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From Shivaram Venkataraman <shiva...@eecs.berkeley.edu>
Subject License question for scripting language frontend
Date Thu, 16 Jan 2014 22:37:55 GMT

I am Shivaram Venkataraman, a committer on the Apache Spark project.
Recently we have been working on developing an R interface to Spark
which allows users to run R code on Spark. In this context, we have a
licensing related question that we would like some help with.

The R interface to Spark (SparkR) uses rJava, a GPL-licensed
third-party R package that presents functions to communicate from R to
Java.  In the SparkR code, rJava is simply imported into the R
workspace through an "include" command, and is not shipped in either
source or binary form with SparkR. Further the R code in SparkR (and
the R code we call into in rJava) is not linked but interpreted by R.

We would like to merge SparkR as a part of the Apache Spark project
and distribute it similar to our Python frontend. From what we can see
there exist other R packages like rmr2 (an R interface to Apache
Hadoop [1]) and Myrrix (an R interface to Apache Mahout [2]) that
provide Apache licensed code, while depending on GPL packages to
bridge from R to other large scale execution engines. However we were
wondering if there are any restrictions in Apache license of calling
into GPL code through a scripting language that we should be aware of.

Please let us know if you need any further details.


[1] https://github.com/RevolutionAnalytics/rmr2/blob/master/pkg/DESCRIPTION
[2] http://cran.cnr.berkeley.edu/web/packages/Myrrix/index.html

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