I want to get right behind the efforts of Open Source developers to develop tools, drivers and end-user applications for InterBase®. I think my ownership of the IBO technology places upon me a unique responsibility for ensuring that the most robust techniques for connecting applications to InterBase® are made available to those who seriously want to establish IB as a highly acceptable contender in the Open RDBMS stakes.
IBO's native architecture has no dependency on the Delphi VCL. This means it can be used in Open Source projects without the constraints of a perpetually closed-source ancestry. Most of IBObjects' components, unlike counterparts based on the proprietary Borland Delphi VCL, can be ported as open C source to the GNU and FPK compilers on LINUX.
The IBO architecture was developed upon a profound understanding of InterBase®'s API. Its implementation in the IB Objects components fully optimizes the connectivity requirements expressed in the API. The contrary approach has been to force the API to fit into the generic connectivity model underlying the native Delphi data access components, compromising a developer's ability to utilize the full potential of InterBase®'s capabilities.
From current discussions in the developer community, it is becoming clear that "pluggable" code units are going to be a vital aspect of open source tool and application support for InterBase®. An important implication here is the need to frame a standard "connectivity layer". I am confident that IBO's InterBase®-specific architecture and its proven robustness and extensibility make it the only candidate to be that standard.
Therefore, I intend to grant special rights of usage of the IBO technology, under terms compatible with the InterBase Public License, to projects that are open source. I will do all in my power to cooperate with those who want to get involved with IBO to accomplish their needs. Leaders of open source projects should contact me to discuss the special licensing considerations.
Addendum, 3 May 2000 :: It should be understood that I will not be releasing the Delphi source code of IB Objects as Open Source. It is the technology which I want to release into the InterBase® source code arena, including any C libraries I develop to generalize the connectivity model.
I apologize for any misunderstandings that occurred in my reference to the InterBase Public License. I should have included the words "compatible with" in my original statement. I am currently working with Open Source advisors to establish a suitable licensing arrangement that enables the IPL and the current Trustware licensing model, that applies to the IB Objects product, to work together for InterBase® projects, on a project-by-project basis.