[MonoDevelop] Licensing concerns.

Miguel de Icaza miguel@ximian.com
Wed, 14 Jul 2004 00:06:47 -0400


  Disclaimer: Novell is supporting the Eclipse project as the unified
  IDE for software development.  Am only commenting here as an
  individual interested in the success of MonoDevelop, and not speaking
  for my employer.

> Unfortunately, I thought of another issue to respond to.  Using this
> logic, you would have to consider all AddIns to be derivative works. 
> Is this your opinion, that it is not possible to write wholely
> independent AddIns for SharpDevelop or MonoDevelop unless they are
> also released under the GPL (even though there are none to my
> knowledge)?  Please say no, as I think that is a terribly limiting
> position.

This is quite unfortunate as it puts MonoDevelop (and SharpDevelop) in
disadvantage with respect to Eclipse as a platform to build software
on.  This seems like a big competitive disadvantage.

In the Linux kernel there was a policy that you could develop
proprietary drivers that linked into the kernel as long as you only
used the public interface that was exposed.

The best possible outcome is to get a specific grant to allow specific
non-GPL extensions to be added with a clean interface.

If the MonODevelop community feels that proprietary addins are
important [1] maybe they should consider rewriting each chunk of GPL
code one piece at a time, in the same way that the original Unix from
ATT was turned into BSD, by replacing every line of code in the

[1] they open a whole new can of worms like: how do cope with
version changes, what happens if an interface breaks, etc.