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Re: [Maxima] RE: [Axiom-developer] Re: [Gcl-devel] Re: [ #48656]

From: Camm Maguire
Subject: Re: [Maxima] RE: [Axiom-developer] Re: [Gcl-devel] Re: [ #48656] Re: GCL compliance with GNU GPL
Date: 18 Jul 2003 15:27:59 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.09 (Gnus v5.9.0) Emacs/21.2

Greetings!  Thanks as always for your input, Mike!  Please see my
other mail on some of the helpful thoughts you raise below.  Perhaps
we could next hear what the FSF would like to do?

Take care,

"Mike Thomas" <address@hidden> writes:

> Hi Camm.
> | Greetings!  The BFD library linking is a recent addition, and could be
> | removed if necessary, though it would force us back to
> | dlopen/non-permanent object loading on all but two of the 6 platforms
> | which we thus support at present.
> That would be a shame, I think.
> My understanding is that we would only need to dump BFD linking in cases
> where a particular GNU Common Lisp binary distribution was to be licenced
> under LGPL.
> Such a binary would presumably give the author of new third-party software
> developed with that GCL binary the option of not releasing the source code
> to their new software.
> So for example, a developer might build a GCL with custom relocation rather
> than BFD, no readline and assuming that the Emacs code is subject to a
> waiver, that particular build of GCL could be licenced under LGPL.  That
> person could then write a spreadsheet with that LGPL GCL and sell it without
> making the source code to that spreadsheet available.
> By my understanding, such an example was OK within the scope of historical
> GCL releases before references to BFD and readline (and possibly Emacs
> unexec) entered the source tree.
> If not, then I see no advantage in licencing GNU Common Lisp under LGPL and
> it would save us all a lot of trouble just to go with full GPL.
> | If need be I suppose we could
> | expand on the custom reloc code already in the tree. Richard
> | is of course right here that static or dynamic linking is not
> | relevant.
> I had been under the impression that a dispute existed over the issue of
> dynamic linking at one time and I never found out what the outcome was,
> which is why I used the phrase "grey area".  From an ethical point of view I
> agree, incidentally, with yourself and Richard and on that basis I would
> hope that the point of view of the courts would be so constrained.
> | The unexec routines from emacs were definitely in place when GCL was
> | maintained by Dr. Schelter.  Surely the license issues must have been
> | worked out at that time?
> My understanding also, but I felt that while we were sorting licencing out
> it would be appropriate to ensure that an overall view be formed - I had
> forgotten in previous discussions that these other relevant licencing
> factors existed.  I am also concerned that the unexec stuff might have crept
> in, historically speaking, without sufficient consideration.  I don't know
> the timeline or facts of these matters myself, but I would like to know.
> | To my understanding, the only function
> | needed from emacs is unexec -- the files listed my Mike are those
> | needed to support this function on several architectures.
> |
> | How much of an issue is it really if we just place GCL under the GPL?
> | Do we know of anyone who would be inconvenienced by this?
> As far as I know, only potential users of GCL who might one day like to
> protect their software ventures by means of source code secrecy; an issue
> which goes to the heart of the existence of the FSF.  It seems also,
> however, that there is a moral imperative at play in terms of the intentions
> of Bill Schelter who preserved the LGPL status of GCL while keeping it
> alive.
> In the end, I bow to the decision of yourself and the relevant FSF experts
> as I am sure that you will all proceed on the merits of the project in terms
> of it's potential for doing some good in this world.
> Cheers
> Mike Thomas.
> _______________________________________________
> Maxima mailing list
> address@hidden

Camm Maguire                                            address@hidden
"The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens."  --  Baha'u'llah

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