The next step

Manuel M. T. Chakravarty
Tue, 29 May 2001 15:49:42 +1000

"Simon Marlow" <> wrote,

> Manuel writes:
> > I don't think that it is a good idea to specify a license.
> > For example, I am convinced that the (L)GPL is the better
> > licence for the community.  Incidentally, the GPL is also
> > the license of one of the most successful free software
> > projects ever - Linux - which is certainly also one of the,
> > if not *the* commercially most successful free software
> > project.  So, I don't buy this GPL is bad for companies
> > propaganda.
> It's not propaganda.  The fact is if any of the standard libraries use
> the LGPL, then some people will be prevented from using them.  That's
> the last thing we want, right?  Now you might argue from a moral
> standpoint that the companies that these people work for are basing
> their business models on intellectual property and therefore deserve
> everything they get, but we're not trying to do open source advocacy
> here, we're just trying to put together a set of libraries that everyone
> can use.

Depends on the library.  I agree with you that the really
core stuff and in particular the "language
extension"-related libraries should be completely

However, many libraries in the current hslibs and, judging
from the discussion so far, many new libraries are not
belonging to this core.  What is the problem if they are
LGPL?  LGPL code can be linked into proprietary code without
any problems.  There is lots of proprietary code being based
on code generated by gcc and linked against its C library.

> Maybe it's possible to use a dual license (ie. "pick one of the
> following licenses") scheme, but I'm not a license expert.

It is possible.  Perl does it.  But why?  If a license is
released under the LGPL, it can be used in proprietary code.
Only if the library itself is modified, modifications have
to be contributed back.  And, yes, if I write a library and
somebody improves it and distributes the improvements[1], I
want them, too.  What's wrong with this?


[1] Note that if GPL or LGPL code is modified and only used
    in-house, there is no need to release the modifications.