The DIET Agents platform has been released as Open Source under the GNU General Public License (GPL). The license allows you to use the software, to examine and modify the source code, and to develop applications based on the platform. However, the license does place restrictions on software that is derived from the DIET Agents platform. In particular, when you distribute derived software, the GPL also applies to it. For more details, refer to the GPL itself or to the GPL FAQs.
Our reasons for releasing DIET Agents under the GPL is that we want to:
Initially at least, we are not aiming to recruit developers to work on the DIET Agents platform itself. Further development of the platform continues within the BT team that has developed the platform during the three years of the DIET project. However, we of course welcome bug reports and suggestions for changes and/or extensions. Furthermore, the GPL license allows you to fix potential bugs yourselves. Therefore, software projects that use the DIET Agents platform benefit but do not rely on our maintance of the platform software. Though we will do the best we can to help users of the platform, this is a nice safeguard!
- Encourage third-party application development. The partners of the DIET project have already been developing applications on top of the platform. But there are many other applications that can be developed, ones we havent even thought of. We would like to see what you can come up with. Furthermore, uptake of the DIET Agents platform validates the approach we have taken.
- Encourage further research. We believe that a fully decentralised, bottom-up approach is very suitable for developing distributed, open applications. Even more so, when the group of users is heterogeneous and users have partially conflicting interests. Making the platform available is a good stepping-stone for further research in this area.
- Enhance prominence of DIET project results. During the DIET project we have been doing interesting research ourselves. Making the DIET Agents platform available can only help to dissemenate and promote what we have done.
- Showcase our expertise. The DIET Agent platform has been developed within the Future Technologies Group that is part of BTs Pervasive ICT Research Centre. The platform and related work demonstrates our skills in the areas of decentralised computing, nature-inspired solutions and self-organisation. We are also looking for commercial opportunities in these and related areas. For instance, we are open to consider dual-licensing the platform and making it also available under a commercial license.