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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: 21 Jul 2003 17:34:54 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.09 (Gnus v5.9.0) Emacs/21.2

Greetings, and thanks as always for your attention to these matters!
(It is, IMHO, largely the reason we are here in the first place :-)). 

Richard Stallman <address@hidden> writes:

>     I agree that the LGPL would be better, and I think the FSF agrees too
>     for this application.
> I wouldn't be sad to see GCL under the GPL.
> GCL has had its current license for a long time.  Is there any
> indication that this license has led proprietary software developers
> to contribute substantially to GCL, or even led them to use it in
> large numbers?
>       In any case, were we to go GPL, I think at the
>     minimum we would want to use a proprietary code allowing clause along
>     the lines of clisp.
> That would not work--it would encounter the same problem as using the
> LGPL encounters: namely, that the various libraries and copied code
> don't have such an exception.
> _______________________________________________

1) I'm not concerned with proprietary software vendors.  I wouldn't
   expect much help from them for GCL in any case.

2) I am concerned with free software authors who might insist for some
   reason on a BSD-like license.  Specifically axiom.  There is a more
   ansi-compliant, less portable, faster, BSD-like lisp system with
   which GCL must compete -- CMUCL.

3) I feel that any 'predominant' free compiler for a given language
   will likely not restrict the license of code merely compiled with

4) I feel that any 'predominant' free compiler for a given language
   will also be predominant among free software authors.

5) I feel that the 'predominant' compiler for a given language will
   likely be of the highest quality, due to its large mindshare.

5) I feel that the existence of a 'predominant' high quality free
   compiler for a given language encourages its use in the production
   of free software.

6) Its obviously not right to use emacs' unexec under the LGPL without
   special permission.  I'm confused as to how this situation arose.
   I find some unexec files in the May 10 1994 release of gcl-1.0.
   Did Dr. Schelter ever discuss this with you or any other emacs

7) From what I know now, and if you are still persuaded that it would
   be best not to license unexec to GCL under the LGPL, then it would
   appear the following is the best course:

        a) license the current GCL under the GPL
        b) ask the xemacs people if pdumper could be used as an
           LGPL'ed replacement for unexec.  
        c) If b) is yes, then make a --enable-lgpl configure option
           which would eliminate readline and bfd and use pdumper in
           place of unexec.
        d) If b) is no, consider modifying unexec to not dump itself
           into any saved image (if possible -- this might be
           achievable by simply placing the unexec file before
           firstfile.o in the link).  Some --enable-proprietary-images
           switch would then install this feature as well as eliminate
           readline and bfd.  GCL itself would be GPL (like gcc), but
           produced images would not have readline, bfd, nor unexec
           (and therefore could not run si::save-system), and
           therefore could be licensed as the author wished.

8) Comments/corrections most welcome.  If 7) is adopted as our plan,
   then I will need volunteers to help with steps b), c) and d).  All
   those who want a LGPL GCL please step forward now :-)!  In any
   case, it looks like *current* 2.5.4 should be released under the
   GPL, if Richard's opinion as to the best course remains unchanged.

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

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