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Re: [DotGNU]Changing pnetlib license to LGPL

From: Gopal V
Subject: Re: [DotGNU]Changing pnetlib license to LGPL
Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2002 20:37:48 +0530
User-agent: Mutt/1.2.5i

If memory serves me right, Rhys Weatherley wrote:
> > You are right, in that changes to the implementation of the library must
> > be redistributed, but this leaves open the ability to declare library
> > routines as native, and implement them outside of the library.

I agree with you , Classpath had to use GPL+Linking Exception to
avoid this loophole . But let me put you in perspective.

Unlike the Classpath libraries , pnetlib uses a different mode of 
native invocation . Classpath uses the standard JNI for all the 
libraries. Pnet uses Internalcalls for std libraries and PInvoke for
other libraries.

So company 'A' trying to "improve" any of the pnetlib libraries would 
have to redeclare some of the libraries functions as PInvoke thereby
compromising efficency (dlopen,dlsym...). Also PInvoke cannot do many
of the things an InternalCall can , like do a GC_Alloc (I learnt it 
during my dotgnu.xml work....) .

Inserting an internal call would be a derievative work of the runtime
which is GPL'd , etcetera ...

So in effect the pnetlib cannot be hijacked as easily as classpath
could be using Native calls , due to design .

> 1. Any proprietry vendor that was thinking of doing this
>    would probably start with Mono's C# library and not ours.

Hehe .... 

> 4. Pnet's runtime engine, as the primary user of pnetlib,
>    will always be GPL or GPL-compatible Free Software.

Well that brings my original point into more clarity.

> Note: this only applies to the low-level pnetlib libraries.
> It won't apply to dotgnu-contrib, or any other DotGNU-specific
> libraries that we may end up building.  

I think I had made the wrapper license issue clear ... it should 
inherit the license of the library being wrapped. If that happens
to be GPL incompatible , well ... . To cite an example dotgnu.xml
will most likely be under the LGPL , eventhough libxml2 is under
X11 license. 

But GPL libs like readline should be wrapped in GPL'd wrappers and
provided with a conditional attribute like #define USE_GPL_LIBS in
the user/developers program code to be usable. This ensures that the
user cannot claim that they didnot intend GPL'd code to be linked in.

> I'd like to hear from the primary pnetlib contributors
> what they think of this proposal.  Peter?  Gopal?  Stephen?
> Charlie?  etc?

I'm not so hot about a license switch ... but I'd hate to have someone
read the whole license to understand the conditions. LGPL does not form
such a large breach of freedom for pnetlib , but it does make the usage
of the libs clear. So in effect I have no problems to speak of . This
is less significant as other less strictly licensed alternatives exist .
So I personally have no problems for the license switch ...

The difference between insanity and genius is measured by success

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