interpreted language specific open source license ?

Herko Coomans herko at
Fri Mar 4 12:11:40 UTC 2005

Excuse me if this has been dealt with previously, but so far I have been 
unable to find a satisfying answer to my problem.

I'm the project manager for the XOOPS open source development project. 
XOOPS is a php script that lets you create a portal website easily. It's 
one of the php-nuke forks, if you're looking for some kind of 

The problem we have is this: XOOPS is released under the GNU GPL 2.0 
license. XOOPS is object oriented and modular, meaning the core provides 
many methods for modules to use (membership management, ACL, rendering, 
caching etc.). Recently we've had some discussion on when a module is to 
be considered 'part of the whole program', and therefore licensed under 
the GPL as well. Some people say that as long as it doesn't include any 
of the GPL code *in the release*, it's ok. We say that this is not true, 
and that our interpretation is that if the module *depends* on the GPL 
code to function as intended, then it cannot be run standalone without 
the GPL code, and should be considered as part of the whole program. The 
GPL itself talks about dynamic library linking or something like that 
(I'm not a developer), but this is geared towards compiled languages, 
where the availability of the source code is not as default as it is 
with interpreted languages like PHP.

Does anyone know of a good open source license geared towards 
interpreted languages like php scripts? Or is the GPL clear enough on 
this issue and have I missed something completely?

Herko Coomans Project Manager
Chairman of the XOOPS Foundation

[e] herko at
[a] P.O.Box 75, 7400 AB, Deventer, The Netherlands
[t] +31 64 833 64 34
[f] +31 84 747 05 50

XOOPS: Open Source dynamic web Content Management System

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