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From "Matthieu Riou" <>
Subject Re: Buildr, Ruby license and packaging
Date Tue, 27 Nov 2007 14:56:28 GMT
No reply... Should I take that back to legal-discuss? I would like to be
sure that warnings about the Ruby license in the NOTICE file would be
considered enough by the IPMC though.


On Nov 20, 2007 3:28 PM, Matthieu Riou <> wrote:

> Hi,
> The Buildr podling which entered incubation recently needs to address the
> problem of releasing Ruby code under the ASF. There are basically two
> questions that we'll need to answer before being able to do any release:
>    1. As most Ruby libraries reuse the Ruby license [1], in which category
> (A, B or X) does the Ruby license fall according to the third-party licenses
> draft policy [2].
>    2. Does the license of third-party software matters for Ruby given that
> they're only used as Gems (the Ruby packaging system, see later for more)
> and never distributed. As an example, Buildr uses a LGPL library although
> none of that code is ever distributed with Buildr. Would that dependency
> need to be removed?
> For the first question, Sam seemed to think that the Ruby license would
> fall in category B (see a thread I've posted some time ago on legal-discuss
> [3]). That means we would just need to warn our users so that they don't
> unknowingly create a derivative work. What would be an acceptable way to do
> that in a Ruby distribution? Would the NOTICE file be enough? An additional
> warning in the download section? Another idea?
> The packaging system for Ruby is called RubyGems, it's very similar to
> what exists in the *nix world and installs eventual dependencies for you. A
> standard Ruby software is bundled in this package called a gem that includes
> a descriptor with all the dependencies. When you ask RubyGems to install a
> gem for you, it will ask whether you want to download each of its
> dependencies and download and install them locally. Or do nothing if you
> happen to already have the dependencies installed. So when you distribute a
> Gem, you're usually only distributing your own code and the rest could be
> considered part of the environment.
> Apparently the problem would be in the fact that gems are exploded when
> installed (see [3] again) but I fail to see how that would make a difference
> with the licenses we're worried about (say GPL and LGPL, v2 and v3). Any
> hint?
> To get back to Buildr's specific case, we only have one LGPL dependency
> that wouldn't be too hard to remove. It would penalize performance a bit so
> it would still be nice to be able to use it but we could make it an option
> and do without it for the default setup. But we have quite a few Ruby
> licensed dependencies that we wouldn't be able to do without.
> Thanks!
> Matthieu
> [1]
> [2]
> <>
> [3]

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