[cairo] Cairo and static linking

Michael Sweet mike at easysw.com
Thu Dec 8 09:30:26 PST 2005

Hi, All!

First an introduction: my name is Michael R Sweet, and I'm the guy
behind CUPS and FLTK and lots of other stuff.  If you are unfamiliar
with FLTK, it is a cross-platform GUI toolkit for C++ (www.fltk.org).

Over the last few days, I've given Cairo a second look and the
progress you've made is amazing.  I think that Cairo has the
potential for being the core of a lot of cross-platform development.
In particular, I think that FLTK can use Cairo to replace a lot of
its current drawing code, saving us a LOT of coding in the future
and making it easier for us to support new platforms.  Since the
FLTK 2.0 code already supports Cairo drawing, I don't think the
transition will be difficult at all...

That said, FLTK is distributed under the LGPL, with exceptions that
allow for static linking against an unmodified library.  This was
done specifically for commercial vendors and in cases where the use
of shared libraries is not practical (i.e. embedded platforms)
I *think* that the MPL license terms are compatible with this, but
as I have less experience with the MPL I'd like to get confirmation
before we proceed further.

So, my short question is: do the current Cairo licenses allow for
static linking and distribution of executables that use an unmodified
Cairo library?  If so, do vendors have to do anything extra like
provide a copyright notice, etc?

If not, would the Cairo developers be open to adding an exception
for static linking?  (See the FLTK web site for the wording we use)


Michael Sweet, Easy Software Products           mike at easysw dot com
Internet Printing and Document Software          http://www.easysw.com

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