Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Rhino relicensed under MPL/GPL

Mozilla Foundation decided to relicense the Rhino JavaScript interpreter to use the MPL/GPL dual-licensing instead of NPL/GPL dual licensing. The reason is primarily that Apache Software Foundation published a 3rd-party licensing policy recently, and NPL was listed as "Excluded Licenses" in it, therefore prohibiting several Apache projects (Coccon, Batik) to redistribute Rhino in the future. MPL, on the other hand falls into Apache's "Binary Licenses Only" group, which'll allow those projects to bundle Rhino binaries with their distributions. Also, Mozilla's lawyers concluded that Mozilla has the legal power to change the licensing from NPL/GPL to MPL/GPL easily, so it looks like the best solution for the time being.

I plan to release the latest stable branch as Rhino 1.6R5 soon. The binaries will be completely identical to 1.6R4, the only difference being that they'll be recompiled from relicensed source, thus the line number tables in classfiles will reflect the difference in length of the boilerplate license code on top of each source file. Apache folks can then include Rhino 1.6R5 instead of Rhino 1.6R4 binaries in their project distributions, or if they're impatient they can compile it themselves from the "Rhino1_6R3_PATCH" branch in the CVS. (Of course, CVS HEAD is now MPL as well.)

3 comments:

David Fu said...

That is great!! It is a pity lgpl was not included, but now, the Apache guys can get to play with it;)

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