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Re: A plea for dynamically loadable extension modules

From: Jason Rumney
Subject: Re: A plea for dynamically loadable extension modules
Date: Wed, 30 Jul 2003 15:24:53 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.0; en-US; rv:1.4) Gecko/20030624

Mario Lang wrote:
I do not fully understand this.  If the use of
non-free code in Emacs is explicitly forbidden, what is the problem then?
If someone would use a dynamic loader extention to integrate
commercial code with Emacs, he would just violate the license.

Allowing dynamic linking makes it easier for the end-user to violate
the license, perhaps unwittingly, while the distributer of the linked
module might technically escape from any wrongdoing since they are not
doing the linking.

But I think the specific change that the objections were raised about
was a general dynamic linking mechanism that would allow Emacs to link
to any library. There is another type of dynamic linking, where
linked modules would need to conform to an Emacs-specific interface.
Then only Emacs-specific modules could be linked to Emacs. It would then
be much easier to tell developers of non-Free modules that linked to
Emacs to make their code Free, since they could not claim that their
module was exempt from the GPL because it was designed to link with 'Y',
not with Emacs.

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