[logback-dev] License (again)

Ralph Goers rgoers at apache.org
Fri Jun 12 16:46:06 CEST 2009


I think you are missing the point. All of the solutions you have  
suggested involve work that a typical corporation would want to avoid  
having to do. They won't want to set up blogs, or distribute a special  
zip file and then have to document where it is. It is already hard  
enough to build a product to be distributed.

Rather than deal with it the corporate attorneys will typically tell  
you not to use the LGPL'd work.  Generally, we will get legal approval  
for LGPL'd works when they don't cause our code to be "infected" and  
they are disallowed otherwise.

As I said, most companies these days would prefer to use off the shelf  
stuff that is distributed with the framework they chose, so if they  
need to write a custom appender they would prefer it be donated back  
to the project. This is regardless of the license (and the LGPL  
doesn't compel one to do this anyway). But I'd venture a guess that  
most Appenders that get written that are not requested to be added to  
Logback are as I described - stuff that is unique to a specific  
environment that isn't generally useful.

So in the end, the LGPL isn't really accomplishing much except making  
it more difficult for your users to use Logback.


On Jun 12, 2009, at 2:22 AM, Ceki Gulcu wrote:

> Ralph,
> First, thank you for sharing your perspective with us. I appreciate
> the new perspective on this topic.
> Ralph Goers wrote:
>> Ceki,
>> There are an infinite number of cases where no one outside of a  
>> particular company, or even a business unit of a company, would  
>> have any interest in some of these Appenders. Customers might not  
>> even want them when the product is sold externally. But to avoid  
>> having to go through the hassle of what you describe below, but  
>> still be in compliance with the license, all the LGPL'd code would  
>> need to by physically kept separate from all the other code to  
>> avoid it being distributed. This is just painful to manage.
> You mean that if the work derived from the LPGLed library were
> distributed, then you would need to comply with provision 4 of LGPL
> 2.1 which mandates that the derived work must be available in source
> code? Is there any other provision causing you trouble?
> Instead of separating the LGPLed code, why don't you just add the
> source code of the LGPLed code in addition to the object form within
> your existing distribution? If you already want to include or have
> included the object form, adding the source code form should not be
> difficult. No?
>> Setting up servers or creating code bases to manage tiny bits of  
>> code is almost nonsensical in its practically. The cost of the  
>> hardware, software and people time to manage just isn't worth the  
>> effort and is even less appealing than separating the code.
> When I said that the source code had to be available and listed the
> options available, I did not imply that the said code had to be
> supported. I think that you can just dump it on your blog, some
> web-page, or send it as a zip file on a publicly available mailing
> list. However, you also have the option of adding the source code to  
> your
> existing distribution, which is probably the easiest approach.
>> This isn't about proprietary code. I simply guarantee you that you  
>> would not be interested in accepting the Appenders in these cases,  
>> as they have no value to the general public.  For example, in some  
>> cases database appenders might be written to log to some pre- 
>> existing database schema. Why would the community want that? In my  
>> case, we have an Appender that I wrote and hate, but can't kill  
>> because it interacts with our legacy system. I would never  
>> distribute it, but for simplicity it is packaged with other general  
>> purpose stuff, none of which has the LGPL distribution  
>> restrictions. To manage this I will have to create a new isolated  
>> project with this single class just to avoid this issue.
> You don't need to create an isolated project. Just aggregate the one
> or two classes involved in a zip file and dump it someplace. Note that
> you only need to take action if the said classes are distributed with
> you product. If the said classes are used within your company without
> outside distribution, you don't have to take any particular action.

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