Monday, March 11, 2002

3.04 Why don't you use the LGPL for libraries?

Using GPL plus linking exception has several advantages. One is
that this makes it more convenient to reuse parts of the code
(possibly with modification) in GPL-licensed files.

Also, you can exclude native methods from the linking exception.
This is done in the license on the C# library, "pnetlib", which
is distributed under these terms:

The source code for the library is distributed under the
terms of the GNU General Public License, with the following
exception: if you link this library against your own
program, then you do not need to release the source code
for that program. However, any changes that you make to the
library itself, or to any native methods upon which the
library relies, must be re-distributed in accordance with
the terms of the GPL.

We call this the "GPL plus linking exception", which is also
used by the GNU Classpath project.

We aren't trying to restrict the use of the library by any kind of
commercial entities. However, a proprietary software company could
produce their own proprietary runtime engine that has
"enhanced" native method support of some kind. Under the terms
of the LGPL, they would be obligated to release the
declaration of the native method in


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