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[Caml-list] License Conditions for OCaml
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Date: -- (:)
From: Tom <tom7ca@y...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] License Conditions for OCaml
I think it is great that enabling more widespread usage is
high on the list of goals of the OCAML project.

As far as I can tell, the GPL license that GNAT is under is 
considerably more restrictive than the LGPL license used by 
OCAML.  Under the GPL license, you cannot incorporate any 
GNAT source code into your code without redistributing your 
code under the terms of the GPL.

Furthermore, I believe Guile is distributed under the terms 
of the GPL (not the LGPL), and that is why it needs a special exemption 
when embedded in some other software system.

As I understand it, no further exemptions should be needed for a system
covered by the LGPL in order to allow its use as part of a
closed-source, proprietary system.  I would recommend consulting
a lawyer before making any changes to the LGPL--it has been carefully
crafted and vetted over many years.  Modifying it risks not only
breaking the protection it attempts to achieve, it may also scare
people away, since nobody will have any experience with what "a modified
LGPL license" actually means.  If you want to enable even more free 
distribution and usage than the LGPL, maybe it's worth considering 
another license that people already understand pretty well, like BSD or X11.


--- Brian Rogoff <> wrote:
> On Fri, 9 Nov 2001, Xavier Leroy wrote:
> > > Yeah, this is a slightly misleading statement, unless the OCaml
> > > development team has made a modification to the LGPL similar to what was
> > > done for the Guile license, which is LGPL with one additional clause:
> > > blanket linking is allowed for Guile. (OCaml dev team, is this also the
> > > license under which the runtime exists?)
> > 
> > We haven't yet modified the LGPL to remove these silly restrictions on
> > linking with LGPL code, but plan to do so in the near future.  
> > 
> > We'd be interested in examples of other software projects that did this.
> > You mention Guile, however it seems to be under the (standard) GPL
> > (not even LGPL).
> GNAT,, also uses a modified standard GPL. They've been doing
> it for a while, and they even have commercial customers. Here's the whole 
> damned thing 
> --
> -- This is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under
> -- terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software
> -- Foundation; either version 2, or (at your option) any later version.
> -- This software is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITH
> -- OUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY
> -- or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License
> -- for more details. Free Software Foundation, 59 Temple Place - Suite
> -- 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307, USA.
> --
> -- As a special exception, if other files instantiate generics from this
> -- unit, or you link this unit with other files to produce an executable,
> -- this unit does not by itself cause the resulting executable to be
> -- covered by the GNU General Public License. This exception does not
> -- however invalidate any other reasons why the executable file might be
> -- covered by the GNU Public License.
> Why not just translate Ada jargon to OCaml and swipe this? 
> -- Brian
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