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Re: GNU readline and BSD license

From: mlw <markw(at)mohawksoft(dot)com>
To: Hackers List <pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: GNU readline and BSD license
Date: 2000-12-23 16:20:46
Message-ID: (view raw, whole thread or download thread mbox)
Lists: pgsql-hackers
Bruce Momjian wrote:
> > Bruce Momjian wrote:
> > >
> > > Rasmus Lerdorf, the big PHP developer, told me that the existance of GNU
> > > readline hooks in our source tree could cause RMS/GNU to force us to a
> > > GNU license.
> > >
> > > Obviously, we could remove readline hooks and ship a BSD line editing
> > > library, but does this make any sense to you?  It doesn't make sense to
> > > me, but he was quite certain.
> > >
> > > Our ODBC library is also GNU licensed, but I am told this is not a
> > > problem because it doesn't link into the backend.  However, neither does
> > > readline.  However, readline does link into psql.
> >
> > Readline is LGPL is it not? If you are merely linking to a shared
> > library assumed to be on the system, and do not actually incorporate
> > readline code within psql, you should be fine.
> According to him, it is GPL, not LGPL, and looking at the COPYING file
> in readline, it seems he is correct.

Wow, I never noticed that, I always assumed it was LGPL.

Anyway, it makes no difference. 

Under Terms and conditions:

(1) Postgres does not distribute readline as part of the source, the
user must obtain it themselves.

(2) Postgres does not alter or include the readline library does it? If
so, you would have to share your changes. There is an important

>> In addition, mere aggregation of another work not based on the Program
>> with the Program (or with a work based on the Program) on a volume of
>> a storage or distribution medium does not bring the other work under
>> the scope of this License.  

(3) Postgres already distributes source, although it does not appear
that is required. pgsql inc's desire to have a two year closed source,
they would have to make sure they made available any changes they make
to GNU source.

(4) Again Postgres does not distribute readline, so no problem.

(5) The postgres team neither modifies or distributes the readline code.
(section 5)

The rest Do not seem to apply.



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Subject: Re: GNU readline and BSD license
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