[Mono-list] System.CodeDom.Compiler licensing issues (was Hmmm...)

Tom tom7ca@yahoo.com
Fri, 24 May 2002 14:22:05 -0700 (PDT)

> Miguel de Icaza wrote:
> > The Mono C# compiler is under the terms of the GNU
> > GPL, just be aware of
> > that.
> If I may add my two cents here, 
> The mixing of GPLed core and a non-gpl is probably not
> what is wanted.
> It would open MONO up to people not having to
> contribute their changes, taking the wind out of the
> project and creating islands of differently licensed
> code and people just running away with the ball.
> [pages and pages of more alarmist stuff]

I don't understand your concerns at all.  CodeDOM provides
a simple function: generate object code representations in 
a particular format.  I don't see how that is different
from a PDF library or a TIFF library.  CodeDOM is not
a compiler; most of the work in a compiler with a byte-code
target isn't in the code generation.  And there are plenty of 
libraries for Java that are equivalent to CodeDOM (e.g. bcel.sf.net), 
and the sky doesn't seem to have fallen in the Java world.  In fact,
those libraries are usually not used by compiler backends, they
are used for other applications.

Even if CodeDOM were a compiler, I don't see how the openness of 
the Mono project would be threatened if somehow someone managed to 
invoke it programmatically without sharing their code under the GPL.
People can easily invoke compilers as subprocesses
(people do that with GNU C all the time) without falling
under the GPL.  Yes, sure, that has led to the creation of compilers
under all sorts of licenses other than the GPL for all sorts
of languages.  What is the problem with that?

> Of course the question is what is linking and what is
> a derived product will be quite interesting in such a
> dynamic environment like C# and IL.

This is absolutely nothing new: for the last 20 years, there
have been numerous dynamic environments with components licensed
under the GPL.

The only thing that would seem to me to be harmful would be to create 
unnecessary uncertainty around these issues, because that will simultaneously
annoy the open source advocates and scare away the commercial

So, altogether, I just don't understand your concerns at all.
Maybe you can explain your concerns better and be more specific 
about what exactly you think is might happen and why that would
be so bad?


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