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From Stefano Mazzocchi <stef...@apache.org>
Subject Re: build systems vs. license issues [Re: Hashing it out ...]
Date Fri, 07 Feb 2003 13:43:27 GMT
Torsten Curdt wrote:

> Actually I think we could make our lifes much easier by having better 
> build systems! So we would only have the Apache code in out repositories 
> and let the build system get the external dependencies for us. AFAIK 
> this should save us from legal troubles.

No, not necessarely. The problem with LGPL is that it doesn't define (in 
java) where the library stops and where your program starts. Having it 
downloaded from another machine, doesn't change that at all.

> The distributions would become much smaller (less load and traffic for 
> the Apache web sites) and it's the ideal sollution when you don't need 
> and or want some optional components.
> ..the only drawback is that the distributions are not self-contained and 
> not compile-able out-of-the-box.
> I mean I hate it when I have to collect all the libraries to build a 
> specific project - but hey: if the build system does that for me I am 
> fine :)

This is what several different efforts are trying to do. I think there 
is enough pressure for this that something will come out.

> I would even have the benefit to (de)select optional packages!!
> ...it's so ridiculous that even mock classes have to have the same 
> license as the full implementation. (Someone really really sure about 
> this?)

For those who don't know what a moch class is (sorry Torsten, but don't 
forget you are talking to a language-neutral community here), several 
java projects that depend on many different libraries (potentially 
optional) created what we call "moch classes" instead of placing the 
libraries in CVS.

A moch class is a skeleton class.

It contains only the (empty) methods and data definitions. It is used to 
allow us to compile our code in a strongly-typed fashion (compared to 
the reflection idea which is weakly typed - therefore, if you mispell 
the method name the compiler will compile anyway and you would just fail 
at runtime).

Moch classes are very handy (they allow, for example, Cocoon to be 
compiled under compilation-intensive IDEs such as Eclipse without having 
to download *all* the libraries that we depend on which we are not 
legally allowed to redistribute)

Cocoon developers suggested that we could use moch classes to get around 
LGPL problems, but I voted against that approach because a moch class 
*IS* a derivative work of that library (even if a very dumb derivative 
work), thus we cannot license the moch class under the apache license 
and we are back on the LGPL problem, even if it covers just that thin 
moch code.

There is no official statement around the use of moch classes, just my 
negative vote and Torsten is asking for more official statements on this.

Stefano Mazzocchi                               <stefano@apache.org>
    Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate [William of Ockham]

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