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Re: facultative linking and libraries. ...

On Thu, Jun 21, 2001 at 09:30:52PM -0700, Thomas Bushnell, BSG wrote:
> Sven LUTHER <luther@dpt-info.u-strasbg.fr> writes:
> > This causes no problem, because the QPL is not incompatible with the LGPL,
> > but it is with the GPL. So there is no possibility to link it with
> > libreadline, isn't it ?
> You are correct: such a combination is not allowed if the licenses are
> incompatible.

Thought so, ...

> > As i see it, every user could then build from source the package with
> > libreadline support, and use it for himself, but not redistribute it. Any
> > distribution of the package would have to be with libreadline support
> > disabled, or else be in source only format (making it non-free).
> Who does the linking is irrelevant.  There is no work-around; that's
> the point.  

Err, my understanding was that anything is compatible with the GPL, but that
the GPL just stops you from distributing it without complying with the GPL, i
am right with it ? 

It is perfectly well to use the GPL in any in-house development, linking it
with whatever you like, as long as it stays in-house.

Also, my real question was that there was some interpretation of the GPL which
allowed providing hooks for doing the linking with incompatible libraries, but
not providing it by default, something about the Motif/Lesstif stuff, i think.

Anyway, would it be possible to write a patch so _i_ can link with
libreadline, install it on my box, and use it in-house ?

I can easily see a problem with this. Imagine a debian package with such a
patch, where all but the final linking with readline is done, and this last
linking is done in the postinst or something such. I don't think this is
conformant to debian policy, but it is legal, isn't it ?

> > Any insight on this that i could forward to the upstream authors to request
> > such a feature or not ?
> Ask them to release the software under a license compatible with the
> GPL.

Well, right now they are more enclined in re-implementing libreadline than
releasing the stuff under the GPL. They already did the effort of releasing it
under a mixed LGPL/QPL licence, which is an improvement on their previous
licencing scheme (passing from what i can judge from the no licence (and
limboesk legal status) to the only pristine source + patch). I don't feel like
pushing them on it, after all what right have i to force them to release their
code under the GPL. 

The real problem is that it is a pain for the user to use a toplevel
interpreter without propper input history support. The authors couldn't care
less, and don't want (yet) to release the few files from the toplevel
interpreter uinder the gpl. But this again may change later, especially if
they loose some of the ideological fears they may have on the GPL.

Anyway, thanks for the response, altough it don't really respond my question.


Sven Luther

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