Friday, June 22, 2007

NASA Releases Robotics Software, Almost

A Slashdot
article notes that NASA's JPL
has released to the public their Coupled Layer
Architecture for Robotic Autonomoy or CLARAty software. It was
initially believed the software would be released under a Free Software
or Open Source license, however this turned out not to be the case. The
software was released under something called the "CLARAty
Open Source License", which, despite the name, fails to meet either
the FSF free
software definition or the OSI Open Source
definition. On the upside, the software can be downloaded at no cost
it's possible to view at least some of the source code, and use software in
non-commercial applications. Any commercial use or derived works are not
allowed, however. While
the closed, proprietary license is disappointing, perhaps having access
to the software will facilitate the development of similar functionality
in free software.


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