Specific license field

Duncan Coutts duncan.coutts at googlemail.com
Mon Nov 9 11:36:32 EST 2009

On Mon, 2009-11-09 at 15:04 +0000, Neil Mitchell wrote:
> Hi
> > We're not trying to nail down every last nuance in the licenses (e.g. I
> > don't think we need to be trying to distinguish GPL-2 from GPL-2+).
> So how is a Cabal library author meant to explain their intent?

The full intent of the license is given in the license file. The license
line in the .cabal file is just informative, not authoritative. Afterall
it contains "OtherLicence". The only reason it is not a free-form string
is so that when you use the "common Foo license" and I use it too, that
we can agree on the same name (which is occasionally useful for tools).

It would be jolly tricky to work out a DSL for precise license
description. "GPL >= 2 && LGPL >= 2.1 && MPL" or did I mean "GPL >= 2 ||
LGPL >= 2.1 || MPL".

> I just want to go with whatever helps the distros package my tools (although
> I don't want to put explicit licensing in each source code file), and
> it's the distros who have been asking for clarification.

The distros that really care about this check the license file. You do
not need to duplicate the license into every file (in any case most
license are too long for that to be practical).

> Knowing that GPL-2 is coming is great, but if it's newer Cabal/GHC
> only I'll just leave it as a comment in the .cabal file, then move it
> over in a few years time.

As I mentioned it works from Cabal-1.6 (ghc-6.10). If/when you decide to
use it is up to you.


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