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From Alex Harui <aha...@adobe.com>
Subject Google Closure Compiler License
Date Wed, 17 Jun 2015 23:46:22 GMT

This week’s question is about the license for the Google Closure Compiler
(abbreviated as GCC in this email) [1].  If you go to the link, you can
scroll down through their README.  While it says the GCC license is AL
2.0, it turns out a dependency on Rhino was based on a version that was
under Netscape Public License.

Apache Flex wants to use GCC.  We don’t need to bundle it, we can download
it when installing the Apache FlexJS SDK.  I’ve asked on [2] if they could
find a way to get rid of the NPL dependency.

The FlexJS compiler calls into the GCC’s compiler.jar in two ways:  1)
During the build we ask it to parse a bunch of JS and then access the
parse tree via Java (we aren’t running it from the command line like you
would typically call compilers during a build).  2) When our customers are
building their apps from our SDK, we pass their JS through GCC to minify
it.  Again we don’t run GCC from the command-line; we call its Java APIs
and filter its error output before showing any remaining errors to the

When does a dependency on a compiler stop being a build tool dependency
and become a true dependency?  What does "component can be relied on if
the component's licence terms do not affect the Apache product's
licensing” mean in [3]?

Given that Rhino itself has been re-licensed as MPL, is GCC’s dependency
still NPL because the version they started with was NPL?


[1] https://github.com/google/closure-compiler
[2] https://github.com/google/closure-compiler/issues/273
[3] http://www.apache.org/legal/resolved.html#prohibited

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