[flashrom] LGPL

Luc Verhaegen libv at skynet.be
Thu Apr 26 18:26:14 CEST 2012

On Thu, Apr 26, 2012 at 04:35:24PM +0100, Rolette, James (Jay) wrote:
> Hi Carl-Daniel,
> There are a couple of main use-cases for embedded systems (probably more):
> 1) Programming parts during manufacturing.  For this one, I wouldn't see a need for a VxWorks version of flashrom.  More likely to use pre-programmed parts or program them in an ICT fixture.
> 2) Updating programmable parts in the field (cameras, blu-ray/dvd players, AVRs, switches/routers, etc.).  If they are running an RTOS, you frequently don't have separate memory spaces or "normal" OS processes.  With flashrom being GPLv2, unless the embedded system is also GPL, it makes it difficult (at best) to use.
> That might be part of the reason that you didn't find any VxWorks user interested in it.
> I'm coming at it from the other way...  It's not a question of being able to get flashrom to work in VxWorks.  The problem I have is being able to use flashrom without tainting (sorry, not trying to be derogatory) proprietary code that isn't GPL that is running in a flat memory space RTOS.
> Not trying to leach.  More than willing to contribute to the project (add support for programmable parts we are using that aren't already supported, help build out libflashrom, etc.).  Just looking for a license that is compatible with my needs.  LGPL would achieve that.
> With the right license, it could be used for a lot more than just multiple GUI support :)
> For embedded programmable parts, it's not really about giving flashrom to end-customers to run directly.  It's more about integrating the capability into the normal firmware/OS update mechanism.
> Fair enough.  It looks a bit like a self-fulfilling prophecy to me.  With GPL, it fences out many companies from being able to contribute.
> I appreciate the time you took to respond.  I figured it was at least worth asking the question since it looked like a way for us all to gain something.  I'd be happy to answer any questions if I haven't explained my case clearly or if there is any interest in continuing a discussion about LGPL.
> Regards,
> Jay

It's easy to make requests like this, even though i find your 
explanation as to why you think VxWorks users (what vxworks users would 
even know of flashrom?) will not use flashrom rather hairy. It's not 
nearly so easy to actually make such a change, as such a license change 
entails getting permission from all individual contributors.

So, here is the deal, a deal that i think most people on this ml would 
wholeheartedly agree with: if _you_ want LGPL, _you_ get to sollicite 
all individual contributors.

Luc Verhaegen.

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