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[DotGNU]don't change pnetlib license (was Re: Changing pnetlib license t

From: S11001001
Subject: [DotGNU]don't change pnetlib license (was Re: Changing pnetlib license to LGPL)
Date: Mon, 15 Jul 2002 01:12:32 -0500
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.1a+) Gecko/20020703

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

Well, it is OK in the small sense, but I ask you to consider it in the
larger sense.

If you look at mdupont's thread on Mono-list in May about
System.CodeDom.Compiler, you will find a common attitude about the LGPL:
use LGPL for libraries. In fact, here is a paraphrase that is fairly
accurate: "I usually prefer GPL, but for libraries, I prefer LGPL."

This is the wrong idea about LGPL. See

Now, the proposed use of the LGPL in the thread I am posting on is
within the original spirit of LGPL, as already argued. However, there is
another reason not to use LGPL.

* Discouraging use of LGPL overall. I quote from the Automake manual:

       * The file `COPYING.LIB' is prohibited.  The LGPL is apparently
         considered a failed experiment.

The reason it has failed is that people have the wrong interpretation of
it, and probably will for a long time. This interpretation seriously
hurts the Free Software cause (in comparison to the actual purpose).

Now, this reason invalidates the first reason to *switch* presented in
the thread.

* Making the license terms more well-known. The idea of why-not-lgpl was
to ask people to consider the LGPL to be *special circumstances only*,
instead of another full-fledged license, just as easily usable as the GPL.

It is good for Free Software if you actually make people have to look
before leaping; that is, really considering the implications of adding
the Linking Exception. I am certain that the "obstacle" of that required
extra thought and care will reduce the number of people weakening their
copyleft on a whim; saying something like "I'm writing a library, the
license to use is LGPL."

One way pnetlib can help spread this requirement is to use the GPL+LE
instead of LGPL. Using the latter license does not help to reduce the
tendency described above.

Stephen Compall
DotGNU `Contributor' --

To be a hacker, one had to accept the philosophy that writing a
software program was only the beginning. Improving a program was the
true test of a hacker's skills.
        -- Sam Williams, "Free as in Freedom"

According to Stallman, improving software programs was secondary to
building them in the first place.
        -- Sam Williams, "Free as in Freedom"

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