LGPL for Interpreted Languages?

Michael Torrie torriem at chem.byu.edu
Sat Jan 27 19:58:26 MST 2007

On Sat, 2007-01-27 at 19:29 -0700, Hans Fugal wrote:
> What I'd like is to release it under something conceptually equivalent
> to the LGPL. That is, you should be able to use the library for any
> purpose you like including proprietary software. IOW it isn't viral. But
> I do want any changes to the library (which are distributed) to be
> opened up. The problem is that the language in the LGPL doesn't really
> make much sense for interpreted languages.

I don't know why you say this.  The LGPL is a pretty good choice for a
library written in any language, so long as you want to allow unfettered
use of the library while preserving access to the source of the library
itself.  Why should a library be any different just because it is
interpreted rather than compiled?

On a related note, I've noticed potential legal minefields when using
python for major projects because of the various licenses that units
use.  Of course no matter what language one uses, you have to be careful
when linking to libraries so as not to violate their license by making
your own code legally incompatible.  Do people worry about this in perl
and python?  Seems like I've seen numerous useful units under licenses
that I have no idea if they are compatible with each other or the GPL or
whatever.  Some of them are fairly standard and well-used, such as the
python pil library.  Can PIL be used with a GPL'd python program?  It
appears not.  But then again, the PIL license appears to be applying to
the PIL source (unit) itself.  Opinions on this particular one abound on
the mailing lists.


> What do you all think? Is there a license out there like the LGPL but
> geared toward interpreted languages? Feel free to blather on about how
> you shouldn't consider anything but the GPL, or how even the LGPL is too
> restrictive and we should all use a BSD-like license, or how only the
> public domain is truly righteous. I do reserve the right to ignore you.

Why would the LGPL not be applicable or geared towards interpreted


> Thanks
> 1. Just teasing you, Levi
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