For Approval: Socialtext Public License ("STPL")

Lasse Reichstein Nielsen atwork at
Wed Mar 28 06:15:43 UTC 2007

On Mon, 12 Mar 2007 18:59:06 +0100, Matthew Flaschen  
<matthew.flaschen at> wrote:

> Lasse Reichstein Nielsen wrote:

> I guess what I meant was that in a "thin client", the server specifies
> the interface.  There may be slight variation because of browsers, but
> this is unintentional.
> With a thick client, the client specifies the interface and only pure
> data is exchanged (obviously the reality may be in between).  This fits
> my understanding of ATMs. I think only relatively simple data is
> exchanged over the network, and the interface is governed by client
> code, which can be changed without altering the server.
> I would only consider the user to be directly interacting in this "thin
> client" case.

>> - network, no gui: e.g., Server providing services only through Web
>> Service-interface.
> This would be what I called a thick client, and hopefully would not be
> covered (since the interface is entirely created by the client).

The distinction about who creates the user interface is only relevant
if the Coevered Code is in the part that creates it.

A Web Service can easily have a (thick?) client which is itself a
web server, which then provides a service to a user. If the Covered
Code is in the Web Service on server 1, but not in the web server/ws client
on server 2, is the user interacting with the Covered Code or not?

You can partition a program along any abstraction and connect the
parts using any appropriate data transfer protocol. Focusing user
interaction on only the user interface is probably not sufficient
to protect anything but the user interface.

I guess it's the same thing as making a GPL wrapper for a proprietary
hardware driver for use in the Linux kernel.

>> Could I split the code in two, so that neither
>> is complete and usable, and claim that neither is intended to interact
>> with users through a computer network (since clearly, it's not even  
>> able to)?
> No, because that's not as you received it.

Not for me, but what about the next guy who receives the two parts from me?

/L 'divide and corrupt :)'
Lasse R. Nielsen - atwork at
  'Faith without judgement merely degrades the spirit divine'
  Reproduction of this message, or parts thereof, is allowed if proper  
attribution is given.

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