Re: licence issues

From: Sven LUTHER (
Date: Mon Apr 19 1999 - 15:22:51 MET DST

Date: Mon, 19 Apr 1999 15:22:51 +0200
From: Sven LUTHER <>
To: Xavier Leroy <>,
Subject: Re: licence issues
In-Reply-To: <>; from Xavier Leroy on Fri, Apr 16, 1999 at 06:40:22PM +0200

On Fri, Apr 16, 1999 at 06:40:22PM +0200, Xavier Leroy wrote:
> It should be pointed out that the current license has (as far as I
> know) never prevented any reasonable use of OCaml. As a case in point,
> Debian has an OCaml binary package because they didn't have to modify
> anything in the source to make their package. Similarly, the license
> didn't hamper the development of OLabl, which is clearly a derivative
> work. Finally, INRIA has never refused any requests for license
> exemptions that have been submitted in the past, and there are no
> indications that this will change in the future.

As the debian maintainer, i just want to add that altough there is a ocaml
debian package, it is in the non-free part of debian, which some may not
consider as being part of debian.

> > It would be a real pity if people ran away /
> > didn't look at OCAML due to some unclear licencing issues.
> It's hard to please everyone. The GPL makes some other people run
> away (mostly industrial users who don't want to release the source for
> their modifications). My hope is that while the current license might
> drive away a few license ayatollahs, it should not be an obstacle to
> all other OCaml users.

What i think you are missing is that with the current license, i don't think
ocaml will be used as a key component of debian, or other free OS, and it is a
shame, especially the bytecode compiler and the VM, would be a nice way of
doing things only one time for all supported architectures, and particularly in
this days where the java virtual machine is presenting some problems with
linux, this could be a good thing for ocaml to become more widely accepted.

But then i also understand your position, and am sure that some middle way
could be reached,



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