MK:DEFSYSTEM 
Author Message
 MK:DEFSYSTEM

This message is intended to answer questions regarding the
current maintenance status of the MK:DEFSYSTEM utility I
wrote several years ago.


designated the official maintainer for this utility,
and will be distributing the software using a more liberal
distribution license he negotiated with me.

The purpose of this is to ensure that the software is kept
up to date and extended as necessary, allowing it to
become a de facto standard for Common Lisp.

Questions regarding MK:DEFSYSTEM should be directed to Marco.

Mark Kantrowitz


I checked, there was 40mb of junk mail in my inbox at CMU.)
I am not posting this using my current email account because
I want to keep that address relatively free of junk mail.



Sun, 05 May 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 MK:DEFSYSTEM

Quote:

> This message is intended to answer questions regarding the
> current maintenance status of the MK:DEFSYSTEM utility I
> wrote several years ago.


> designated the official maintainer for this utility,
> and will be distributing the software using a more liberal
> distribution license he negotiated with me.

> The purpose of this is to ensure that the software is kept
> up to date and extended as necessary, allowing it to
> become a de facto standard for Common Lisp.

> Questions regarding MK:DEFSYSTEM should be directed to Marco.

> Mark Kantrowitz


I want to thank Mark for having trusted me to keep up all his
execellent work.  I have been using his utilities set for a long time
now and have always been very happy with them.

As for MK:DEFSYSTEM, I have a new web page ready which will
(hopefully) end up on http://www.cons.org.  The code will be available
soon there (and elsewhere!) with a first set of patches I have been
collecting here and there, mainly to make the system run with newer
implementations of CL.

The new license will have the 'compensation' clause removed.  This was
always pointed out as the major stumbling block for MK:DEFSYSTEM wider
acceptance.

If you have any patch that you want to see included in MK:DEFSYSTEM,
please send it directly to me for the time being.

Cheers

--
Marco Antoniotti ===========================================
PARADES, Via San Pantaleo 66, I-00186 Rome, ITALY
tel. +39 - 06 68 10 03 17, fax. +39 - 06 68 80 79 26
http://www.parades.rm.cnr.it/~marcoxa



Sun, 05 May 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 MK:DEFSYSTEM
Thanks, Mark, for having written the DEFSYSTEM in the first place.
Thanks, Marco, for picking up the torch.

Quote:
> The new license will have the 'compensation' clause removed.  This was
> always pointed out as the major stumbling block for MK:DEFSYSTEM wider
> acceptance.

What will the precise wording of the license be? If you just remove the
"no fees or compensation" clause, it is still not Free Software:

  - It permits "use and copying", but not "distribution". As I understand it,
    "copying" is making [backup] copies for oneself, whereas "distribution"
    is handing out a copy to other people.

  - It permits the preparation of derivative works, but not their use,
    copying, or distribution.

  - A compiled defsystem.fasl will not contain the copyright notice. Will it
    still be legal to distribute it?

Bruno



Sun, 05 May 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 MK:DEFSYSTEM
Bruno raises some excellent points. I posted a couple of weeks ago about
how just this issue can be a significant barrier to the propogation of
"free"
software. While individuals or organizations may have the best of intentions
in drafting their own "open source" licenses, doing so does significantly
complicate the picture of deciding wether or not some code you've downloaded
is "free enough" for you to actually use.

Most developers are not intellectual property legal experts.

May I suggest that serious consideration be given to adopting the GPL or
LGPL? These licenses are perhaps not without their flaws -- most certainly
they have their detractors -- but I submit that they've already been
scrutinized and that the developer community has a pretty good idea of what
each means.

-- Kaelin


Quote:
> Thanks, Mark, for having written the DEFSYSTEM in the first place.
> Thanks, Marco, for picking up the torch.

> > The new license will have the 'compensation' clause removed.  This was
> > always pointed out as the major stumbling block for MK:DEFSYSTEM wider
> > acceptance.

> What will the precise wording of the license be? If you just remove the
> "no fees or compensation" clause, it is still not Free Software:

>   - It permits "use and copying", but not "distribution". As I understand
it,
>     "copying" is making [backup] copies for oneself, whereas
"distribution"
>     is handing out a copy to other people.

>   - It permits the preparation of derivative works, but not their use,
>     copying, or distribution.

>   - A compiled defsystem.fasl will not contain the copyright notice. Will
it
>     still be legal to distribute it?

> Bruno



Sun, 05 May 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 MK:DEFSYSTEM

Better yet, something along the lines of BSDL or the Xfree86 licence.
Those are less restrictive then the GPL or LGPL.  Of course it depends
on the what the author wants to become of the code...

        Gavin E. Gleason

--
"Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon."
        -Alan Perlis



Sun, 05 May 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 MK:DEFSYSTEM

Quote:

>   - A compiled defsystem.fasl will not contain the copyright notice. Will it
>     still be legal to distribute it?

If someone says something like `this copyright notice must appear in all copies',
put double quotes around it,
and ensure the string is embedded in the code, I'm compliant.


Mon, 06 May 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 MK:DEFSYSTEM

Quote:

>May I suggest that serious consideration be given to adopting the GPL or
>LGPL?

GPL for defsystem? You don't know what you're talking about. using the
GPL for anything that is not completely standalone means that things
get *more* complicated, not less.

Please read about it, my propaganda material is on
http://www.cons.org/cracauer/gpl.html

Quote:
>These licenses are perhaps not without their flaws -- most certainly
>they have their detractors -- but I submit that they've already been
>scrutinized and that the developer community has a pretty good idea of what
>each means.

Obviously not.

Martin
--
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

"Where do you want to do today?" Hard to tell running your calendar
 program on a junk operating system, eh?



Mon, 06 May 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 MK:DEFSYSTEM

Quote:

> >May I suggest that serious consideration be given to adopting the GPL or
> >LGPL?

> GPL for defsystem? You don't know what you're talking about. using the
> GPL for anything that is not completely standalone means that things
> get *more* complicated, not less.

> Please read about it, my propaganda material is on
> http://www.cons.org/cracauer/gpl.html

I'm quite cognizant of the issues you raise -- and in agreement that the
LGPL
is much more appropriate than the GPL in many (if not all) circumstances.
You
might be so kind as to note that I proposed "the GPL or LGPL".

I would contend that MK:DEFSYSTEM *is* "completely standalone" -- just as
GNU make is completely standalone. The fact that you use a system definition
in your code base doesn't mean MK:DEFSYSTEM has been incorporated in source
or binary form in your application. Would you assert otherwise?

And I can imagine that MK:DEFSYSTEM's author or maintainer *might* prefer
the
more rigorous terms of the GPL over the LGPL for reasons of their own.
Certainly RMS staucnhly advocates that the "Lesser GPL" not be used in all
circumstances (see http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/why-not-lgpl.html).

Quote:
> >These licenses are perhaps not without their flaws -- most certainly
> >they have their detractors -- but I submit that they've already been
> >scrutinized and that the developer community has a pretty good idea of
what
> >each means.

> Obviously not.

I read nothing in the document you cited which was inconsistant with my
understanding of the GPL, the LGPL, or the ramifications of either. And
I'm too busy to indulge in flaming, so please spare me the ad-hominum
provocations.

If, on the other hand, you have a compelling argument to make, I'm
certainly interested in hearing it.

Quote:
> Martin
> --
> %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

> "Where do you want to do today?" Hard to tell running your calendar
>  program on a junk operating system, eh?



Mon, 06 May 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 MK:DEFSYSTEM

Quote:




> > >May I suggest that serious consideration be given to adopting the GPL or
> > >LGPL?

Ask the author. [Why would you that? He's already giving you more than what you
need.
If you want to fork your own `Mistrust Release' you're free to do so (unless he
specifically forbid that, of course)]

Quote:
> I would contend that MK:DEFSYSTEM *is* "completely standalone" -- just as
> GNU make is completely standalone. The fact that you use a system definition
> in your code base doesn't mean MK:DEFSYSTEM has been incorporated in source
> or binary form in your application. Would you assert otherwise?

If the application if a CL development system, you probably want to
incorporate. It can be considered a llibrary, so LGPL would be OK. While LGPL
would be good for disallowing proprietary extensions, it wouldn't allow then to
hold back some things as a competitive advantage (eg: performance
improvements), and that could be also a motivator for developing their own
similar but different thing, which is not what you want. Just adopting a
standard is a form of retribution.

On a related note, there's a couple of  files I've given away to some people,
and in the license I state:

 * Permission is hereby granted to use or copy this program for any purpose
 * EXCEPT INCLUSION IN GNU GPL'ed LICENSED LIBRARIES OR RUN-TIME ENVIRONMENTS,
 * provided the above notices are retained on all copies.
 * Permission to modify the code and to distribute modified code is granted,
 * provided the above notices and this paragraph are retained,
 * and a notice that the code was modified is included
 * with the above copyright notice.

--
((( DANGER )) LISP BIGOT (( DANGER )) LISP BIGOT (( DANGER )))

Fernando D. Mato Mira
Real-Time SW Eng & Networking
Advanced Systems Engineering Division
CSEM
Jaquet-Droz 1                   email: matomira AT acm DOT org
CH-2007 Neuchatel                 tel:       +41 (32) 720-5157
Switzerland                       FAX:       +41 (32) 720-5720

www.csem.ch      www.vrai.com     ligwww.epfl.ch/matomira.html



Mon, 06 May 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 MK:DEFSYSTEM

Quote:

> I would contend that MK:DEFSYSTEM *is* "completely standalone" -- just as
> GNU make is completely standalone. The fact that you use a system definition
> in your code base doesn't mean MK:DEFSYSTEM has been incorporated in source
> or binary form in your application. Would you assert otherwise?

Yes.  Lisp is not C. What if I want to ship a system (a dumped lisp
image, say) with defsystem in it, so the user can do, say, system
definition without having to load this whole package, or find it on
the net somewhere and compile it up themselves?  Perhaps I might be,
for instance, a Lisp vendor, who doesn't want to distribute my system
under the GPL, and therefore almost certainly is not willing to ship
it with something GPLd in the image.

Or perhaps I'm just a lisp user, but I too want to ship images with
defsystem in so my customers can use it?

Now, I know, all the Lisp vendors & users who don't ship everything
under the GPL are evil horrible people out to do nothing but rip
everyone off, and they should just obviously be distributing all their
code under the GPL.  But perhaps it's going to be a bit hard to
enlighten them, and perhaps, since people actually use their products
astonishingly enough, they might benefit if they could rely on them
shipping a common defsystem, the same way they benefit by there being
a common Lisp in the first place.

The alternative to having a common defsystem that can be shipped in
images is waiting n years while J13 beats out some kind of standard,
and then waiting for all the vendors to implement that (all
separately, all from scratch, and they all already *have* a functional
defsystem so they might not be in a big hurry).  I know which I'd
rather see happen.

Sigh.

--tim



Mon, 06 May 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 MK:DEFSYSTEM


[...]

Quote:
> On a related note, there's a couple of  files I've given away to some
people,
> and in the license I state:

>  * Permission is hereby granted to use or copy this program for any
purpose
>  * EXCEPT INCLUSION IN GNU GPL'ed LICENSED LIBRARIES OR RUN-TIME
ENVIRONMENTS,
>  * provided the above notices are retained on all copies.
>  * Permission to modify the code and to distribute modified code is
granted,
>  * provided the above notices and this paragraph are retained,
>  * and a notice that the code was modified is included
>  * with the above copyright notice.

Fernando,

I'm certain you have sound, conscientious objections to some aspects of the
GPL which provoked you to insert this clause, and as the author you are
certainly entitled to add whatever arbitrary restrictions to the reuse of
your code happen to strike your fancy -- but can you not see that you are
in fact emphasizing my own point?

Let me restate it before it becomes further distorted in this thread. My
assertion is that the proliferation of unique "free" license terms just
makes day-to-day re-use of open source code *more* problematic, not less
so. And it's more problematic for all development contexts -- traditional
commercial endeavors or open source projects.

I never said the GPL/LGPL combination was superior to any existing
alternative, or that it was representative of any personal ideal of
software freedom that I might have. I said, in effect, that it's been
around for some time, and it's been applied quite successfully for a
variety of projects -- and that "they've already been scrutinized [meaning
by an intellectual property lawyer] and that the developer community has a
pretty good idea of what each means."

-- Kaelin



Mon, 06 May 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 MK:DEFSYSTEM

[...]

Quote:
> Yes.  Lisp is not C. What if I want to ship a system (a dumped lisp
> image, say) with defsystem in it, so the user can do, say, system
> definition without having to load this whole package, or find it on
> the net somewhere and compile it up themselves?  Perhaps I might be,
> for instance, a Lisp vendor, who doesn't want to distribute my system
> under the GPL, and therefore almost certainly is not willing to ship
> it with something GPLd in the image.

> Or perhaps I'm just a lisp user, but I too want to ship images with
> defsystem in so my customers can use it?

The LGPL would permit both of the scenarios above, the only caveat
being that the vendor / user would have to make the MK:DEFSYSTEM
source available and would have to ship something that can be "linked"
with a newer version of MK:DEFSYSTEM.

Some have interpreted the former constraint so liberally as to mean
merely providing a URL to a GNU archive site in the release notes of
their distribution. And the latter requirement is a lot easier to meet
in Common Lisp than it is in C. For that reason, the LGPL seems a lot
more natural for CL than for C.

Quote:
> Now, I know, all the Lisp vendors & users who don't ship everything
> under the GPL are evil horrible people out to do nothing but rip
> everyone off, and they should just obviously be distributing all their
> code under the GPL.  But perhaps it's going to be a bit hard to
> enlighten them, and perhaps, since people actually use their products
> astonishingly enough, they might benefit if they could rely on them
> shipping a common defsystem, the same way they benefit by there being
> a common Lisp in the first place.

Now, I know that it's a lot more visceral and exciting to stoke up an
old Usenet flame than it is to actually *read* an entire thread before
posting a rebuttal. But perhaps despite this fact it is possible to
hold a useful discourse in this forum. Astonishingly enough, many of
the participants of comp.lang.lisp do productively exchange ideas and
information here. And we all might benefit if we could download a
piece of code from an archive site and use it without having our
source base scrutinized by expert legal consul first.

Quote:
> The alternative to having a common defsystem that can be shipped in
> images is waiting n years while J13 beats out some kind of standard,
> and then waiting for all the vendors to implement that (all
> separately, all from scratch, and they all already *have* a functional
> defsystem so they might not be in a big hurry).  I know which I'd
> rather see happen.

So please, enlighten me as to in what fashion the LGPL precludes this.
Suggest an alternative to the GPL/LGPL duo and propose its adoption
as a "standard" open-source license for the Common Lisp community. If
*all* of the existing alternatives are fundamentally flawed, strike up
an effort to draft the new, perfect document.

You give *excellent* reasons to prefer the LGPL over the GPL for
MK:DEFSYSTEM. I agree completely. But the choice is not yours or mine
to make. At present, MK:DEFSYSTEM is distributed under its own
(relatively) unique set of license terms. I merely proposed that the
relative obscurity of the license is *itself* a barrier to re-use, and
petitioned that while the terms were being revisited, perhaps this
point might be addressed.

I politely suggested the "GPL or LGPL" as well-known representatives
of open-source license alternatives. My opinion holds that the LGPL is
preferred *between these two* -- but we're not talking about my code,
and reasonable and enlightened individuals may disagree.

Quote:
> Sigh.

Sigh, indeed!

Quote:
> --tim

-- Kaelin


Mon, 06 May 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 MK:DEFSYSTEM

Quote:

> Suggest an alternative to the GPL/LGPL duo and propose its adoption
> as a "standard" open-source license for the Common Lisp community.

Something derived from the Apache License (http://www.apache.org/LICENSE.TXT) has
been suggested to me for use with some open-source Common Lisp software which
we at Genworks are releasing. Does anyone have opinions on using this one?

--
David J. Cooper Jr, Chief Engineer      Genworks International

(248) 932-2512 (Genworks HQ/voicemail)  West Bloomfield, MI 48322-2268
(248) 407-0633 (pager)                  http://www.genworks.com



Mon, 06 May 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 
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