[jdom-interest] XOM

Elliotte Rusty Harold elharo at metalab.unc.edu
Tue Sep 24 20:11:15 PDT 2002

At 5:17 PM -0700 9/24/02, Dennis Sosnoski wrote:

>This enters into a branch of politics where words seem to lose their 
>usual meanings. To me the Apache license is "more free" than 
>LGPL/GPL, because it puts less restrictions on me as a developer. :-)

I've heard this before and it always reminds me of the opinions some 
religious zealots have that their religious freedom is being violated 
because they're not allowed to impose their beliefs on others. You 
are absolutely free to do anything you want with GPL'd software 
except to restrict other people's freedom. That's all.

>It's not exactly clear what the legal implications of the LGPL are 
>when used for Java libraries; for instance, suppose someone wants to 
>subclass XOM classes to build a virtual document model that doesn't 
>need to be completely memory-resident. Would the subclasses need to 
>be LGPL as well? I'd suspect yes, but I don't think there are any 
>legal guidelines in this area.

If XOM were GPL'd that would be true. Under the LGPL, as long as you 
don't touch the XOM source code you're fine. If you can do what you 
do just by using the jar files I publish (or by compiling your own 
jar files from the source I publish) there's no contamination.

>You certainly have the right to use any license you choose. However, 
>that choice may restrict the usability of the library for some 
>applications. I suspect the vast majority of the XML work being done 
>these days is for commercial applications, and for many of these 
>LGPL is likely to be a problem.

Any commercial developer who feels the LGPL is a problem is free to 
negotiate with me for a different license.

| Elliotte Rusty Harold | elharo at metalab.unc.edu | Writer/Programmer |
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