SN backend GPL or LGPL? (was: SourceNav release...)

Doug Fraser
Wed Feb 13 11:55:00 GMT 2002

If you link in a library, your new work embodies that library, and
thus is covered by the license of the underlying library. If that were
not so, then any OpenSource project could be turned into a library
in order to void the GPL. So the act of linking to a library binds your
work to the underlying license. Deriving a library from a GPL product
conveys GPL status to that library, since the library is a derivative work.

Which, in the spirit of the tool and the spirit of OpenSource, is
as it should be. However, I can't see that it would keep you from
developing an extended IDE if the rest of the IDE communicated to
SN through an API that did not require linking. CORBA as you say
or a database. You could develop that API, feed it back to the
community, then move forward with the proprietary tools, just using
a separate SN as a backend. Some would argue against that on
philosophical grounds, but it would appear to be quite legal.

Personally, I am quite happy with my SN5.0 release. One of these
days, work permitting (yeah, fat chance...) I want to learn how
to hook it into the backend of VIM, so I can use VIM as my editor,
and have it feed controls back to SN. VIM has a backend hook built
into it, so it should not be too hard.

Thank you to the all the fine folk who have provided
and contributed to SN.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ian Roxborough []
> Sent: Wednesday, February 13, 2002 1:40 PM
> To: Robert Hartley
> Cc:;
> Subject: Re: SN backend GPL or LGPL? (was: SourceNav release...)
> On Wed, 13 Feb 2002 13:38:26 -0500 Robert Hartley 
> <> wrote:
> >
> > What I was trying to ask is if we made the back end of SN a 
> shared library,
> >, would every thing that linked to this library 
> have to be GPL'd or
> > would the library be able to be treated as a LGPL work?
> This would require a change to the licensing, which probably
> won't happen.
> Ian.

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