June 3, 2002
Dear Radiance Community,
This message is about the future of the Radiance software. Some changes are in store and we want to inform you of our plans.
As you know, Berkeley Lab has been developing Radiance and distributing Radiance executables at no cost to the public for over 10 years. The Radiance source code has been available for academic and non-commercial use at no charge for many years and several companies have purchased licenses to distribute Radiance or Radiance-based products commercially.
During the last decade, a number of software developers have contributed code to the Radiance software, complementing the main development efforts supported at the Berkeley Lab. At present time, the funding for Radiance related developments at Berkeley Lab is very limited, but there is still strong interest by software developers to further enhance the Radiance software because Radiance remains unique in its ability to accurately simulate the propagation of light.
In investigating alternatives to leverage interest from the Radiance community with the core code development from Berkeley Lab, we have decided to make Radiance an "open source" software product. The goal of this is to facilitate continuous development of enhanced versions of Radiance, whether from bug fixes or additional features and functionality, all of which we anticipate will be contributed by the larger Radiance development community.
Subject to any required approvals from US DOE, we intend to launch Radiance as an open source product on December 1, 2002. Beginning on that date, Radiance source code and executables will be available for download to any party for any use (commercial or non-commercial), pursuant to an appropriate open source license agreement. These plans also apply to the Radiance engine of the Desktop Radiance software and are considered for other parts of the Desktop Radiance code as well.
We believe that this open source initiative represents an exciting step forward in ensuring Radiance's continued technical development and widespread adoption. We welcome your comments to our proposed plan by June 30.