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[Caml-list] License Conditions for OCaml
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Date: -- (:)
From: Michael Welsh Duggan <md5i@c...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] License Conditions for OCaml
Patrick M Doane <> writes:

> Earlier this year there was a discussion about the problems of using LGPL
> for the OCaml run-time system and associated libraries.
> It was suggested that some of the constraints in the LGPL were not
> intended. To quote a page from the Caml website:
>   "The LGPL puts no restrictions at all on programs linked with LGPL-ed
> libraries. Thus, users are free to distribute (or not) OCaml-generated
> binaries under whatever conditions they like."
> From my reading of the LGPL, which seems to correspond with the
> opinions of others on the list, this just isn't true.

I agree.  The LGPL does put some conditions on the binaries.
For example, they must be accompanied by a copy of the LGPL license.
But this license is *for the Ocaml libraries linked in*, not for the
whole binary.

> If I develop an application with OCaml, I must distribute that
> application with source code.  This isn't acceptable for commercial
> development and I'd really hope that the intention is for OCaml to
> be used outside of academia.

I suggest you read section 6 of the LGPL a little more closely.  I
have to be able to produce on demand source code for ocaml and its
libraries, but not for the work itself.  I do have to distribute the
work in such a way that ocaml and its libraries could change and be

"For an executable, the required form of the "work that uses the
Library" must include any data and utility programs needed for
reproducing the executable from it."

It should be sufficent to distibute all the precompiled *.cm* files
of the binary in the distribution.  These could be linked with a
modified set of ocaml libraries to create a new program, but the
source to the application need not be shipped.

Michael Duggan
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