[Haskell-cafe] Hmm, what license to use?

Don Stewart dons at galois.com
Mon Sep 29 17:39:33 EDT 2008

> 2008/9/29 Bit Connor <bit at mutantlemon.com>:
> [..]
> Basically it seems to me that you believe in the benevolence and
> enligtenment of companies.  Something I don't.  I believe you are
> right in splitting the LGPL into two different objectives, and you are
> right in saying that I really only care about getting changes back.
> > So in summary, if user freedom is important, then GPL is the way to
> > go. If it's about encouraging the submission of patches and
> > contributions, then the license won't help you, you simply have to
> > rely on the good will of people. (But BSD will allow for a larger
> > community)
> Well, I'm not convinced about this.  I fail to see how your use of
> Apple is an example of this.  Yes, they clearly didn't get it in the
> beginning, but now there seems to be a vibrant community around
> Webkit.  Just as a point of comparison, did they do any better (in the
> beginning) with the BSD licensed code they use?  I sure haven't heard
> anything along those lines anyways.

The big problem with the LGPL and Haskell is static linking. We can't
use anything we wish to ship commercially that relies on
LGPLd-statically linked-and-inlined Haskell code at the moment.

So if you use LGPL for your Haskell libraries, all of which are
currently statically linked and non-replaceable at runtime, it is
unlikely any commercial Haskell house can use the code.

Note that this *isn't* the case for C libraries, which are dynamically
linked, like libgmp, which is just fine.

This is why the OCaml guys use their untested LGPL+static linking
exception, I guess.

-- Don

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