[Biopython-dev] Developmental policies

Tiago Antão tiagoantao at gmail.com
Tue Jan 13 12:34:56 UTC 2009

> I think we must be explicit in this and ensure that any accepted code is
> BSD-compatible because we can not ensure what people really know. Further
> the license of any application that Biopython interacts with must be clearly
> stated and the developer is responsible to get one if it does not have one.
> That way we know what is included and should help users as well in terms of
> whether or not they can use some application.

A point is not clear here to me: If you only interact with an (say
command-line and web-based) application, is there a problem if that
application has an unspecified license? There are 3 dimensions here
that I find important
1. If biopython interacts with a application with no license are there
possible liabilities with regards to the project? The same question in
regards to users?
2. I would remember that interaction might be library based (with
linking - where we know problems exist), command-line based (are there
any problems?) and web-based (are there any problems different from
the command-line case?).
3. I would suppose (for licensed non-free apps) that some licenses
might not be clear in regards to this kind of usage. Would it be
necessary to inspect the licenses in detail?

A strict view regarding software without licenses (ie, no interaction
at all) would require immediate removal of the fdist code (not very
important, it is the part that is probably not used by anyone). No
inclusion of LDNe code. And more importantly no STRUCTURE interaction
code and no Genepop interaction code (although the file format parser
that currently inside is OK).

So, the very pertinent question are:
1. Can biopython command-line interact with applications with no license?
2. Is biopython interacting with applications (command-line or web)
for which the license is not clear regarding interaction with

More information about the Biopython-dev mailing list