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[Caml-list] CTAN/CPAN for Caml (COCAN ...?)
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Date: 2003-07-22 (02:37)
From: Alan Post <apost@r...>
Subject: [Caml-list] licensing (was Re: GODI (was: CTAN/CPAN for Caml (COCAN ...?)))
> Not that I think that we should take over development of O'CaML, but
> the "-pack" option does not seem to help avoiding nameclash and I
> don't want to just complain about it...

You are actually not permitted by the license to "take over
development of O'CaML".  In practice, this means that it is indeed
very important what the INRIA folks think about any given issue.


This page explains that ocaml compiler is licensed under the QPL,
rather than the GPL, because "proper attribution of results is crucial
in the research world."  Would any INRIA folks care to elaborate on
this?  I really haven't heard about cases where an academic didn't get
tenure because her free software project was forked.  I'm not an
academic, so perhaps I just don't hear about such events.

The page also says,

  We are aware that this clause of the QPL (distribution of modified
  versions as patches) can become uncomfortable for the development of
  programs derived from the OCaml compilers and tools. If so, consider
  becoming a member of the Caml Consortium: members of the Consortium
  benefit from less restrictive licensing conditions.

Though presumably the >= 2000 Euro license does not allow the
redistribution of modified ocaml compiler sources, either.

I would guess that the Caml Consortium license is aimed at
proprietary, binary-distribution forks of ocaml.  Note that a GPLed
public release of the ocaml compiler would not interfere with this
revenue source.

The page does not mention what will happen when INRIA stops funding
ocaml development.  If I understand correctly, it is INRIA as an
entity, rather than the ocaml developers, who owns the copyright to
the ocaml compiler.  An example of what can happen is qmail:  I
believe there have been no releases since 15 June 1998, leading to a
maze of patches.

I searched the list archives, and found much discussion of the library
license (the complications of the LGPL), but not much about ocaml
compiler licensing.  Twice, people asked about it:


but both questions went unanswered.

I'd be very interested to hear more about this.

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