Friday, May 1, 2009

Open-sourcing Capyblanca, Part (ii)

I've received this email recently (identities hidden either to protect the innocent and/or my imaginary friends):

Dear Mr Linhares,

I'm a *nationality* *discipline* teacher, very interested by AI (as a hobbie), I've just read your article "Decision making and strategic thinking through analogies". I kwnow quite well Hofstadter's book "Fluid Concepts and creative analogies" but until your work I was not sure if these ideas could be applied outside "toys" problems.

If this can help, and if you are interested I would be glad in translating your code from Delphi to Java or from Delphi to C++ (if you prefer). Is it possible to download your code ?

I'm sorry for my bad english, hoping not to waste your time.

Best regards,

H. W.

This was my reply, which I'd like to extend further in here (also sent to the prime mover):

Dear H.W.,

Thanks for your message. Just to let you know that I received it and I'll soon contact you with a longer reply. In the meantime, feel free to download the code, and translate it to any language that you might find appropriate. The code is hosted in google and is under a GPL license. Do as you wish, and share with the community!

Cheers, --Alex

Well, I guess my "longer reply" comes basically to this: You can do whatever you want with the code, provided (i) you respect the GPL restrictions (sorry, buddy, you have to redistribute your improvements if you use the original), and I would ask also that (ii) people do NOT write papers for journal/conference publication using any of the examples embedded in the code. YES, you can write & publish a paper on the subject. YES, you can write and publish a paper on your improvements on capyblanca. YES, you can write and publish a paper criticizing capyblanca (you prick). But before we go all Obama yes-you-can, I'd like to ask readers and developers involved in the code NOT to publish any papers using the aforementioned positions. Other (billions?) chess positions are all yours to test, criticize, and improve the code. Good luck!

With that in mind, the code is free. It's all yours. Improve it, publish, and profit from it--but give back to the community. That is the spirit of the GPL.