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Re: What if Guile changed its license to be LGPL?

From: Neil Jerram
Subject: Re: What if Guile changed its license to be LGPL?
Date: 05 Jun 2002 16:45:47 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.0808 (Gnus v5.8.8) Emacs/20.7

>>>>> "Marius" == Marius Vollmer <address@hidden> writes:

    Marius> Guile currently has a license [...] If we would change the
    Marius> license of Guile to be the Lesser GPL, would you stop
    Marius> using it?

I think this whole discussion is barking up the wrong tree.

We had a similar problem before with readline -- and solved it -- and
no doubt we will have similar problems in future with other packages
whose licences may be subtly incompatible with Guile's.

The solution is to arrange things so that it becomes a runtime problem
rather than a distribution problem.

In fact, "problem" is too negative.  I'd say this is an opportunity to
get a number of things right:

- a consistent approach to factoring non-core functionality out of
  core libguile

- a consistent approach to linking in such optional functionality and
  handling any runtime licence implications that result

- a consistent approach to coping with the non-existence of optical

- consistent usage of `features' and/or `cond-expand' to permit
  programs to discover what optional functionality is present.

My guess is that bignums are non-core for the majority of Scheme
applications, so I think it would be acceptable, and would improve the
core libguile code, to remove Guile's homebaked bignum code and rely
only on GMP -- surely a "bugridden, poorly specified implementation of
half of GMP" is just as bad as a "bugridden, poorly specified
implementation of half of Common Lisp" :-)

Hoping this helps ...


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