Boost logo

Boost :

Subject: Re: [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: 2009-03-28 09:29:33

> -----Original Message-----
> From: boost-bounces_at_[hidden] [mailto:boost-bounces_at_[hidden]]
> Behalf Of Steve M. Robbins
> Sent: 28 March 2009 09:36
> To: boost_at_[hidden]
> Subject: Re: [boost] Can a Boost library use a component like GMP and mfpr
> have a LGPL license ?
> On Sun, Mar 22, 2009 at 10:37:48PM -0200, Fernando Cacciola wrote:
> > Steve M. Robbins wrote:
> >> On Sun, Mar 22, 2009 at 05:42:47PM -0000, Paul A. Bristow wrote:
> >>
> >>>> Yes, there are certainly lots of examples of external dependencies.
> >>> I understand that there are dependencies, but are those libraries
> >>> being used in items that are being *sold*?
> >>>
> >>> Lots of people are no doubt using Boost.Python, but are they selling
> >>> products using it?
> >>>
> >>> The proposed GTL sounds to me as though it is a prime candidate for
> >>> inclusion in actual 'Sat-Navy' products.
> >>>
> >>> Does this make any difference?
> >>
> >> Not in my view. Why do you ask the question? Is there some reason
> >> you think it might matter whether the Boost libraries appear in
> >> products being sold?
> >
> > The potential problem Paul is asking us to consider is not the boost
> > library but the dependent non-boost library, such as GMP in the case
> > of GTL.
> The way I read Paul's question was roughly:
> Even though Boost library A has external dependencies, it doesn't
> matter since no-one is selling products based on it. Proposed
> library B, on the other hand, may be used commercially so we need to
> examine its external dependencies more carefully

> That may not have been the intent. If it was, however, it seems to me
curious to
> place additional restrictions on proposed library B. I don't see why
Boost ought to be
> concerned with the context in which a proposed library might be used.

Well I was only asking if anyone was concerned.

I feel we might be concerned if the effect was that the library was not
used. This would be a waste of time.

It would also be waste of time if it was decided at the review stage that
the licensing implications make it unacceptable as a Boost library. Hence
raising the question now seemed prudent.

I get the sense that a few would-be commercial uses are concerned about

But that others suggest packaging may make it possible to use with other
license-OK GMP-like packages.

At least, there seems little likelihood that GMP would act 'aggressively' -
there seem to be people using it in similar situations.

But it still is not the ideal situation as other libraries where there is
clearly no need to get lawyers involved - we can just say "everything has
the Boost license".

However, there seems to be little enthusiasm for re-inventing a package that
GMP and mpfr seems to have solved well - just to get a Boost license.

So perhaps we can consider the matter decided?


Paul A. Bristow
Prizet Farmhouse
Kendal, UK   LA8 8AB
+44 1539 561830, mobile +44 7714330204
E-mail message checked by Spyware Doctor (
Database version: 5.12060

Boost list run by bdawes at, gregod at, cpdaniel at, john at