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Re: Integration of gettext in Perl

From: Guido Flohr
Subject: Re: Integration of gettext in Perl
Date: Mon, 5 Aug 2002 13:27:22 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.3.16i

On Fri, Aug 02, 2002 at 02:48:29PM -0700, Thomas Bushnell, BSG wrote:
> Guido Flohr <address@hidden> writes:
> > My statement "GPL and/or Artistic" was a shortcut for:
> > 
> >     This is free software.  It may be distributed either 
> >     under the terms of the Artistic License or at your
> >     choice the GNU General Public License.
> > 
> > Such a copyright statement is very common for Perl modules. The 
> > primary source for free Perl modules, the CPAN is full of it.
> > If there is anything wrong with it, the CPAN should be shut down
> > immediately.
> Of course such a copyright is perfectly fine.
> But if you combine such code with GPL'd code, the result can only be
> distributed under the GPL, and so the result of the combination can't
> be an either/or thing.

To put it straight: My module neither depends on nor uses
GNU gettext.  Just like GNU gettext itself, it implements the functions
gettext(), dgettext(), and so on.  This interface has mostly been defined
by Sun although I have also implemented functions that - to my
understanding - are GNU extensions (notably ngettext and friends).

My module uses the GNU .mo format but I am positive that Unisys is
not holding a patent on that file format.

My module calls, however, a (currently fictional version of) another
Perl module "Locale::gettext" which offers a C binding for the 
functions gettext(), dgettext(), dcgettext(), textdomain(), and
bindtextdomain().  Falling back to the C version succeeds if a
sufficient implementation of these functions is found, either in
the shared library "libc" or "libintl".  The fallback code /would/
work on a Solaris system w/o any GNU extensions!

If there is really a consensus that this should be sufficient to
require the GPL for all software that makes use of my module, I will
remove that fallback code immediately, because that is not what I

But I seriously doubt that.  The gettext family of functions is
an open standard API, and just because there is a GPL'd implementation
of this API available cannot be sufficient for demanding the GPL for
all software that uses this API.  Other Perl modules I have written
use printf().  Can they only be used in GPL'd software because of 
the printf() implementation in the GNU libc and because many people
use a GNU/Linux system nowadays?  (Yep, glibc printf is LGPL, but
suppose it wasn't).

Anyway, libintl is LGPL, and I don't think that all this legal
hassle is really necessary here.


Imperia AG, Development
Leyboldstr. 10 - D-50354 Hürth - http://www.imperia.de/

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