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License question - QPL vs. SCM
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Date: 2008-04-09 (16:24)
From: Edgar Friendly <thelema314@g...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] License question - QPL vs. SCM
Xavier Leroy wrote:
> The QPL talks only about distribution of derived software.  To
> organize your work and that of your co-developers, everything goes.
I feel very happy to hear this - I could imagine QPL's "separate"
requirement getting enforced even among developers, which would
certainly cause pain for development.

> If you wish to stick to the letter of the QPL, you can always not give
> public access to your SCM repository, and do your public distribution
> as a patch against the original Caml sources.  Your SCM will very
> conveniently generate this patch.  It's no more work than distributing
> tarballs.
Actually, github has a one-click "download tarball" button, but I've an
issue in their tracker to disable it for this project as to not violate
your license.

> This said, I believe the spirit of the QPL is that anyone can easily
> see what parts of your derived work are original work and what parts
> are unchanged from the OCaml sources.  In this view, as mentioned
> earlier in this thread, modified sources + original sources is
> just as good as original sources + patch.
I don't mind making releases as original sources + patch, especially if
this makes you happier.

> However, a public SCM repository is more than just a set of (original
> sources, modified sources) pairs.  In particular, if your repository
> contains several versions of the original OCaml sources (because you
> track our releases), it might not be clear which version of the
> original sources correspond to which version of your modified
> sources. So, some changes that we have made may appear like you made
> them, which isn't quite in the spirit of the QPL.
A large part of my problem with patches comes to this - there's often
not enough information in them to know which version of the original
OCaml sources they apply to.  My repository will track your CVS, so yes,
your changes will appear as patches as well.  The commits are still
marked with the CVS id of the INRIA user that committed them, so the
origin of a patch could be determined, but it'd take a bit of time.

> So, you're in a gray area.  I don't think anyone will be upset to the
> point of bothering you about your public repository.  I certainly won't.
> But if I were you I'd just stick to the letter of the QPL, just to
> have one less thing to worry about.
> - Xavier Leroy

If it pleases you, I'll have a repository for developers (and make it
easy to get on the list of developers), and make any official releases
as ocaml-source + patch -- QPL-style.

I'd rather have the development repository public -- the more hoops to
jump through to submit code, the less code submissions.  As to the
letter of the QPL...  we'll stay away from that flamewar.