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

Doug Fraser dfraser@photuris.com
Fri Feb 15 09:43:00 GMT 2002


First, let me say that I agree that the Lesser GPL (LGPL)
is a far more flexible license for development of
library components. No doubt. But SN is an entity, a whole,
not a collection, so I would be surprised to see it go LGPL
in a general sense. That being said, I'll attempt to explain
my reasoning for supporting your earlier 'CORBA' example.

Using SN as a tool in cooperation with other tools
would not run against the spirit of OpenSource. If
that were true, then the compilation of proprietary
solutions using GCC would also run against the spirit.
As would using PERL to handle CGI into a proprietary database
on a web server. All these tools are used as solutions
in proprietary settings every day. Deriving a proprietary
work from an open source product would run counter,
because that derived work itself is what is being marketed.
In the same sense, you can derive works from GPL products
for your own personal use without turning those changes
back, as long as you do not make the derived work available
to anyone else. So in that sense, if you bundle SN with
a collection of other tools that communicate with an
autonomous SN to perform useful work, that would be an
accepted use. What would matter, though, is if you modified
SN to provide a closed backend to enable communications
to your tools. If, however, you provide that modification
to the public, then you have met your responsibility to
the community by providing a useful extension to the
existing tool.

Doug

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Robert Hartley [mailto:rhartley@ics.com]
> Sent: Wednesday, February 13, 2002 3:20 PM
> To: sourcenav@sources.redhat.com
> Subject: Re: SN backend GPL or LGPL? (was: SourceNav release...)

<snip>

> All other issues aside, using Corba or something as a 
> workaround would not be
> in the collaborative spirit of open source.
> 
> That is why I am wondering about an LGPL version of the SN backend.
> 
> Thanks to all for listening,
> 
> - Rob
> 
> 



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