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Re: Looking for an advocate

> I suppose that mosml is moscow ML, based on the caml-light engine, but
> using the SML syntax ?
> If so, i suppose the non-freeness comes from the moscow ML guys reusing
> the caml-light engine, [...]
> caml-light was later replaced by ocaml, which, after various tries
> finally got released under a free licence (LGPL + QPL + some other
> modification recommended by RMS), but i don't think this applies to the
> caml-light code base, so you would need to discuss this with the moscow
> ml authors as well as with the INRIA caml team.

Exactly.  The only part of Moscow ML that is non-free is the modified
Caml-Light bytecode interpreter.


   Software: CAML Light, version 0.6 of September 1993, hereinafter
   referred to as "the software".

   The software has been designed and produced by Xavier Leroy and
   Damien Doligez, research workers for the Formel and Para projects,
   two research projects of Institut National de Recherche en
   Informatique et en Automatique (INRIA) - Domaine de Voluceau -
   Rocquencourt - 78153 Le Chesnay Cedex - France.

   INRIA holds all ownership rights to CAML Light version 0.6.

   The software has been registered at Agence pour la Protection
   des Programmes (APP).


   The software is currently being developed and INRIA desires
   that it be used by the scientific community so as to test, evaluate
   and develop it.  To this end, INRIA has decided to have a prototype of
   the software distributed by FTP.

   a- Extent of the rights granted by the INRIA to the user of the software:

   INRIA freely grants the right to use, modify and integrate the
   software in another software, provided that all derivative works are
   distributed under the same conditions as the software.

   b- Reproduction of the software:

   INRIA grants any user of the software the right to reproduce it so as
   to circulate it in accordance with the same purposes and conditions as
   those defined at point a- above.  Any copy of the software and/or relevant
   documentation must comprise reference to the ownership of INRIA and
   the present file.

   The user undertakes not to carry out any paying distribution of the
   software. However, he is authorized to bill any person or body for the
   cost of reproduction of said software. As regards any other type of
   distribution, the user undertakes to apply to obtain the express
   approval of INRIA.

   c- Guarantees:

   Please note that the software is a product currently being developed.
   INRIA shall not be responsible in any way concerning conformity, and in
   particular shall not be liable should the software not comply with the
   requirements of the user, INRIA not being obliged to repair any
   possible direct or indirect damage.

So, the problem is the second paragraph of section b (correct me if I
am wrong). 

I have discussed these matters with the authors of Moscow ML, and the
problem is that the bytecode interpreter has been heavily modified
over the years, which means that it cannot per se be substituted with
the free O'CaML interpreter.  I have contact to people who are talking
about rewriting the bytecode interpreter from scratch, though.

In the meantime, I have planned to beg Xavier Leroy to change the
license on this 10 year old bytecode interpreter.  It should be
possible, because new versions of CaML Light are free, as far as I can

> If you want, i could advocate you, i don't have much time though, so
> if there is someone else, it would be ok also.

Great!  If no-one else volunteers, I give you buzz.

> BTW, what is mgtk ?

A Moscow ML interface to GTK+ (the GUI library).

> (it would have been usefull if you provide links to your packages,
> and/or a a short description of those.)

Sorry for not being clear.  The link
http://www.diku.dk/~jpsecher/debian.html will give you the
                                                    Jens Peter Secher
 jpsecher@diku.dk - http://www.diku.dk/~jpsecher - (+45) 35 32 14 08
_OpenPGP fingerprint DD6A 05B0 174E BFB2 D4D9 B52E 0EE5 978A FE63 E8A1_
      --> http://randomfoo.net/oscon/2002/lessig/free.html <--

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