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From Yannick Menager <>
Subject Re[4]: Problems with licenses (GPL, LGPL) and task writing
Date Wed, 20 Jun 2001 16:51:00 GMT
Ok, another suggestion, what about providing a separate jarfile (like
there is currently optional, but with tasks licensed under GPL)

ie. the binaries made available would be


Wednesday, June 20, 2001, 11:28:40 AM, you wrote:

TV> From: Yannick Menager []

>> Hello Tim,
>> what if we had a defined API for say.. CVS Tasks.. and a series of
>> adaptors for multiple implementations.... would that be legal ?
>> maybe as an optional task, if the jcvs classes are there, it uses
>> them, if not.... Why hasn't that be done ? any legal reasons against ?

TV> Not sure I follow entirely, but here goes:

TV> If you developed a new ant task called "checkin" that did something like

TV> <checkin tool="cvs">
TV>         <param name="repositry" value=""/>
TV>         <fileset id="myfiles/>
TV> </checkin>

TV> Then I beleive you could do this:

TV> Give the checkin task had a published API that is:
TV>         For tool="XXX" it would load ant-XXX.jar
TV>         In that jar is will look for a "XXX_checkin" class.
TV>         On that class it will use the methods
TV>                 * checkin( file )
TV>                 * setParam( name, value )

TV> Then you could write classes for
TV>         sccs_checkin
TV>         rcs_checkin
TV>         cvs_checkin
TV>         p4_checkin
TV>         pvcs_checkin
TV>         vss_checkin

TV> etc.

TV> Your cvs_checkin would have to be GPL'd if it used any other GPL'd
TV> code (eg some existing jCVS code).
TV> But the checkin task wouldn't, since it is not specific to the cvs
TV> task.

TV> I do beleive though, that you would have to implement at least one
TV> alternative implementation (such as rcs_checkin) to be truly safe.

TV> Then could be ASF licenced
TV> code, operating as a facade over the various implementations,
TV> each of which could be under any licence.

TV> BUT: IANAL, I have however had similar discussions with various
TV> people about such techniques.

TV> eg You could in theory write an implementation of readline that
TV> didn't actually do anything except read text from the terminal.
TV> If it had the same API as GNU-readline, then you could BSD 
TV> licence it, and anyone could use it.
TV> Then users could drop GNU-readline in as a replacement, without
TV> you GPL'ing your program.

TV> My information is that the FSF would see that as an attempt to
TV> circumvent their licence, and they would seek legal injunction.

TV> I think I agree with them.

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