date: Fri, 2 Jan 98 05:46 PST

> Richard Stallman wrote:
> >Ghostscript development uses a method somewhat like this.  Each
> >version of Ghostscript becomes free a year after its first release.
> >In the intervening time, it is semi-free, but the printer companies
> >that want to use it still have to license it.
> 
> 	The file
> ftp://ftp.cs.wisc.edu/ghost/aladdin/gs403/ghostscript-4.03.tar.gz
> has a modification time of September 24, 1996.  So, is Ghostscript
> 4.03 now available under the GPL?

Each version of Aladdin Ghostscript is indeed subsequently re-issued as GNU
Ghostscript, but the time interval may be greater than a year, and the
re-issue is not automatic.

Aladdin and GNU releases are issued simultaneously.  The GNU release lags 2
versions behind the Aladdin release, which works out in practice to a delay
of about 18 months.  GNU 3.53 should have been issued at the same time as
Aladdin 5.0 in August, but the person who volunteered to handle the
mechanics of the GNU release flaked out, and I didn't find a replacement
until December.  I expect GNU 3.53 will be out by mid-January.  GNU 4.03
will probably issue at the same time as Aladdin 6.0, around mid-'98.  I
don't expect the flake-out problem to repeat itself, since the current
person has agreed to construct a script that will make it possible for me to
do subsequent GNU releases myself with little enough hassle.

In addition, in order to support the GNUstep project, I will be doing a
special, one-time GPL'ed release of only the Display PostScript subset of
Aladdin Ghostscript (that is, with only the X Windows device and only
PostScript Level 1 and 2 plus some NeXT extensions) as soon as the code is
reasonably reliable.  This will probably be named GNU DGS 5.50 and will
probably be issued in April.  The first alpha test version should be ready
to go to the GNUstep folks this coming weekend (Jan. 3-4).

-- 

L. Peter Deutsch         |       Aladdin Enterprises :::: ghost@aladdin.com
203 Santa Margarita Ave. | tel. +1-650-322-0103 (AM only); fax +1-650-322-1734
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