Apache License and LGPL (v2/3)

chrysn chrysn at fsfe.org
Thu Sep 27 17:49:04 UTC 2007

hello reinout,
hello discussion list (whom i ask to intervene if i'm mistaken in my

> A few weeks ago you posted a helpful comment on the Epiphany mailinglist
> about Free software licenses.
> I was hoping you could do the same for this discussion I'm currently
> involved in:
> http://www.nabble.com/Calling-all-translators---UrlValidator-translation-tf4401987.html

what i can say for sure is that from a GNU (gettext) point of view, it
is definitely ok for apache licensed software (in fact, for every
software) to *use* gettext -- that's what the LGPL is intended for.

it is definitely not a GPLv3 issue either: the GPLv3 was, among other
things, designed to allow merging of Apache licensed code with GPL'd
code resulting in a new GPL project, not vice versa. (the "or later"
clause would be safe to use, but does not help you in that case.)

i am not familiar with the apache proceedings, but from what i read in
the thread, wicket is an apache project, and thus, the apache foundation
might place arbitrary limitations on what they are allowed to include.

[1] clearly states that LGPL is not ok for them. in my opinion (and, i
guess, also the opinion of the GNU people; see the GNU statement on LGPL
and java [2]), they misinterpret the LGPL, but i can't help it. (it
might be required that a LGPL'd jar wrapper is created around gettext,
which i assume to already have happened, but apache people seem to still
refuse inclusion.)

i suggest you look for an existing java-style framework that does for
java what gettext does for c and python, as i don't assume the apache
position will change any time soon. considering the size of the apache
java code base, i bet there is already an existing framework you can
plug into.


[1] http://wiki.apache.org/jakarta/Using_LGPL'd_code
[2] http://www.gnu.org/licenses/lgpl-java.html

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