Re: XForms: xforms release date for linux sparc glibc2.1

From: Peter S Galbraith (
Date: Fri Aug 11 2000 - 15:21:30 EDT

  • Next message: Peter S Galbraith: "XForms: HTML version of manual updated?"

    # To subscribers of the xforms list from Peter S Galbraith <> :

    Steve Lamont wrote:

    > # To subscribers of the xforms list from Steve Lamont <> :
    > > (Note that these very late builds would not be a problem if
    > > XForms were open-source already. It's been over a year since I
    > > first heard of XForms going open-source. Any news on that
    > > front?)
    > We had a ping from RMS[1], himself, on that very same subject. I'm for
    > it. TC?

    Is RMS advising you? What was his input (just wondering).

    One concern to address in an Open Source license is GPL
    compatibility. You'd want to avoid the ambiguity that Qt's
    license (QPL) has with GPL-ed code.

    There are two main cases that I'm thinking of:

    1- GPL Code written explicitely to be linked with XForms.

      Say Joe Hacker writes a cool application linked against (the
      currently licensed) XForms and releases it under the GPL.
      Historically, this has been viewed as an invalid license by
      Debian because XForms becomes part of the code once linked with
      the GPL code, and XForms cannot be redistributed with the same
      license. Therefore Debian has taken the position that it
      cannot redistribute the code in this case.

      This is easily solved by the author by adding an exception
      clause, saying that it's okay to link the GPLed code against
      XForms. e.g.

       This program is covered by the GPL version 2 or (at your
       option) any later version.

       Additionally to the conditions of the GNU Public License, the
       following condition also applies: You may link this software
       with XForms (Copyright (C) by T.C. Zhao and Mark Overmars) and
       distribute the resulting binary, under the restrictions in
       clause 3 of the GPL, even though the resulting binary is not,
       as a whole, covered by the GPL. If a derivative no longer
       requires XForms, you may use the unsupplemented GPL as its
       license by deleting this paragraph and therefore removing this
       exemption for XForms.

      Recently, RMS has stated that an _implied_ permission to link
      against an incompatible library was assumed to be given by the
      author if the application was written for that library in the
      first place. This may still not be enough for Debian, figuring
      that if the author gives _implied_ permission, s/he might as well
      spell it out and grant it explicitely.

      In summary, there's a lot of GPLed code that written for
      XForms. If the Open Source license for XForms were
      GPL-compatible, it would have the benefit of legalizing all
      that software without a license change on their part (or at
      least removing the legal ambiguity).

    2- GPL Code written by third parties.

      If the new license was GPL-compatible, it would be legal for
      developers to take existing GPL code from third parties and
      merge it into their XForms-based applications, and also to port
      existing GPL applications to XForms (from other toolkits for

    Historically, TC's aim with XForms was that it would be free for
    everything except for XForms-based applications that would be
    sold. If that is still the case, then I suggest you license
    XForms under the GPL. XForms would be free for everyone writing
    GPLed code. Commercial entities not willing to GPL their
    XForms-based applications (wanting to sell them closed-source)
    could request to license XForms under a different license for a
    fee. If you have decided to make XForms free for everyone
    (including commercial use), then by all means license it under a
    less strict license (yet still GPL-compatible) such as the LGPL.

    My 2 cents on the licensing issue...

    To unsubscribe, send the message "unsubscribe" to or see
    XForms Home Page:
    List Archive:

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Fri Aug 11 2000 - 15:26:14 EDT