[Haskell-cafe] Hackage and Free Software

fr33domlover fr33domlover at riseup.net
Sat Feb 28 17:27:16 UTC 2015

Hello haskellers!

I would like to make a proposal regarding the license of software in Hackage.

One of the major parts of the Haskell community infrastructure in the package
database server Hackage. As far as I know - please correct me if I'm wrong -
Hackage makes no restriction on the license of packages upload to it. But as a
community working in cooperation to make good software, the Haskell community
has embraced licenses like (L)GPL, MIT and BSD, which are free software

Actually the all-rights-reserved tag in Hackage [1] has only two packages
tagged by it - the dummy no-op project HNop, and another package whose COPYING
file contains a broken link and whose README says "BSD style license".

Software freedom is an ethical basis for collaboration on making software
that's truly good and loayl to its users, and providing them control and
freedom to access and use their computing resources.

It seems to me that the Haskell community is already enbracing this ethical
basis, but Hackage doesn't provide any guarantees and it means that you'd have
to check each package to be sure. By having that all-rights-reserved tag it
also in a way welcomes software that doesn't go by these rules - however it
seems that no packages do that even in the presence of the possibility.

I'd like to make a suggestion: have Hackage accept only packages released under
free software licenses. This is probably true for most/all packages there, but
making it official will both send a strong message to and from the community,
and provide people with the security and peace of mind, knowing their software
is free as in freedom.

It is also possible that companies use Haskell to create proprietary software
using permissive-licensed libraries and tools from Hackage. I hope this isn't
true, but even if it is, this software isn't offered by Hackage and I hope its
existence doesn't affect the community's use of Hackage and free software.

Would you consider to embrace free software officially, including in Hackage?

Thanks for reading,
waiting to hear from the community and from haskell.org maintainers,

[1] http://hackage.haskell.org/packages/tag/all-rights-reserved

fr33domlover         <http://www.rel4tion.org/people/fr33domlover>
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