New distributions of BioEra are (or will be) available:
BioEra Lite (free)
BioEra Pro (commercial) - available in March 2005
BioEra PDA (commercial) - available in March 2005
They come without sources and are based on the BioEra GPL (hosted on SourceForge), but contain special features that can be maintained only under different license then GPL.
New (closed source) distributions will be announced and available for download from www.proatech.com.
Primary reasons of such decision:
Some companies were reluctant or refused to cooperate with GPL licensed software. In particular when it came to disclosing specification of the protocols used in hardware devices.
Newest functionality (DVDPlayer, mpeg video) in BioEra requires a non-free license from mpegla.com for each distributed copy. Therefore it is not possible to provide that for free.
Apparently there was really not much benefit from the open source model.
I have never ever got a single question regarding BioEra's source code nor an offer for source contribution.
BioEra by its nature is not a library, therefore there is little chance a source will be needed.
Without sources it is easier to maintain a few separate versions as described below.
I know there are people who wish to create their own code working with BioEra.
Starting from version 1.1 there is new element: Evaluator, it should simplify that process greatly.
Traditional development (as described in manual) is also possible.
Totally free BioEra did not seem to be received as reliable (properly supported) software.
Profits from commercial version will be used for paid activities e.g. conferences or equipment.
BioEra GPL available on Sourceforge is still supported.
Can be used for any type of activity compliant with GPL license. New functionality e.g. interfaces for new devices can be still added here. Anyone who wants to contribute with new code or improvements or anything is welcome.