Re: licence issues

From: Xavier Leroy (
Date: Wed Apr 21 1999 - 22:08:09 MET DST

Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1999 22:08:09 +0200
From: Xavier Leroy <>
To: Brian Rogoff <>
Subject: Re: licence issues
In-Reply-To: <>; from Brian Rogoff on Wed, Apr 21, 1999 at 12:16:07PM -0700

> Since we are inventing hypothetical scenarios, try this one: INRIA stops
> funding the Caml project, for whatever reason. OCaml users are left
> "orphaned", as it is not clear who takes over, and begin the switch to
> SML and Haskell, or, much worse, C++, Perl, and Visual basic ;-). As a
> former Amiga and NextStep user, fear of being orphaned is a concern.

I was expecting this scenario to come up at some point in the
discussion. In the (presently unlikely) event that INRIA would pull
the plug out of the Caml project, we would of course do everything
possible so that the sources are released under a very liberal licence
so that others can continue the development if they wish.

You're right that this kind of code release hasn't been done often in
the past, especially by corporations, but it is becoming much more
commonplace now (see e.g. the MLJ project at Persimmon, or the
cancelled Java JIT project at Netscape). It is also very much in the
spirit of public research.

> I think the trick is to find a way to satisfy the valid concerns of the
> OCaml developers and the trepidations of some users.

Agreed. Some participants in this discussion have made interesting
contributions in this direction, and I thank them.

> Perhaps if there were
> another version of OCaml (like the Bigloo based Caml Light) under the GPL
> or a similar license these concerns would be lessened.

I'm not sure I follow you here. Are you suggesting some form of code
split? How would this solve the issue?

Best regards,

- Xavier Leroy

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