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Date: 1999-04-22 (16:55)
From: Brian Rogoff <bpr@b...>
Subject: Re: licence issues
On Wed, 21 Apr 1999, Xavier Leroy wrote:

> > Since we are inventing hypothetical scenarios, try this one: INRIA stops
> > funding the Caml project, for whatever reason. OCaml users are left
> > "orphaned", as it is not clear who takes over, and begin the switch to 
> > SML and Haskell, or, much worse, C++, Perl, and Visual basic ;-). As a 
> > former Amiga and NextStep user, fear of being orphaned is a concern.
> I was expecting this scenario to come up at some point in the
> discussion.  In the (presently unlikely) event that INRIA would pull
> the plug out of the Caml project, we would of course do everything
> possible so that the sources are released under a very liberal licence
> so that others can continue the development if they wish.

That's enough to satisfy me, though to be fair I was not bothered by the 
current license.

> > I think the trick is to find a way to satisfy the valid concerns of the 
> > OCaml developers and the trepidations of some users.
> Agreed.  Some participants in this discussion have made interesting
> contributions in this direction, and I thank them.
> > Perhaps if there were 
> > another version of OCaml (like the Bigloo based Caml Light) under the GPL 
> > or a similar license these concerns would be lessened.
> I'm not sure I follow you here.  Are you suggesting some form of code
> split?  How would this solve the issue?

Yes. This would solve the issue (and create many nastier new ones) by
letting those who have problems with the INRIA licensing use the
GPL/BSD/whatever version. Also, it would shoot down the criticism of OCaml 
that it is a language defined by its current implementation. That said, I 
think its a bad idea, as it takes too much time from the OCaml team and 
community to have multiple variants at this stage of the language
development. Once the language design is "done", it may not be such a bad
idea, but from what I gather OCaml is still a research project and not a 
frozen standard.

-- Brian

PS: I suggest that when the design is done, the new language be named
    ML-2000, for the obvious humor value ;-)