First off, welcome Slashdot readers! 🙂 http://developers.slashdot.org/developers/07/12/15/1332207.shtml
I just got done approving all your comments after waking up from a nice 10 hour sleep (yay weekends). Many are supporting, some are not so kind. I’m approving any comment that is non-spam (“free casino games!”), although if there are cuss words I am redacting those portions with asterisks. I’m not trying to censor discussion that I disagree with, in other words.
Anyway, to clarify: I am not closing Paint.NET’s source code. I am still releasing the source code for Paint.NET v3.20. I have the zip file right here (well, 7z file ;)) and I just have to wake up first (not want decaf!) and do uploadings and e-mails and HTML stuff to publish it. The only thing being removed is the installer, and the translated string resource files. The license has changed to move the resource assets under a Creative Commons license. That’s all. I believe this keeps 99% of what 99% of people are interested in, while closing the doors that enable the 0.0001% jerks out there to easily exploit things (“I have to write my own installer? Wah boohoo, I’ll find another target.”) I’ve kept track of some of the “easy exploit” vectors and have found ways to either legally prevent them, or to make the work required to loophole them enough that lazy people will give up quickly. Also, please remember that this is the Internet and I can change my mind later. This isn’t the ten commandments chiseled in to stone tablets 🙂 I could very well decide it’s too much effort to do this, and find a different way to address the problem. Maybe I’m just blowing off steam.
The goal is not to prevent any open use of the source code. Some have suggested that I should sue the guy, but I’ve already dealt with him so that isn’t necessary. Some have suggested that I should have used the GPL or BSD license, but that wouldn’t be possible because first, I don’t like GPL (let’s please not start a battle about it). Second, it would restrict some of the freedoms that I do want to allow: honest incorporation of portions of Paint.NET’s code into another software without licensing stipulations (for starters). Third, I don’t have complete executive privilege here. Portions of Paint.NET are incorporated from elsewhere (with permission of course), or are even owned by Microsoft from way back in the day, and I cannot change those parts of the licensing without consent (or by doing a full rewrite). Nor do I want to chase everyone down to get this consent when I can achieve my goals easier by doing something else. So I have moved the resource assets to a CC license which means if you really want to rip-off Paint.NET then you have to rewrite all the text and redo all the graphics. At that point you have proven you are either not lazy, or that you have OCD, or something. By which time I’ve released 4.0 and you are way behind again.
There was a comment about the Mono guys and their porting efforts. I don’t believe this will hinder them, nor is it a goal of mine to do so. I’ve e-mailed with Miguel de Icaza on occasion with the specific intent of making sure that it is possible for them to port Paint.NET. They wouldn’t be able to make much use of Paint.NET’s installer code anyway because it is very Windows-specific. And they probably won’t need to edit the resource files and can just use them as-is. If/when we find problems in the licensing that impede this, then we can adjust the license for the next release. Or I can provide them with permission to do what they need to do. This is iterative development folks, isn’t that what everyone likes?
To address why I didn’t publish the guy’s name, website, etc. The reason is that I honestly believe there are some extenuating circumstances that are not fully known. From what I have read, some believe the guy is disabled, or is being purposefully defamed by someone who has a grudge against him. The other possibilities that I have considered is that he is mentally deranged in some way – split personality, schizophrenia, etc. This would be congruent with the weird e-mails I’ve had with him in the past. He has been seen under or claiming different last names. In any case, there would be no benefit other than revenge for publishing this information.