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From Gregory A Lundberg <>
Subject Re: FYI: Current hacking: mod_js (JavaScript module)
Date Fri, 29 May 1998 16:20:06 GMT
On Fri, 29 May 1998, Dean Gaudet wrote:

> Date: Fri, 29 May 1998 00:03:34 -0700 (PDT)
> From: Dean Gaudet <>
> Reply-To:
> To:
> Subject: Re: FYI: Current hacking: mod_js (JavaScript module)
> On Thu, 28 May 1998, Alexei Kosut wrote:
> > So, in short, I don't see the problem with a GPLed Apache module. Can
> > someone explain it to me, with citations from the GPL?
> Find this section: 
>     The source code for a work means the preferred form of the work for
>     making modifications to it.  For an executable work, complete source
>     code means all the source code for all modules it contains, plus any
>     associated interface definition files, plus the scripts used to
>     control compilation and installation of the executable.  However, as a
>     special exception, the source code distributed need not include
>     anything that is normally distributed (in either source or binary
>     form) with the major components (compiler, kernel, and so on) of the
>     operating system on which the executable runs, unless that component
>     itself accompanies the executable.
> It's pretty self-explanatory.  Apache is not a major component of most
> operating systems.  You can't make modifications to an apache module
> without having the apache source code and "scripts used to control
> compilation"...
> Dean

To me, this and the previous message taken together mean one can write a
GPL module, even distribute it on the same media/site as a clean Apache
tarball, but cannot hope to have the Apache Group include the module in
its base distribution. (or anyone else, for that matter) can place the module on its
distribution site for separate download just as the module author can make
Apache available at his.

Nobody, however, can disribute a pre-compiled Apache server with this
GPL'd module linked in since the two licenses are incompatible.  If the
module can be dynamically loaded, however, it should be OK provided it
only uses the defined Apache interfaces and doesn't need a special build
of Apache (ie., it must use a clean, unmodified build).

Sound like a fair summary of the two taken together?

What leaps out to me is the CPL lacking is a definition of 'operating
system'.  It's easy to assume 'Linux' or 'HP/UX' or  whatever, but even at
that, what's the operating system and what's not?  Is inetd operating
system?  Sure it's used a lot but it's not kernel code.

I view the 'operating system' as 'that which is not me' when I'm
programming.  From a module's point of view is 'Apache' not the 'operating
system' in which it runs?  Does not Apache manage resources, scheduling,
etc.?  How can the GPL license tell if it's running on Windows/NT or BSDi
or Apache?  It's all just calls and returns, so a module simply needs to
do is require an Apache-enhanced <your-favorite-platform> as it's
'operating system'.


Gregory A Lundberg		Senior Partner, VRnet Company
1441 Elmdale Drive    
Kettering, OH 45409-1615 USA    1-800-809-2195

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