[cairo] Re: License for cairo changed to LGPL

George McBay gfm at mischief.com
Fri Aug 13 11:47:22 PDT 2004

--- Jost Boekemeier <jost2345 at yahoo.de> wrote:
> And?  The LGPL is not for end users. It's to help
> developers.

The people who crafted the GPL & LGPL disagree with
you.  They are continually saying that these licenses
exist to protect the freedom of the users over the
developers.  From a developer standpoint, nothing is
easier to obey and understand than a simple BSD or MIT
style license.

> Based on a misunderstanding what the (L)GPL is.  And
> btw, your license proposal will not work anyway; it
> does not define what "static linking" is and how to
> identify your work within the compound work. 

This is why I think it makes more sense for projects
like Cairo (libraries, as opposed to full
applications) to use BSD/MIT/Artistic or the like. 
Defining those terms is damn near impossible.  You'd
be hard pressed to get any two developers skilled in
the field to agree on all the different cases of
program linkage and what the LGPL means for them.  As
one of the more obvious examples, look at languages
like Java or C# where the concept of linking is a hell
of a lot looser than it is in languages like C or C++,
thanks to runtime binding of assemblies or packages
and reflection...

And in any case, with issues like this one, perception
is reality no matter how much you might not want to
believe that.  The fact that this conversation has
even come up and that major projects like Mono (whose
developers clearly value the ideals of OSS/FS) see
problems means there are problems.

When you get right down to it, I think this license
change is causing exactly what they hoped it wouldn't
cause.  I know I've already forked Cairo now at the
last available MIT license version, and Mono is now
considering doing the same thing...

Having said all of that, the Cairo code belongs to the
Cairo code authors, and I fully support and respect
their right to release it under any license they
choose.  I only comment to give them something to
consider, not because I think I have any real say in
what they should do.  

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