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Re: [DotGNU]Call for a truce over mono vs pnet

From: David Sugar
Subject: Re: [DotGNU]Call for a truce over mono vs pnet
Date: Sun, 17 Mar 2002 21:26:33 -0500
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:0.9.4) Gecko/20010914

Whoa here as well, the limitations of code copying occurred when Ximian
changed to the X11 license for the library.  Don't try turning

No, our libraries were LGPL before, so we couldn't have used your GPL
libraries as well before the license change.

I will comment within the scope of this particular topic alone in regards to project cooperation; When the Mono libraries were still LGPL, it would have been very easy for cooperation to exist in this area. In fact, I personally happen to think the LGPL is probably the most correct license to apply in this area, and for us to similarly have made pnetlib available under the LGPL, to make this form of cooperation possible in the past, if we had simply been asked, would not have been a difficult decision to make. Clearly in that timeframe it would have been the correct one for it really is not efficient to duplicate libraries.

I happen to strongly believe that copyleft protection is nessisary for free software to survive and flourish. The LGPL is a reasonable pragmatic compromise that would not have interfered with it's use with proprietary applications and yet would permit and assure the pnetlib work itself to continue to be available as free software. The GPL (and LGPL) also makes a statement that those who use and depend on the library can be assured not only that the library itself will remain free, but that the freedom offered will not be superceeded or sabataged by patent claims the original authors may later try and assert to those who have become dependent on it. The X license makes no such clear disclaiming of possible patent claims, current or future, as well as permitting the possibility that the library can be later spun into a proprietary one. I do not believe we can in good concisenesscons make pnetlib available under such a license, for it would do a disservice to ourselves, to our contributors, and especially to our users. In fact, while it is true as you noted that we can possibly use X11 licensed code in pnetlib, and even perhaps relicense such code under the GPL, whereas the new Mono libraries clearly cannot absorb or permit GPL (or LGPL) contributions, the reality is that the situation with possible submarine patent claims would highly discourage us from activily using Mono library code. In this sense, the Mono license change has made it far less desirable for us to reuse Mono library code and certainly prevents Mono from using pnetlib. For this reason, I personally believe the Mono license change is a major step backwards for both projects.


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