[cairo] Re: License for cairo changed to LGPL

James Henstridge james at jamesh.id.au
Wed Aug 4 18:31:43 PDT 2004

On 05/08/04 02:55, Bill Spitzak wrote:

>The LGPL effectively requires that users of the software have access to the 
>source (though it can be under NDA). Nothing prevents somebody from making a 
>"modified version" of Cairo that is not binary compatable. But according to 
>the LGPL they must be able to "relink" the program with the modified version 
>of Cairo. This cannot be done except by recompiling the program. This means 
>the user has the source (unless the author makes some sort of promise in 
>perpeturary to recompile the code for any version of Cairo sent to them).
The LGPL doesn't place this sort of obligation on the application 
author.  It requires that you distribute (or provide at request) the 
object files, which you might link together into a single object file, 
so that the user can link it against the LGPL'd code.  On platforms 
where dynamic linking is available, linking to the LGPL code as a shared 
library is an alternative to providing object files.

If the user makes a change to the library that breaks its ABI, then that 
is the user's problem.  This is mentioned in section 6 (a):

    (It is understood that the user who changes the contents of
    definitions files in the Library will not necessarily be able to
    recompile the application to use the modified definitions.)

Or do you interpret this differently?


Email: james at jamesh.id.au
WWW:   http://www.jamesh.id.au/

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