OOC Library should be LGPL 
Author Message
 OOC Library should be LGPL

Quote:

>>What concerns commercialism: I'm no expert in GPL, so
>>please correct me if I'm wrong in this point:
>>OOC is GPL, so it will never be a commercial success
>>even if it became more popular.

>Difficult topic. You can use OOC for commerical programs, however you
>cannot use the library if you do not want to publish sources. If you
>publish the sources you can sell the programm without any problems.
>However we are not talking about "use OOC", we talk about an language
>and library standard which allows use to start developing with OOC an
>then switch to a commercial compiler if we want to sell it.

I am curious about why the library is GPL then. It should be LGPL.

I can see why the OOC compiler would be GPL: to promote its use. It's
easy enough to make money off a free compiler, just by selling add-on
products, IDE's and such. This has greatly contributed to the use of
GCC and related compilers.

The GPL has an infectious quality that affects all code linked to it
directly with the Open Source nature, but does not affect code that
merely calls it as a standalone program. This is quite useful to keep
a free tool free, as has been demonstrated by the success of GCC and
Linux, among others.

When applied to a library, the GPL has a different goal. It has been
stated more or less directly by the Free Software Foundation that the
purpose of applying the GPL to a library is to force any software
that uses it to be released under the GPL or some compatible Open
Source license. The infectious quality is the whole point there.
They wanted to remove the incentive to write proprietary software.

The LGPL was invented, later, for use in library projects that were
less evangelical. It has all the advantages of the GPL for libraries,
such as requiring that the source be available to all who want to
write trustworthy code. It does not require that code that merely
links to the existing code also provide free source, an infectious
quality that is only useful in a library for religious reasons.

Now the question is, do we want to insist that any code that uses
the OOC library, rather than compiler, be released as Open Source?
Do we want to keep the library, and derivative libraries like VO,
from being legally ported to any non-GPL Oberon System? The current
System 3 license is not compatible with the GPL, as far as I can
tell. I don't know about the various V4's, but the ones that don't
release source are out.

Do we want to inhibit commercial use of OOC? As I recall, libg++,
the original C++ library for GCC was GPL'ed, and that fact did more
to restrict the use of C++ on Unix than any other factor. C++, like
Oberon-2, depends on its libraries to be useful. People didn't want
to have to write their own libraries to use a language, or add to a
library that they couldn't use. Only when the standard C++ library
was released under the LGPL did C++ begin to flourish in GCC. Do we
want to have that same effect on portable Oberon-2?

I hope that the current developers of OOC will consider this. I had
to stop work on OOC when I couldn't use it in my day job, but I'd be
willing to give it another shot. I think the OOC Library is cool and
I'd like to be able to use it, and contribute to it.




Fri, 11 Jan 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 OOC Library should be LGPL

Quote:

> [...]
> Do we want to inhibit commercial use of OOC? As I recall, libg++,
> the original C++ library for GCC was GPL'ed, and that fact did more
> to restrict the use of C++ on Unix than any other factor. C++, like
> Oberon-2, depends on its libraries to be useful. People didn't want
> to have to write their own libraries to use a language, or add to a
> library that they couldn't use. Only when the standard C++ library
> was released under the LGPL did C++ begin to flourish in GCC. Do we
> want to have that same effect on portable Oberon-2?

I don't believe that the success (or lack of it) of Oberon-2 depends
on OOC or its license.  Most of the existing Oberon-2 code has been
developed at universities.  For example, every program running on an
ETH or Linz V4/S3 system depends on the existing libraries on these
systems.  What are their licenses?  What rights do they grant their
users?

Quote:
> I hope that the current developers of OOC will consider this. I had
> to stop work on OOC when I couldn't use it in my day job, but I'd be
> willing to give it another shot. I think the OOC Library is cool and
> I'd like to be able to use it, and contribute to it.

Maybe it is just my pessimistic nature, but I doubt that OOC's set of
libraries would gain more contributors if we decided to relax the
license.  Any company will very reluctantly share any code that was
developed by its employees, and therefore was financed by the company.
The reasons given are usually something along the lines of "we don't
want to give any advantages to our competitors."  I don't see how
contributions can flow back in such a situation.

I am willing to reconsider the license of the parts of the library of
which I am copyright owner.  I would like to see more evidence, that
allowing a more liberal use of the code will actually benefit the free
software community.

Regards,
Michael van Acken



Sat, 12 Jan 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 OOC Library should be LGPL

Quote:
> OOC Library should be LGPLit! 1-?          

absolutely.

Anything which is linked to something else should be LGPL and
not GPL.
--
    Bernhard Treutwein             Tel. +49-89-5996-642, Fax -615
    Institut f. Med. Psychologie  Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet

    --------------------------------  ---------------------------
    C is its own virus



Sat, 12 Jan 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 OOC Library should be LGPL

Quote:

[snipped]
>> I hope that the current developers of OOC will consider this. I had
>> to stop work on OOC when I couldn't use it in my day job, but I'd be
>> willing to give it another shot. I think the OOC Library is cool and
>> I'd like to be able to use it, and contribute to it.

>Maybe it is just my pessimistic nature, but I doubt that OOC's set of
>libraries would gain more contributors if we decided to relax the
>license.  Any company will very reluctantly share any code that was
>developed by its employees, and therefore was financed by the company.
>The reasons given are usually something along the lines of "we don't
>want to give any advantages to our competitors."  I don't see how
>contributions can flow back in such a situation.

I usually make a distinction between business rules and general code.
Business rules are encodings of information that would only benefit
our competitors if made public. General code benefits all, including
us, by being made public. I show how much time would be saved with
free general code and tell them that it frees me to focus more on
coding business rules. I show them that for every line of code that
we donate we get 10 back, and debugging as well. I tell them that
licenses like the LGPL allow us to keep our business rules secret,
while still allowing us the benefits of being generous. Most of the
companies that I work for trust my judgement about this, after they
see some of the results. I admit, the argument works a lot better
when working for non-tech companies that need internal code and for
non-profit organizations, but you'd be suprised at how many tech
companies see the point, especially lately.

Quote:
>I am willing to reconsider the license of the parts of the library of
>which I am copyright owner.  I would like to see more evidence, that
>allowing a more liberal use of the code will actually benefit the free
>software community.

Relaxing the license on the libraries to LGPL would allow me to use
OOC for work. If I could use it for work, I would have to contribute
to its development to make it useful to me. I don't know how much of
a benefit you would consider this to be, but you would add at least
one more developer. I'm sure that more are in my situation (Me too's
would be appreciated here :).

Don't change the license of the OOC compiler, though. The compiler
is a program, rather than a library, and as such its development
could only be enhanced by the GPL.

Quote:
>Regards,
>Michael van Acken

You make a great compiler.
Brian Hawley


Sat, 12 Jan 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 
 [ 4 post ] 

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