LGPL for Interpreted Languages?

Brandon Stout bms at mscis.org
Sun Jan 28 01:27:37 MST 2007

Hans Fugal wrote:
> I wrote a library in ruby (http://hans.fugal.net/src/ruby-wx). In the
> spirit of release early release often, I released it as soon as it had
> basic functionality. As I usually do, I slapped on a GPL license by
> default and decided to think about licensing later.
> One individual who is a convert from parseltongue is considering
> contributing to the library (he worked on a similar library in python),
> but he's not keen on releasing his work under the GPL. So later has
> became sooner, which can only be good.
> 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.
> Java has faced this/is facing this:
> http://slashdot.org/developers/03/07/17/2257224.shtml
> The LISP[1] folks have a preamble approach:
> http://opensource.franz.com/preamble.html
> The LISP terminology is closer to Ruby than C, but there's still some
> oddball things that don't map cleanly.
> 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.
> Thanks
> 1. Just teasing you, Levi

Since I'm also about to open some code up, I'm interested in what some
of you have to say about Apache and Mozilla licenses.  How do they
compare to GPL and LGPL?

Brandon Stout

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