Spotlight: On Developers and Technology
23 July 2001
On Licensing. This discussion began with a simple desire: a grammar checker in OpenOffice.org. In phrasing the desire, the community member raised the question about the interoperation of Free Software licenses, specifically, the GPL, or GNU General Public License. OpenOffice.org code is licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) and the Sun Industry Standards Source License (SISSL). The difference in licensing makes for some incompatibility. To forestall confusion, Michelle Milledge, one of OpenOffice.org's community managers, proposed a FAQ that would clarify the distinctions between the two licenses. Immediately, community members such as Gianluca Turconi and Gary Edwards, among many others, presented carefully reasoned arguments on the licenses and what they mean, philosophically and practically.