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From "Matthieu Riou" <matth...@offthelip.org>
Subject Ruby license and Ruby packaging
Date Wed, 29 Aug 2007 22:53:06 GMT

We're thinking of proposing buildr [1] for the Apache Incubator. However
buildr is a Ruby project and there are a few associated legal hurdles on the
way. So I have a few questions:

1. The Ruby interpreter is not really a problem (just like the JDK isn't a
problem), however a lot of libraries in the Ruby ecosystem reuse the Ruby
license [2]. Is it compatible with the ASL and would it be authorized for
third-party inclusion in an Apache work?

2. Ruby distribution heavily relies on the RubyGems [3] packaging system. In
many ways it's very similar to Linux packaging systems, like APT. In short
it handles third party dependencies for a given software by installing them,
after asking. So if you try to install "foo" and if "foo" depends on "bar"
and "baz", it will ask you whether you also want to install "bar" and "baz"
and if so, will download them from a central repository and install them for
you. In this context, does the licenses of third-party dependencies matter
as none of them are actually distributed?

Buildr as several dependencies toward Ruby License third party softwares and
a couple ones toward LGPL software (that wouldn't be that easy to remove),
which normally wouldn't be kosher at all. However given that none of them
are distributed, would that matter?


[1] http://buildr.rubyforge.org/
[2] http://www.ruby-lang.org/en/LICENSE.txt
[3] http://docs.rubygems.org/

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