possible readline license problem with ghc and -package util

Andre Pang ozone@algorithm.com.au
Wed, 12 Jun 2002 16:40:59 +1000

On Tue, Jun 11, 2002 at 04:18:53PM +0100, Simon Marlow wrote:

> I think realistically we have to ditch readline for GHCi and
> use something with a friendlier license.  BSD's libedit is
> a possibility.

Here are some less tragic solutions I can think of:

    1. Dual-license GHC under _both_ the current GHC license and
       the GPL

    2. Split GHC into two distinct programs: GHC and GHCi.  Put
       GHCi under the GPL and GHC under some GPL-compatible
       license (like its current BSD license).

Solution #2 should probably be slayed by a +5 Greatsword of

Solution #1 is what Perl does (and it's also what I do for my own
software).  Pretty clever, really: tell the user she has a choice
of licenses.  You can use use the GPL, or you can use this other
funky license if you don't like Mr. GPL.

It's not just a win-win, but a quad-damage-win:

    1. User wins because they get a choice of licenses.
    2. User wins because they don't have to deal with the GPL if
       they don't want to.

    3. Developer wins because lots of people like the GPL, and
       any development they do with the GPL is guaranteed to go
       back to the community.  This may not occur all the time if
       you only use a permissive license like the BSD license.

    3. As a nice bonus, you avoid all this evil stuff about
       linking with (L)GPLed libraries, like what's happening
       with libreadline now, because your software is licensed
       under the GPL.

Maybe Perl can help Haskell in some slightly less evil ways ;).

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