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Subject: [boost] GSOC BigInt Licensing Issues
From: swagat konchada (swagatata_at_[hidden])
Date: 2010-03-29 10:58:19

I had a look upon the BigInt code from the sandbox. It's entirely wrapped
around GMP(linked to gmblib).

#include <boost/bigint/bigint_gmp.hpp>
namespace boost {
typedef bigint_base<detail::bigint_gmp_implementation> bigint;

I also read the LGPLicense which the GMP library carries with itself. This
is my inference :
The bigint code(from the boost sandbox) could be addressed in LGPL terms as
"An Application" : which LGPL defines "as any work that makes use of an
interface provided by the Library, but which is not otherwise based on the
Library.", since it just uses the gmp.h interface and linking to gmplib. So
the combined work, application and GMP, should be conveyed with a GNU GPL

The Boost License allows skipping the copyright notices if only it's
executables are used, unlike the LGPL which requires to distribute it's
license. And there are even restrictions on "conveying the object code under
terms of your(Boost') choice", in addition to other restrictions.

That is uncompatible with the Boost license, which hinders the distribution
of a Boost_bigInt library which wholly is a wrapper around GMP.

Keeping in view the above issues what should be our priority? Improving the
wrapping around GMP for time being or Starting Boost's own version of
BigInt. I see mixed reactions on this subject. My personal opinion is that
suggested by Paul A. Bristow, i.e, of a Boost's own BigInt, which I think is
in line with Boost's long term aspirations.

I hope my understanding of the issue is correct.
I would be grateful to receive suggestions and comments which would help my
GSOC proposal for BigInt, which I plan to submit as early as possible.

Problem is a phenomenon indicating lack of thought.
Swagat Konchada

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