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Date: -- (:)
From: skaller <skaller@u...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] licence stuff again
On Mon, 2004-10-25 at 13:38, Jacques Garrigue wrote:

> On the other hand, there should be no problem loading manually a
> GPL library in the toplevel, or building such a toplevel privately.

This may be so (you can surely do anything you like privately,
since licences based on Copyright only apply to redistribution).

However, it is a pain that legal matters interfere 
with the technical design of software. The very same
program that is fine when you use dynamic linkage
may be be not fine when you statically link, for example.

The problem here is that we have a community of amateurs,
hobbyists, acadamics, and a couple of specialist commerical
companies and we all like different licences but don't
really care because either (a) we're not deriving income
from our effort, we're doing it for fun or academic
brownie points, and/or (b) our income is secure, and
we have no need to actually sell our product.

On the other hand the C++ community is mainly composed
of commerical programmers -- people making a living
out of cutting code. And even the vendors of libraries
and compilers have a vested interest in uniformity
both technical and legal. So right from the start,
Boost required software to be unencumbered, and now
there is a movement to formalise that with a single
licence.

So despite the inferior quality of the C++ platform,
C++ people have large benefit from free exchange of
reusable components which the Ocaml community continually
denies itself because everyone seems to have some pointless
political statement to make (including me :)

We're *never* going to agree on a common restrictive licence,
so there's only one possible way forward: an unrestrictive one.

Most Ocaml people have no reason to fear being generous --
they're not going to lose any income. The people with
most to lose -- commercial C++ programmers -- have shown
that being generous actually works. Everyone benefits.

-- 
John Skaller, mailto:skaller@users.sf.net
voice: 061-2-9660-0850, 
snail: PO BOX 401 Glebe NSW 2037 Australia
Checkout the Felix programming language http://felix.sf.net



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