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Re: Ironies abound (was Re: GPL v3 draft)

On Tue, Jan 17, 2006 at 10:21:18PM -0500, Michael Poole wrote:
> > If I'm reusing a function from one project with a patch clause, sure.  I
> > can distribute my entire project as a patch against the project whose
> > code I'm reusing.  That's hardly reasonable.  It also prohibits me from
> > using public CVS for my project, since that would perform distribution
> > of the modified reused code in a form other than a patch against the
> > original.
> It is pretty hard for me to think of a function that is usable on its
> own, useful enough to merit reuse in another project, and too large or
> subtle to be rewritten rather than deal with a patch-clause license.

So you're saying that since it's possible to rewrite code on your own,
patch clause licenses are free?  That sounds like an argument that code
reuse isn't really all that important.

If you're stuck on "function", then take any other unit of code; "set of
functions", "class heirarchies", etc, and remember that in actively-
developed code, code gets shuffled around, refactored, files are merged
and split apart, and you'll easily end up with even single functions
with some code that originated from one project, and other code from

FWIW, good audio resamplers and MMX-optimized color space converters come
to mind as things that I've wanted permissively-licensed implementations
for a long time.  In the former case, writing a fast, reasonable-quality
polyphase resampler is well above my skill at that sort of thing.  The
latter, despite not being very much code, is simply such a PITA that I
havn't been able to convince myself to implement it.  If a project with
a patch clause had these, I couldn't reuse it; personal licensing requirements
aside, all of the code ends up in SF CVS, and merely committing it with
even simple changes to make it fit the project would violate the license.

> If that worst case is as rare as I think it is, is it noticably worse
> than the GPL's effective requirement to keep DVDs full of source code
> on-hand at expos?

I'd qualify that as "annoying", not as "showstopper to code reuse".

Glenn Maynard

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