[cairo] Pango License

Bill Spitzak spitzak at gmail.com
Thu Dec 16 14:26:53 PST 2010

I think I am not explaining this clearly.

I personally have put such an exception on an previously LGPL library I 
was developing (FLTK) because it greatly increased the number of users 
and testers. It was a HUGE win for getting the library working and 
popular! Nobody used it before this change.

This has NOTHING to do with developers of proprietary applications. I 
suspect the usage of FLTK for proprietary applications is zero. But 
in-house programmers WANT to write open source, but also do not want to 
waste time if management says they want to distribute it closed. I'm 
sorry, but that is a fear that is real and will stop programmers from 
using an LGPL library even when, for their planned use, there is no 
reason not to. (obviously it stops them from using GPL code as well, but 
the GPL is serving it's purpose of encouraging open source).

Even if Linux is the only target, your library has to be popular for it 
to be included by default on Linux. And it must be included on Linux for 
the rules of the LGPL to be followed with any practicality. This is a 
catch-22 that makes LGPL for any new library useless.

I feel the LGPL was either purposely designed to be useless, or was 
designed when it was figured the only shared library would be libc and 
thus included with the machine. We really, really need a clear license 
that is "what everybody thought the LGPL would be". Rules are:

1. You can use the library for whatever you want as long as you don't 
change it.
2. If you change it you must provide the changes under the same license, 
  with anything that distributes the new library (such as a program 
linked with it).
3. You can, if you want, reuse part or all in a project under the GPL or 
LGPL license (this eliminates the CDDL and MPL and several other 
licenses that seem to work but are purposely designed to sabotage the GPL).

Ineiev wrote:

> There is hardly any pain when your program is free.

This is wrong. I as a library developer do not want to maintain ABI 
compatibility. That is a *PAINFUL* extra work and I am not interested 
one bit in doing it.

The linking exception lets everybody who could use the LGPL library use 
it just as easily, and without the pain of ABI compatibility. And nobody 
can "steal" my code any more than if it was LGPL.

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