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Re: My Favorite soapbox : XML linkage (was Re: [DotGNU]Jabber-thon)

From: Barry Fitzgerald
Subject: Re: My Favorite soapbox : XML linkage (was Re: [DotGNU]Jabber-thon)
Date: Sun, 09 Jun 2002 20:07:08 -0400

James Michael DuPont wrote:
> >
> > And then, thinking about that, I came upon the
> > realization that it would
> > be economically stupid to do such a thing (if you're
> > a proprietary
> > company).
> >
> ...
> > modify ABC Free Software products functions after
> > converting it into a
> > linked library, exposing that functionality to an
> > outside client.
> >
> ...
> > GNU GPL.  However, it's not without investment.
> >
> ...
> > the company would
> > still have to develop the proprietary interface to
> > those XML-RPC calls
> > and thus interpret them.  That's a lot of work just
> > to get around the
> > GNU GPL.
> Wait,hold on.
> Maybe I misunderstood you, do you mean that non-free
> software cannot use free/opensource XML-RPC
> implementations? I think most are at least under the
> lgpl or less restrictive.

No - I did not mean that at all.  

What I meant was that those companies would still have to develop the
program that takes that XML-RPC output (even if they have libraries to
interpret the returns into usable info, which goes without saying) and

OK, let's say that any given program were turned into a SO/DLL and it's
30-someodd functions were exposed via an XML-RPC interface - that's all
well and good.  But the output of those functions is useless without the
production of a program to then *DO SOMETHING WITH THE OUTPUT*...

Would it save them some money to use Free code?

Maybe, maybe not... that all depends on how much work would have to go
into converting said Free Software program and then creating the
proprietary program that interfaces with it.

Practically speaking, it may violate the spirit of the GNU GPL - but it
doesn't come without a price tag and any company that does it will
suffer community protest.  

And, when you consider other models like network RPC, HTTP information
and procudure passing and server-side content processing.. this really
is not a new issue.  I new a guy 3 years ago who produced a generic PERL
front-end for any GNU/Linux program you wanted to use.  It would output
the STDIO to the web browser.

There just isn't anything really new here... Are there issues?  Sure...
but it's not a doomsday scenario.


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