Creating a Win32 Library for GPG?

Paul D. Smith pausmith at
Tue Apr 25 14:08:25 CEST 2000

%% "Sam Roberts" <sam at> writes:

  sr> The FSFs goal is the end of commercial s/w.

Not commercial software, of course.  They don't want all software
development to be done free-of-charge.  The FSF themselves sell their
own software commercially!

What they're against is proprietary software, or the idea that when you
purchase some software you don't actually own it, but just a license to
use it, and you don't see the source code, etc.

  sr> Whether GPL s/w can be dynamically linked to non-GPL s/w is a
  sr> matter of interpretation: Linus says you can dynamically link
  sr> non-GPL modules into the GPLed Linux kernel, RMS has stated that
  sr> he believes this to be against the GPL,

I'm not sure it's true that Linus interprets this (dynamic linking)
differently than RMS at all; IIRC Linus added an exception to the
licensing of the Linux kernel clarifying that modules are to be
considered separate works, much like the GPL considers different
programs separate works.  I don't think you can count that as a position
that dynamic linking in general doesn't violate the GPL.  In fact,
putting an explicit exception there might show he thinks otherwise.

  sr> but copyright holders must enforce their copyright, so its a grey
  sr> area.

This is true, but I think the "grey" comes in when you try to define a
"derived work", from a legal standpoint, and not so much how the license
is meant to be applied.

That is, the "grey" is the question of whether the GPL can actually
enforce this clause in a dynamic linked sense, or, even if it
theoretically could, whether the legal wording of the GPL _does_ enforce

Many people (including me) wish the FSF would make some official
clarifying statements about the new kinds of link technologies and how
they impact the GPL (CORBA?  Etc.) but so far they haven't.

  sr> The LGPL was a strategic move by the FSF to get the gcc compiler
  sr> accepted when there were no free operating systems. Without
  sr> libc being LGPLed, no one would use gcc.

This isn't right.  Anyone can (and many do) use GCC with their system
libc.  That's perfectly OK.  GCC applies _no_ licensing and _no_
restrictions on its output, so whether you use GLIBC or not is

The reason the LGPL was created was that since everyone already had a
system libc for no cost (or at least, included with their OS) already,
the feeling was no one would use GLIBC if it were licensed under the
GPL.  So, the LGPL was created to promote the use and progress of
_GLIBC_.  It didn't have anything to do with GCC.

  sr> It's also more in-line with commercial compilers which obviously
  sr> allow linking against and redistributing their libraries. The
  sr> recent push by the FSF to GPL more libraries instead of LGPLing
  sr> them is an indication of the strength and popularity of free s/w,
  sr> allowing them to push closer to there stated goals.

Yes... well, the FSF has always felt that libraries that were unique or
a real strength for free software, like readline for example, should be
GPL'd.  Only libraries that re-implemented other already
widely-available libraries (libc, termcap, etc.) should use the LGPL,
else many people wouldn't bother with them.

 Paul D. Smith <psmith at>         Network Management Development
 "Please remain calm...I may be mad, but I am a professional." --Mad Scientist
   These are my opinions---Nortel Networks takes no responsibility for them.

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