Monday, March 30, 2009

Greenfoot is Free Software

Greenfoot, "a live object world framework that supports many different kinds of scenarios," which means you can do various Karel the Robot, or StarLogo, or turtle graphics kinds of things, is now free software (written in Java). It had been one of the seemingly endless list in academic projects in licensing limbo that are neither free software nor a commercial product. Making it free is a good thing, and I congratulate the developers.

I don't expect anything dramatic to come from this, but that's not the point. What we need is a steadily growing ecosystem, some positive feedback loops, to reassure academics that nothing bad and a few good things comes from open sourcing, and establishing free software licensing as standard operating procedure for academic and foundation funded research in educational technology.

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