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Bug#596511: ITP: simon -- Open source speech recognition

Peter Grasch <grasch@simon-listens.org> writes:

>  Hi!
> Am 2010-09-21 16:39, schrieb Simon Josefsson:
>>>> Is Julius dynamically linked to Simon?  I wonder whether GPLv2 is
>>>> compatible with the Julius license.
>>> Yes it is. The simon license contains a special exception to allow this.
>>> This is also covered here:
>>> http://www.simon-listens.org/wiki/index.php/Licensing
>> It refers to 'under certain conditions as described in each individual
>> source file' but I cannot find conditions described in any of a random
>> sample I made of source code files in Simon?  Can you point to one file
>> that has the conditions?  All source code files that are built into a
>> package linked to Julius needs to have the exception, I believe,
>> otherwise the file is under the GPLv2+ only without the exception.
> You are right, I forgot that exception but added it to the two files
> of the one class coming in direct contact with Julius (it's used
> somewhere else too but there it just calls external programs).
>> Also, any external GPL code that Simon links to needs to have the same
>> exception.  Is there any external GPL code?
> Well of course - KDE.

I believe kdelibs is LGPL, so maybe you are OK.  It depends on what
parts of KDE is used.

> This is getting ridiculously frustrating. It's not that I don't think
> it's an important issue but I guess if you'd gather all involved
> parties and ask them if the current setup would be ok I am pretty sure
> everyone would agree. Oh well I guess that just comes with the
> territory.

I know the pain, I've ended up rewriting several projects because of
license problems with earlier implementations.  What I have learned is
that you should react to license issues as soon as possible, or you'll
end up investing a lot of work into something that needs to be

> I obviously can't hack this into simon 0.3.0 but for the next version,
> would it help if I split the Julius-interfacing part into a plugin
> that doesn't link to KDE? This would be the easiest option in my
> opinion but  as I understand it it would mean to distribute the plugin
> seperately?
> If Julius is not "free" in Debian eyes this would mean that simon
> becomes pretty much useless to be honest.

I don't really have an opinion whether it is free or not yet, but it
looks complicated.


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