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Re: [TSVN] To GPL or not to GPL

From: Simon Large <simon_at_skirridsystems.co.uk>
Date: 2005-08-30 14:30:47 CEST

I have snipped one of the points Bill raises for separate consideration
as it seems to encapsulate one of the most important points.

Bill.Hughes@cgi-europe.com wrote:
> Suppose a company
> wants to base a commercial diff tool on TMerge, is that OK?
> Just because we can't see a large jump in capability being added to TSVN
> doesn't mean someone else can't - do we care?

TMerge has fairly limited capabilities, and is likely to stay that way
because it is just a tool to make TSVN easier to use. For users who want
more, we point them at the many other diff/merge tools available. Some
people find the commercial tools better and are willing to pay for them.
IIUC, TMerge is the only program in the known universe which can apply
subversion patches when the receiving WC is not at the same revision as
the patch was created from. Any and all of those external programs would
benefit from having that capability, and so indirectly would TSVN users.

How can we best control the way TMerge code is re-used in commerical and
open source code?

1. GPL is what we have now. Anyone wanting to use TMerge's patch
handling code would have to GPL the whole product, so unless they are
already under that license it is not going to happen.

2. LGPL means they can add TMerge code without having to relicense the
rest of their code. They have to publish the TMerge part of the source,
but nothing else. They only have to acknowledge Stefan by retaining his
copyright notice in the source.

3. Apache means that TMerge code can be added to anything, and no source
at all has to be published, even for commercial programs. However, the
attribution could be required to be more public, like in an about box.

*None* of these licenses requires any code improvements to be fed back
to the TSVN project, nor even made available on the internet, and I
don't know of any license that would do that.

I am beginning to come around to Bill's point of view. Changing from GPL
to LGPL may solve most of the issues we currently have, whilst
addressing the concerns of those who are unhappy with changing to an
Apache style license.

Simon

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Received on Tue Aug 30 14:32:52 2005

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