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[Caml-list] Completeness of "Unix" run-time library
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Date: 2004-03-19 (08:41)
From: Sven Luther <sven.luther@w...>
Subject: Re: OCaml's Cathedral & Bazaar (was Re: [Caml-list] Completeness of "Unix" run-time library)
On Fri, Mar 19, 2004 at 10:30:54AM +0900, Jacques Garrigue wrote:
> From: Richard Jones <rich@annexia.org>
> > On Thu, Mar 18, 2004 at 03:10:20PM -0500, John Carr wrote:
> > > Suppose we find a bug in ocaml that impacts our product.
> > > Whose job is it to fix the bug?  Neither "a network of
> > > hackers" nor "some academic researchers in France, if they
> > > have the time" is an acceptable answer.
> Well, I understand this is hard to explain to companies.
> Yet I believe that we have a good record for correcting bugs.
> It is not because we are academic researchers that we don't take
> seriously our responsibilities.
> (Microsoft is certainly not faster, and does not offer more guarantees.)
> > This is really why the licensing of the compilers *does* matter.
> Possibly, but may I remind you that ocaml is open-source?
> The QPL is a recognized open-source license, even if it isn't GPL
> compatible (but almost all open-source licenses are not
> GPL-compatible).
> Anybody is perfectly free to release fixes and improvements for ocaml,
> including binary releases, as long as they provide a patch with
> respect to the corresponding version of ocaml.
> For me, it's not even clear that a public CVS based on ocaml would be
> a problem: CVS actually works by creating diffs.
> Could you explain by which mechanism a different license would help in
> making ocaml's maintenance more reliable for companies?
> Also note that all this is irrelevant to libraries, which are already
> released under a slightly relaxed version of the LGPL.

Just as a small note, as the debian ocaml maintainer, i have to say that
the QPL+LGPL used by the ocaml distribution is no problem, we discussed
long with debian-legal and even RMS to achieve the current situation,
which is quite ok.

Also, i have to say that the ocaml team is quite fast to solve licencing
issues that arise, like the bignum problem we encountered last year, or
the emacs files which are QPLed, and they agreed to change to the LGPL
or a dual GPL+QPL licence (didn't check yet if this realy happened

Now, the last domain where the licence remains non-free is naturally the
ocaml documentation, where even to transfer info from the manual to a
man page is not easily possible. It would be really nice if a free
licence be chosen for the ocaml documentation, altough it seems that
this is not the intention of the ocaml team. This will be problematic in
case the debian projects vote to remove the non-free section which
currently hosts the ocaml-docs (and the Oreilly ocaml-books too). We
will know the answer to this by monday, but even if the vote doesn't
pass, which it most probably will not, freeing the ocaml documentation
will be a good thing, and i think there are enough means to ensure that
proper aknowledgement are given back, by using for example the FDGL
(err, or whatever the FSF documentation licence is named) with invariant
sections covering only the copyright attribution info. Also, i do
believe that the gains of doing this outweigh the fear of someone making
silently use of said documentation.


Sven Luther

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