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From Peter Donald <>
Subject Re: Problems with licenses (GPL, LGPL) and task writing
Date Wed, 20 Jun 2001 08:59:52 GMT
On Wed, 20 Jun 2001 18:58, Tim Vernum wrote:
> From: Yannick Menager []
> > I'm not a lawyer, but I have the strong impression that if we called a
> > GLPed binary (jarfile) using reflection, that would solve the problem,
> Not necessarily.
> If you wrote code that did something like:
> SUB use-gnu-stuff
> 	jar = load-jar( "gnu.jar" )
> 	on-error:
> 		throw( "Cannot find gnu.jar" )
> 	class = jar->load-class( "GNUclass" )
> 	on-error:
> 		throw( "Cannot find 'GNUclass' in jar" )
> 	method = class->lookup-method( "myMethod" )
> 	on-error:
> 		throw( "Cannot find method 'myMethod'" )
> 	return method->call()
> Then there would be no direct dependency on the GNU code, and no
> linking, since it is all done with reflection and if you handled
> the exceptions, then the code would still work if the GNU jar
> wasn't there.
> However, it is clear for all to see, that you are just trying to
> circumvent the licensing requirements of gnu.jar, and a court
> would probably declare it illegal.

Thank you ! That actually explains it better. I used to think reflection was 
fine but after some fire and brimstone from GNU I got the impression that it 
is not OK. I never understood exactly why ;)

> However, it is was using a standard interface then you would
> probably be OK.
> eg: You can probably use a GPL'd bean in your code, if you just treat
> it as a bean.
> And Ant can load GPL'd task, since it uses Ant's published API.

Unfortunately there can never be a GPLed task as that would require GPL code 
linking against non-GPL compatible code which is not okay. Maybe you could 
just implement a method execute() and regular setters and rely on presence of 
TaskAdapter. Of course this would mean you could not use support classes like 
FileSet etc but it still is better than nothing.



| "Faced with the choice between changing one's mind, |
| and proving that there is no need to do so - almost |
| everyone gets busy on the proof."                   |
|              - John Kenneth Galbraith               |

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