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Subject: [boost] Can a Boost library use a component like GMP and mfpr that have a LGPL license ?
From: Paul A. Bristow (pbristow_at_[hidden])
Date: 2009-03-20 09:46:03

I am raising this issue for discussion because it seems to me that it is
important to resolve this issue before development of the GTL library by
Lucanus Simonson and others.

I suspect this is not the only time this will crop up, especially with the
two very well developed and refined 'big' multiprecision number libraries,
GMP ( and mfpr (

Boost lacks any equivalent libraries (apart from some un reviewed, but
probably functional, big integer offerings).

GMP and mfpr have already been used within John Maddock's Boost.Math
library, but only to calculate extremely accurate reference values, so
*users* do not have to use GMP and mfpr.

Fernando Cacciola wrote

"While in the case of GTL, it is technically up to the user to pick up
"their own" multiprecision number types, they actually can't do that without
an external non-boost library since such number types do not exists in the

I agree that it would be unfortunate to re-invent the wheel to produce our
own (probably inferior) version of these components.

So what do we do?

Might we enter into discussion with GMP and mfpr developers to get explicit
permission to package their library within Boost?

IANAL but I feel this issue should be resolved and a decision recorded.


Paul A. Bristow
Prizet Farmhouse
Kendal, UK   LA8 8AB
+44 1539 561830, mobile +44 7714330204

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