Windows Headers

Warren Young
Mon Dec 28 15:52:00 GMT 1998

At 08:41 PM 12/27/98 -0600, you wrote:
>I've noticed that the headers that are included with Cygwin-32 are a bit
>lacking in some areas, how would one go about adding things without 
>infringing on copyrights.  For instance I know I can't juse take
>headers and add them in with Cygwin, but if not, how are you supposed to 
>create the headers ?  What about creating them from documentation in an
>help file, is this "legal" ?

Paranoid answer: ask a lawyer.

My personal, unofficial, please-don't-sue-me answer: go ahead and swipe
things from Borland's headers.  Why?  I assume that you have a legal
license for Borland C++, and if so, you should have the right under the
license to use their header files for personal use.

You can't then contribute those headers back to the Cygwin project, but the
GPL does allow you to modify the sources without redistributing them, as
long as you don't redistribute binaries based on those sources.  (Note that
this doesn't count binaries produced by the compiler using those headers,
because that counts as the "output" of the program, which doesn't fall
under the GPL.)  So, if you wanted to make a custom compiler based on
Cygwin, you'd have to use "clean room" techniques to reconstruct the header
files, but if you're just using Cygwin to build programs, you should be in
the clear.  But, see the paranoid answer for the official info.

Be sure to check Borland's license for details, as there can be pitfalls.
For example, some compiler licenses I've come across forbid you to use the
product to create another compiler.  Under such a license, you may not be
able to use that compiler's headers if you want to rebuild the Cygwin
suite, even for personal use.

Complicated enough yet?  Oh for the days of Borland's "No Nonsense License"....

Good luck,

= Warren --
= ICBM Address: 36.8274040 N, 108.0204086 W, alt. 1714m
= Disneyland: A people trap operated by a mouse.
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