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Re: The Guile license and the use of LGPL libs (like GMP).

From: Marius Vollmer
Subject: Re: The Guile license and the use of LGPL libs (like GMP).
Date: 04 Jun 2002 21:12:06 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.09 (Gnus v5.9.0) Emacs/21.2

Greg Troxel <address@hidden> writes:

>   What would prohibit you from using Guile if it would be licensed under
>   the Lesser GPL?  (I guess it might be section 6 of the LGPL that
>   requires you to enable all recipients of your "work that uses the
>   library" to replace libguile with a suitably modified version of
>   libguile.)
> That would likely be workable.  That would leave two issues:

Oops, I wasn't clear enough.  I wanted to say that probably section 6
of the LGPL is giving you problems.

>   a question of people's comfort that they really understand the terms
>   - with the 'guile exception' it is very easy to be sure that one
>   understands it correctly.  The LGPL doesn't require much, but it's
>   not so obvious.

That should not be a substantial problem, I hope.  The LGPL is a
established license, as opposed to the Guile exception which is
probably more unfamiliar.  Having to educating people about the LGPL
should not keep us from using it...

>   It additionally requires that reverse engineering be permitted.

Would that be a problem, in your specific case?  I'm trying to also
learn from actual cases, not only from speculating.

>   Right now, there is resistance to using guile due to scheme.  So,
>   for the sake of widespread guile adoption (with the goal of guile
>   becoming mainstream), I think we should keep all barriers as low
>   as possible.

Yes, but will people who don't like Scheme still pick Guile because of
its license?  I can imagine that people who like Scheme could refuse
Guile if it hadn't the weak license, tho.

>   Static linking --  What if cisco wanted to put guile in IOS?

I don't know what IOS is, so I can't say whether we would lose
anything when Cisco doesn't use Guile.  (We would probably lose
eyeballs and contributors...)  But maybe they would want Guile so bad
that they would go along with the LGPL.  In that case, we would gain
by having a slightly more 'open' IOS.  Well.

> All that said, a --without-gmp that basically makes integers turn to
> inexact on overflow (using double) rather than into exact bignums
> should be a good compromise.

Yes, I think so too.

> Probably someone from the guile maintainer group should talk to RMS or
> any other FSF policy folks - this issue really goes a bit beyond just
> the guile project.

Yes, we are doing that already.

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