[Haskell-cafe] HDBC's future and request for help
jgoerzen at complete.org
Wed Feb 23 17:33:18 CET 2011
On 02/23/2011 05:48 AM, Chris Dornan wrote:
> The simple answer is that I need to be able to use HDBC in proprietary
> products and the LGPL makes this awkward – the most serious issue being
> that owners of the code base don’t want GNU licensed parts being linked
> into their code base. Packaging and delivery also gets complicated – (as
> I understand it) LGPL components can’t be delivered pre-linked,
> necessitating dynamic linking of the relevant libraries or supplying a
> GHC kit which the customer must use to assemble the product. This is all
> a significant drag.
Let's talk about specifics. I imagine that in LGPL-3 that the only
clause for objection here is 4(d)0, which requires that the proprietary
application be conveyed in a form such that the user can relink it with
a modified version of the library.
I would be willing to add an exemption to that requirement to the HDBC
license, which should address that concern.
What do you think?
> Also, wouldn’t it be good to get HDBC into the Haskell Platform? – but
> we can’t do this while it is LGPL can we?
> On the other side, what are the risks with adopting a BSD license? Is it
> that somebody could fork the library into a proprietary Haskell DB
> library that would compete with HDBC?
That's one way to put it. It's a big complaint I have about the BSD
license. There are many, many examples of companies taking things
licensed under BSD, adding features small or large, selling the result
at profit, and neither releasing the source for the new features to the
community nor compensating the original authors in any way.
I see a distinction between someone that just wants to *use* HDBC and
between someone that wants to "embrace and extend" it.
I know that work I do on Linux, Haskell, etc. leads to companies such as
Ubuntu making a profit off my work, for which they don't compensate me.
I also know that if they improve on it, and it's GPL, they have to
return those improvements to the community so we can all benefit.
I am bothered by the notion of letting companies take work I've done on
a volunteer basis, close it up, change it, never compensate me for it
and also never release the changes to the community. This is why I
prefer to avoid the BSD license.
In the case of HDBC, if all somebody wants to do is use vanilla HDBC in
their program without having to release the source to the proprietary
program or jump through hoops to let end users replace HDBC, then I
think that LGPL with the modification I proposed above would meet both
their concern and mine. The LGPL would still require them to note
HDBC's copyright (which the BSD license requires as well), and to
distribute source to any modifications they make *to HDBC*, but impose
no other onerous restrictions if my reading is correct.
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