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Re: [DotGNU]Forum Update 17-apr-2001

From: Silvernerd
Subject: Re: [DotGNU]Forum Update 17-apr-2001
Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2002 08:17:51 +0200

"Gopal . V" wrote:
> On Wed, Apr 17, 2002 at 01:34:17PM +0200, Silvernerd wrote:
> > I'm currently busy with writing texinfo documentation for the project,
> > and have run in to the question what license (GPL+linking exception or
> > plain GPL) the project should have.
> What would be the license requirement for Plugins in this case ?. Will it
> *require* GPL'd plugins .

Plugins are a subject that's a bit on the conflict line between the
DotGNU and GNU policy. DotGNU is open for commercial programs as long as
they don't threaten the free-ness of the system. GNU is not open for
commercial programs except for a few exceptions. Since I'm trying to
make Forum a GNU program I'm inclined to follow the GNU policy on this
matter and let plugins be GPL'd.

There is also another reason for this that has to do with the difference
between webservices and plugins. Forum webservices use the Forum program
and therefore are free to chose whatever license they want. Plugins
extend the Forum program, in some way they become part of the program.
Non-free plugins would make the software non-free and that's something
we cannot allow.

I also found a second ethical argument for this. Plugins in Forum will
be most commonly used to support new protocols of communication. Now
think of this: MS makes a WMA plugin for Forum, the WMA protocol is
non-free. That would mean that the Forum program would support a closed
format. Of course MS will supply the plugin to the people, but in a
sense Forum would support closed formats. And that goes against our

> Obviously such a program should be made up of component plugins ?.

Forum isn't made up out of component plugins, but out of 3 components
(Appside and Jabberside server, client). However in the future Forum
will support plugins in the client and server. Inside the server it is
easier to have namespaces and classes to provide base modularity than
separate plugins. But outside the main functionality plugins will come
into play.
> Should plugins be GPL'd (ie this is a question in SEE/VRS too).
> Gopal.V
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Silvernerd (Peter Minten)

"Using GNU/Linux is like walking over a ray of bricks, not as beautiful,
but a lot more substantial than light."

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