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From Dalibor Topic <robi...@kaffe.org>
Subject Re: Full disclosure
Date Fri, 02 Dec 2005 16:17:03 GMT
Anthony Green wrote:
> On Thu, 2005-12-01 at 10:47 -0800, Dalibor Topic wrote:
>>Yup. I think dual licensing with the LGPL should be sufficient for
>>that to happen,
>>and get us rolling forward in that aspect as well.
> Rather than dual license the code, maybe switching to LGPL+exception
> would be better.  The GNU FOO+exception licenses say that you can
> redistribute using the FOO license at will.

You maybe underestimate the amount of confusion at the ASF regarding the
precise effects of FSF's licenses[1] and how long it takes to get the
necessary consensus for legal things :)

Introducing yet another copyleft license may take a lot more time to run
through the ASF gremiums, in particular since the ASF is just about to
come up with rules to deal with copyleft code at all, nevermind coming
to terms with the LGPL.

> But what would be the point of a relicensing effort like this?  AFAICT,
> many people here show no interest in collaborating on a single free
> class library project.

I don't see that as a real problem, as economics of maintaining a fork
would speak against it, and the only real way to be part of the game is
to collaborate.

Of course, Harmony could repeat the mistakes the Kaffe project made in
the late 90s, and be in a few years where Kaffe was a few years ago:
have a lot of neat, largely working code to show for some kinds of apps,
but everyone left and right outcollaborating it, and coming up with
better ways to do the same things. Been there, seen that, took the
eventually happily dormant project over, and switched it into highly
collaborative mode. One of the most requested features for Kaffe in the
past 6 months by developers and distributors alike, btw, was support for
using a preinstalled, pristine GNU Classpath (CVS head or release)
install out of the box, since it is moving faster than I can merge in
the improvements ... go figure.

dalibor topic

[1] To come back to the great internal ASF confusion regarding the
GPL+linking exception (short: GPL+LE), looking the httpd binary
downloads, I'd guess that the ASF (and most mirrors) have been shipping
GCC compiled httpd binaries for a few years from ASF's servers[2], and
the native binaries necessarily must be linked to (almost) verbatim
copies of GPL+linking exception licensed crt code from FSF by the virtue
of being compiled by gcc. Which is obviously fine, because the
GPL+linking exception explicitely allows that. I assume an easy way to
get GPL+linking exception through the board would be to wave a 'hold on!
if we've been doing this for years, and it went fine as far as we can
tell, and the FSF agrees with it, too, well, duh, let's get on with it!'
flag and say that the ASF has been jhappilly shipping binaries directly
using GPL+LE licensed code for years, and to codify such use as
permissible in a policy. Someone should wave that flag at legal-discuss
before ApacheCon, so that the board can get that done quickly, and we
can finally move on without having to wait for the LGPL decision. If the
good old httpd project can use GPL+LE code, why shouldn't harmony?

[2] objdump is your friend. or otool, on os x. dump crt.o of respective
gcc toolchain, look for the symbol names there, dump the respective
apache licensed binary, grep for the symbols, compare the assembler
code, and keep in mind that gcc crt.o als evolves a bit between gcc
releases. I found it easy to find almost exact matches last time I
checked, but couldn't be bothered to track down the exact toolchain release.

The point is that the ASF may have been already shipping small bits and
pieces that are using GPL+linking exception licensed code for years,
perfectly in compliance with GPL+linking exception, the respective ASF
committees just need to wrap their heads around it, and figure out if
it's actually what they want or not. I'd say 'well, yeah, it's darn
obvious, GPL+linking exception works the same by design for any
$PROPRIETARY_SOFTWARE_VENDOR, so chances are it'll work just the same
way for us, too, just like it worked all those years before', but then I
can understand how confusing any document with the letters 'GPL' in it
can be to some people, and how much harder to explain to their lawyers
and managers.

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