SeisComP AGPL prerelease for beta testing

Original post at SeisComP3 forum

Dear SeisComP community,

After over ten years of development and use of SeisComP3 in many institutions worldwide, we are glad to announce the release of a new SeisComP version with a number of major changes we have been working hard on for you, including a new license arrangement.

Some of the new changes are explained below.

  • The name: With the next generation of SeisComP it is time to drop the 3 in SeisComP 3 . We decided to continue with version numbers starting from 4.0.0 beta. We opened a poll for you to suggest a name scheme for the forthcoming release (see the bottom of the post).
  • The code changes: The new SeisComP supports Python 3 and can use libqt5. (Python versions before 2.7 are no longer supported; Qt4 is still supported.) The installation directory location has moved. A completely new messaging system, replacing spread, has been developed by gempa GmbH.
  • There are no database schema changes introduced with the new version. You will be able to continue to use the existing database which will greatly ease adopting the new version.
  • The License changes: We moved away from the old SeisComP public license to adopt a standard free software license - the Affero General Public License (AGPL). This will allow all stakeholders to easily use and or contribute to the software package. It removes the requirement to complete a license agreement with us, and the restriction to
    non-commercial use.
  • The Repository: With an open license, we are able to share the first new NG release at where you can find the SeisComP software collection distributed among several repositories according to ownership, GFZ, GEMPA and other contributors. We would encourage developers to compile and try out the new version. We would be happy to receive feedback. In case of pull request, please note that you will be asked to sign a Contributor License Agreement (CLA). We will be completing the preparation of pre-compiled binaries for regular users and expect to provide them in a month from now.
  • Documentation: we have reviewed most of the documentation, added explanation of the most important concepts for beginners and provided a number of tutorials for some common activities. We will open a new web site for documentation at at the time of the first official release.
  • The downloader pages: we hope that more and more users in the near future will be installing directly from the public repository. To foster this we provide a dedicated tutorial. After a short feedback period, we will provide binaries for the current Ubuntu, Debian and CentOS Linux distributions, from the new web site when it is operational.

The current SeisComP3 Jakarta code will be maintained until March 2022 in order to accommodate the migration to the newer version in complex operational environments. However there will only be bug fixes and security enhancements made, and no new features will be introduced. We strongly encourage all users in operational
environments to start testing this first beta version as soon as possible.

The community and the forum: the SeisComP forum will remain the central place for the community; we plan only a minor layout change introducing a new logo and related style changes.

The development team: this major change has been implemented jointly by gempa GmbH and GFZ-GEOFON. We take this opportunity to acknowledge all contributors so far and we hope to see more active contributors in the
near future with this new licensing model.

We kindly ask the SeisComP community to help us in finding a new name scheme for the future releases and versions.

We kindly encourage you to vote for the new name scheme by Wednesday 22 April 2020. Please participate and contribute!