[Pipet Devel] GPL/LGPL issues

J.W. Bizzaro jeff at bioinformatics.org
Mon Sep 11 18:58:40 EDT 2000

Brad Chapman wrote:
> 1. Programs communicating by CORBA are separate programs, and so the
> license won't matter. It doesn't seem like this will change soon. So
> people can write replacements for any of the Piper parts if they want. Oh
> well, that was a design choice, right? I still think it is a good one to
> allow people to rewrite sections in a language independent manner. So we
> shouldn't worry about this.

I suppose if there is a bit of brokering taking place in each of the "layers"
of Piper (e.g., Grandparent is part of DL), then it would not be possible to
completely replace all brokering components (if we use the GPL).

> 2. Then I guess all we have to worry about is free versus non-free
> plugins. If we want people to be able to write non-free plugins that link
> with Piper, we should go for the LGPL, if not the GPL is our choice.

Give me an example of a "plugin" for Piper.  Will a plugin work via CORBA?

> 3. I think we should have one license for every part (as long as everyone
> can agree). This will make things a whole lot clearer about this issue.

One license for all of Piper?  I agree with that.

> So, based on all of this, I give my vote to an LGPL license. If someone
> at some company wants to use Piper, and then wants to write a proprietary
> plugin to deal with proprietary data, I don't see a big problem with
> that. Having people in companies be able to use Piper and extend it is a
> big plus to us, since then we will have more testers and users. Many of
> these people may work in corporate settings and write in-house only code,
> but may also contribute back to Piper. I don't want to lose these users.

I think it will depend on whether plugins use CORBA or not.  If they all do,
then we don't really need the LGPL.  We can use the GPL.

J.W. Bizzaro                                           jeff at bioinformatics.org
Director, Bioinformatics.org: The Open Lab     http://bioinformatics.org/~jeff
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
               -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

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