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Re: [Bug-gnulib] licenses again

From: Bruno Haible
Subject: Re: [Bug-gnulib] licenses again
Date: Tue, 28 Sep 2004 18:57:22 +0200
User-agent: KMail/1.5

Simon Josefsson wrote:
> ... It also add a new directory, lgpl/, that is
> only intended for LGPL rewrites of a GPL copy in lib/. ...
> ...
> I don't know what to do for modules/m4 files.  It seems those files
> can share the same modules/m4 directories, but the LGPL versions can
> be prefixed with 'lgpl-'.  As in modules/lgpl-getline or
> m4/lgpl-getline.m4. ...

Technically I don't have big objections.

However, I think we should try harder to avoid splits because of GPL/LGPL.
Your proposal would encourage rewriting for the sole reason of a different
license. Leading to untested code, different bugs or features in each copy
(thread-safe or not? error handler specifiable or not? etc.)

I don't think there are many modules that anyone will try to convert
from GPL to LGPL. (If one takes RMS's recommendation, to limit LGPL to
libraries, not applications, that is.) Therefore I would propose to handle it
on a case-by-case basis:
  a) strdup: You wrote strdup.h yourself. Can't you put it under LGPL?
  b) minmax.h: I already gave you my agreement to give this away under LGPL.
     The other author of this file is Paul Eggert. You can ask him.
  c) getline, getdelim: What does RMS say when you tell him that you have
     an LGPL'ed rewrite?
  d) getpassword: It seems odd that you need this in a library. Is your
     library not usable by GUI programs? Or is it actual application code?


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