Hi Tiago,

Thanks again for the response.

I originally arrived at graph-tool because I was thinking about making a wrapper around boost graph library for the functionality I need and found that you already did that quite some time ago (and its mature, bug fixed, and usable).

I wouldn't be maintaining two versions of the whole platform, only of the graph analysis service (but yes, it still sounds like a headache!)

Since you asked "why would I do that?", I thought I'd explain myself a bit, in-case you're curious or maybe have a different perspective you'd like to share:

( TL;DR - As the only person I know of who has written a python wrapper for BGL, would you be able to give me a few words about how 'hard' it is? Was this a fairly trivial part of graph-tool or a pretty huge part of the work? If I only need a few of the algorithms will this make much difference to the overall effort? )

I wanted to go with a BSD license (among other reasons) because I believe it paradoxically protects my project from being ripped off better than the GPL would.
The system is a functional PoC for several interesting brand new ways of analysing the security of system architectures, which I hope will live on as a proper tool my colleagues will use and enjoy.
If my code is GPL then proprietary companies will, if use becomes widespread, take the ideas and re-implement them (being unable and/or unwilling to contribute back).
If my code has a BSD license then it would be more economical (and legally feasible) for them to work off my code base and contribute improvements back as they integrate it with their products/appliances etc.
Therefore I think if I use the GPL the ideas will flourish but my project will become a footnote in the history of that, whereas if I use BSD license I think it would live long and prosper. I think the Boost guys went with BSD style license instead of GPL style license because it gave them the best chance at being the de-facto libs for the things it covers. For example, you certainly found it useful to be able to choose your own license, and I suppose may not have used Boost graph libs if their license terms forced you to use Boost's own license (as you want a GPL style license).

Ideally my project could receive the support of proprietary vendors as well as the public community, as I think this gives it the best chance. 
* Metasploit had a BSD license and when bought by Rapid7 the source remains open and the community very active (although there is an extra closed source component - pro version). A pentester can still use everything they need for free.
* Nessus had a GPL license and when bought by Tennable they closed the whole thing and the community died, A pentester can't get any functionality from it without a very expensive license.
* Nipper was written by one of my friends/colleagues and released under GPLv3. Most of the security community use it to analyse firewalls but no-one contributed code or even money for new devices so he can support them etc. (even though a huge amount of money was being made by using it). Because of this he had the choice of either stagnating the project or turning it into a company, which is now very successful and all the developments he dreamed of are being done. I believe he would have had more code support and therefore perhaps have stayed open if he had originally released with a BSD license, but no-one really knows what alternative histories would have looked like.

I will have to think a bit more about this. Its quite likely that in future I'd want to share datastructures with the graph service in future, or even expose a direct API whereupon the GPL might start to 'infect' the rest of the project.
Given what we have discussed I therefore have to decide between 3 options:
1. Don't worry about all the above thoughts, just go ahead and GPL the lot so as to go back to not worrying about which components have which license
2. Do worry about the above, maintain two versions of the graph service with different licenses, hope future architectural decisions don't land me in the GPL trap.
3. Do worry about the above, write my own BGL wrapper and hope its not too hard to make/maintain, but still retain ability to choose the license for all my code (and not worry about which bits have which license).

As the only person I know of who has written a python wrapper for BGL, would you be able to give me a few words about how 'hard' it is? Was this a fairly trivial part of graph-tool or a pretty huge part of the work?

Thanks very much for your time,


On Mon, Aug 3, 2015 at 7:14 PM, Tiago Peixoto [via Main discussion list for the graph-tool project] <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 03.08.2015 18:57, monkeynut wrote:

> From what I understand I can keep the original networkx version of
> this service and also develop a graph-tool version, the former staying
> with a BSD license and the latter having a GPL license.
> However, one of my friends said that many would see that as "cheating"
> but it seems to be an intentional provision of the GPLv3 as far as I
> understand.
> How would you view that scenario? Would you be OK with it or would you
> be upset/feel violated? Would your position change if I couldn't keep
> up maintaining both versions?
There is nothing for me to feel violated about if you follow the terms
of the license. If you develop a piece of software that does not use
graph-tool in any way, there is absolutely no claim I can make. If you
decide to make a version that uses graph-tool, it needs to follow the
GPL. It is really very simple.

It seems like a headache to develop two versions of your platform. To
do so only in order to avoid the GPL seems really strange, in my
opinion. I know it is annoying to think about licensing, but think a bit
about this decision: You're going through the trouble of developing two
alternative versions of your code, just so that someone down the line
can avoid the terms of the GPL, i.e. turn it into proprietary code. Why
would you do that?

But it is up to you, of course.


Tiago de Paula Peixoto <[hidden email]>

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