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Re: [bug-gnu-libiconv] Compilation of iconv for Windows and licensing

From: Bruno Haible
Subject: Re: [bug-gnu-libiconv] Compilation of iconv for Windows and licensing
Date: Tue, 07 May 2019 20:05:13 +0200
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[CCing the mailing list]

Herbert Oppmann wrote:
> I am evaluating iconv version 1.15, because I need the library (not the 
> program) [...] According to the website and several comments, the library is 
> licensed under LGPL, while the program is licensed under GPL.
> For my use, LGPL is important, because opening the source code of our program 
> is no option.
> Building the library according to the notes in README.windows with MSVC 
> worked fine, but I noticed that the files woe32dll\export.h and 
> woe32dll\iconv-exports.c are compiled and linked to the library. The problem 
> is, that these two files are GPL instead of LGPL, which renders the whole 
> library to GPL, which is unacceptable for our case.

Oops, this was an oversight. I've fixed it through this commit now:

Thanks for the report. The same mistake was also present in
GNU libunistring.

> Currently, I am investigating 
> https://www.codeproject.com/Articles/302012/How-to-Build-libiconv-with-Microsoft-Visual-Studio
>  and https://github.com/pffang/libiconv-for-Windows to compile directly in 
> Visual Studio. From a license point of view this would be OK, since the VS 
> project and solution files as well as the modifications are under LGPL, but 
> actually I don't like it. I would rather use an open source component 
> directly and unmodified.

You can, of course, use MSVC to compile the library. One way to do it
is described in the INSTALL.windows file in libiconv-1.16. Doing the
same thing with a project file is unsupported (because I don't want
to spend time supporting Microsoft tools), but is perfectly OK if
you have the necessary knowledge.

Note the "distribution constraint" mentioned in the INSTALL.windows

> I've seen that a few days ago 1.16 was released. I'm currently
> unable to build the library in this version; compilation stops
> with an error.

If you report the details (configure options, compiler command line,
and error message), I might be able to guess the cause.


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