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Re: [Caml-list] License Conditions for OCaml
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Date: -- (:)
From: james woodyatt <jhw@w...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] License Conditions for OCaml
On Wednesday, November 28, 2001, at 12:29 , John Field wrote:
> Xavier Leroy wrote:
>> Let me just state again what we'd like to achieve concerning the
>> licensing of the OCaml runtime and libraries:
>> 1- Users can link with it, statically or dynamically, without any
>>    restrictions on the final program.
>> 2- Users can modify the runtime or the libraries themselves, but then
>>    must make their modifications public under the same conditions as
>>    the original source.
>> 3- The license should be standard, OSI-approved, and well known to the
>>    public that cares about these things.
> All of these look great to me.
>> As I said above, the other standard licenses (e.g. BSD, X) don't offer
>> enough guarantees about the OCaml libraries and runtime themselves
>> remaining open source.
> FWIW, I will ask some of my colleagues who have more experience with
> open source licenses than I do to see if there might be any other
> licenses around (obviously not as commonly-used as the ones above)
> that avoid LGPL re-linking problem.

There are many to choose from, but all of them will place some 
restrictions on the user executables developed with the covered code.  
Whether you think those restrictions are insignificant or desirable in 
some way, is a matter to be resolved.

The two licenses that spring to mind most readily to me are the Artistic 
License, and the Apple Public Source License.  Both of them would 
require tweaking to INRIA's purposes, but I think either one could 
easily be made to work, depending on how you wanted to trade off between 
protecting INRIA's investment and protecting users' freedoms.  They're 
both meet the OSI definition, and *generally* do what you want in 1 and 

These licenses are just the ones I'm most familiar with (aside from the 
BSD, MIT and GPL licenses), because 1) I'm a long time Perl hacker (gave 
it up mostly for Caml); and, 2) I'm a Macintosh user and an Apple 
developer.  (Perhaps, I should also disclose that I work for Apple 
Computer, but my work there does not involve Caml...)

Anyway, it sounds like you're looking for a license that would be 
compatible with the APSL, i.e. it would permit OCaml to be integrated 
into the Darwin distribution, should that ever seem like a good idea to 
the people who manage that sort of thing.  As a personal matter, I would 
like to see that happen someday.

Good luck sorting out the license issue.

j h woodyatt <>
"...the antidote to misinformation is more information, not less."
                                                      --vinton cerf

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