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From Ralph Goers <ralph.go...@dslextreme.com>
Subject Re: Building ASL code requiring LGPL 3rd party
Date Thu, 31 Mar 2011 06:36:26 GMT

On Mar 30, 2011, at 10:16 PM, Mattmann, Chris A (388J) wrote:

> Hi Ralph,
> 
>>> No you haven't. You said it's optional. That's not strictly true since the LGPL
infected code that's part of your patch would be part of the tarball that the Lucene project
has distributed in the past (and will distribute) aka its contrib as part of its source.
>> 
>> Technically that statement is not correct. The LGPL allows clients to reference the
interfaces without the code itself having to be licensed under the LGPL, so there is no "infection"
in this particular case.
> 
> Ehhh, what's an "interface" though? That's a sticky point. 

I answered Greg with the same comment. In Java, it doesn't really matter.  If you don't have
the classes your Java class will have references to the other class but nothing more. The
code, static fields, etc. is part of the target class and simply isn't present until the target
class is available on the class path. So for the purposes of the LGPL it is equivalent to
a header file.

> 
> It seems from his patch that there are concrete classes from JTS being used, and *not*
interfaces, no? Thanks for the clarification regardless.

Again, don't take that so literally.

FWIW, I'm not advocating that Lucene should accept the patch and certainly not as is.   The
fundamental question that is pointed out in resolved.html is "Will the majority of users want
to use my product without adding the optional components?".  You should infer from this that
the dependency should be optional both in the build and at runtime. If that is not desirable
then a solution with a more appropriate license should be used.

Ralph
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