[Pharo-project] Fwd: License question

Schwab,Wilhelm K bschwab at anest.ufl.edu
Wed Oct 13 11:32:44 EDT 2010


Paolo,

"It only blew up in your face, because you didn't make a totally informed decision upfront. "

You seem very willing to blame and insult me, but not to consider that the license carries consequences of suppressing release of code.  My decision was very informed.  The question now is to what extent I can release a binding to GSL without losing control over years of hard work that are not conceptually dependent on GSL.  What you describe as freedom can also be seen as an attempt to control others and limit their freedom.

The "GPL compatible" loophole is potentially interesting.  Are there any examples of that approach?

Bill


________________________________________
From: pharo-project-bounces at lists.gforge.inria.fr [pharo-project-bounces at lists.gforge.inria.fr] On Behalf Of Stéphane Ducasse [stephane.ducasse at inria.fr]
Sent: Wednesday, October 13, 2010 10:30 AM
To: Pharo Development
Subject: [Pharo-project] Fwd:  License question

Begin forwarded message:

> From: Paolo Bonzini <bonzini at gnu.org>
> Date: October 13, 2010 3:38:49 PM GMT+02:00
> To: "Schwab,Wilhelm K" <bschwab at anest.ufl.edu>
> Cc: "Fitzell, Julian" <jfitzell at cincom.com>, "stephane.ducasse at inria.fr" <stephane.ducasse at inria.fr>
> Subject: Re: [Pharo-project] License question
>
> On 10/13/2010 02:46 PM, Schwab,Wilhelm K wrote:
>> Paolo,
>>
>> The language is not childish; it is a valid expression of how this
>> looks to others; I know, because I had it blow up in my face.
>
> It only blew up in your face, because you didn't make a totally informed
> decision upfront.  The GPL FAQ can be a tough read, but it is really complete and helpful.  It's not legally binding, but it's written by people who are experts and try to cover as many cases as possible, and .
>
>> After reading your "clone the API, then you can run fast as GPL or
>> slow as MIT," I am more than ever aware of just how on the mark that
>> characterization might be.
>
> Note that nothing forbids you from extending the "slow MIT" part until
> it's as fast as the GPL version and effectively obsoletes it.  It's just
> basic software engineering that you'll first make things work, then
> make things fast.
>
>> Another indication of the extent of the problems with/from GPL
>> arises from my planned use of the Pharo Inbox.
>
> That's not a problem with/from GPL.  That's a conscious choice from the
> Pharo people, who decided to restrict the Inbox to only accept things
> with a particular license.  It's not good or wrong, it's simply a
> decision that you have to live with.
>
>> One solution would be to clone and release just enough of the wrapper
>> set to help people to roll their own wrappers, which might eventually
>> spawn a clean-roomed set of wrappers.  A good MIT library will
>> eventually appear, and when it does, I want to be able to move my
>> higher level code to it.
>
> Ok, that's fine---making provisions for the future is totally understandable and not childish at all.  But then, it doesn't require the usage of language such as "infect" or "virus", either. :)
>
> The good news is that you can do it.  See this other point from the GPL FAQ:
>
>   If a library is released under the GPL (not the LGPL), does that
>   mean that any program which uses it has to be under the GPL or a
>   GPL-compatible license?
>
>   Yes, because the program as it is actually run includes the library.
>
> Note how it says "GPL-compatible" license. Right above this, it says
>
>    The GPL says that the whole combined program has to be released
>    under the GPL. [...]
>
>    But you can give additional permission for the use of your code.
>    You can, if you wish, release your program under a license which is
>    more lax than the GPL but compatible with the GPL.
>
> So you can release your bindings now and put it under the X11/MIT license.  However, I'd still add a README statement specifying that everything using the bindings will also use GSL, and so will have to respect the GPL (when distributed).  You can quote the GPL FAQ and highlight "GPL-compatible".
>
> I can understand if there were some resistance from the Pharo
> people about putting this in the main image, however.  So, I still suggest that you release your library from your website or from SqueakSource.
>
>     -*-
>
> As an aside, the GPL is not alone in putting restrictions on redistributions, but it does so for a specific end, which is to maximize the users' freedom.  This includes end users, not only developers.
>
> Take instead Microsoft's license on sample source code, which says you cannot distribute any derivative work in source code.  Personally I prefer something that forces me to help people learn, than something that forbids me from doing so.
>
> I hope this helps you in making a conscious choice, and also in trying to understand my position.
>
> Paolo


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