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From Robert Burrell Donkin <rdon...@apache.org>
Subject RE: Using a GPL library with Apache CouchDB
Date Wed, 23 Jul 2008 18:55:15 GMT

On Sat, 2008-07-19 at 10:57 -0800, Philippe Ombredanne wrote:
> On Sat, Jul 19, 2008 at 12:00:45AM +0100, Noah Slater wrote:
> > After reading your post Sam, it seems clear that we can't use 
> > Xapian even if it was allowed by the GPL because this would go against the
> > principal of not requiring any GPL code dependencies. What a shame.
> My 2 cents:  
> a possible approach would be to expose some kind of interface /plugin (that
> has no knowledge of Xapian) such that 
> - various index engines can be plugged in.
> - there is a reference implementation available for some index technology
> provided under ASL
> - other projects outside of the ASF can implement and provide a CouchDB
> index plugin for Xapian if they feel like it, under whatever license they
> feel they can or shall use.
> So I can see potentially a path to using Xapian with CouchDB, but it would
> involve:
> - technology neutrality of the interface
> - some work done outside of the ASF
> > I am still curious to know if the "linking" aspect applies to "import
> xapian".
> IMHO the linking aspect applies to "import xapian" and in general to any
> kind of approach where the Xapian interfaces would have to be known from
> CouchDb ASF provided code for an integration to work. 
> I would see establishing some kind of hard linkage and dependency between
> the two technologies as "linking". 
> But I tend to consider linking in a technology neutral way, beyond the
> interpretation of what linking means for the FSF or what it means a specific
> programming language, so take my words lightly.
> Does this make sense ?

providing it's carefully and honestly done as described, yes

but creating an interface just to get round the GPL is not only
unethical but also dubious in licensing terms

FWIW http://lucene.apache.org/lucy/ is written in C and is AL'd

- robert

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