[cairo] Re: License for cairo changed to LGPL

Bill Spitzak spitzak at d2.com
Fri Aug 13 09:26:42 PDT 2004

> - if you think that non-open source products are
> going to use statically-linked LGPL libraries, you
> probably need a reality check. The technical and
> legal hurdles are just too much.

Just want to say that I absolutely agree.

I also want to point out that even if you followed the rules of the LGPL, I 
would think the practical ability of the end user to "relink with a new 
version" is almost nil. It would be immensely difficult to arrange this so 
that the entire build environment is replicated correctly, has anybody ever 
tried to relink their programs without also compiling from source at the same 
time? Almost all library improvements make small changes to the header files, 
and even if binary compatability is maintained, this often means that 
relinking is in fact not going to get you the bug fix or enhanced function. 
Also for things like Cairo, it is unlikely that a program will get any 
benefit from a new version unless the program itself is rewritten to use the 
new calls.

So I really think the benefit to the end user is zilch, they have nothing 
better than a closed-source program.

I very much recommend the "GPL with exception that lets you use the code 
without modifying it for any purpose". Personally I think it should be the 
LGPL + exception, even though the exception completely overrides any 
difference between the LGPL and GPL. The reason is that some people will 
immediatly ignore the library if it says GPL.

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