F21 System Wide Change: BerkeleyDB 6

Jerry James loganjerry at gmail.com
Thu Apr 24 15:22:59 UTC 2014

On Thu, Apr 24, 2014 at 8:50 AM, Kevin Fenzi <kevin at scrye.com> wrote:
> Yeah, which makes technical sense... but the concern is packagers who
> aren't paying attention rebuild for some other reason and are not on v6
> when it's a licensing problem. ;(

I need some advice on how to handle this for XEmacs, which is a GPLv3+
package.  It provides some optional database functionality, but the
underlying database can be any of libdb, gdbm, or postgresql.  When I
first turned this on for Fedora, in response to a request in bz
581614, I chose libdb for reasons that I no longer remember.  So now I
need to choose between:
- libdb (going to AGPLv3+)
- gdbm (GPLv3+)
- postgresql (PostgreSQL, essentially MIT)

Does the fact that multiple database implementations can be used mean
that the coupling is loose enough that the libdb license won't taint
XEmacs proper?  If not, then I would rather migrate away from libdb
than deal with the possible licensing consequences.  But then I have
to deal with user databases that are already in libdb format, and
hence cannot be read by the new XEmacs build using gdbm or postgresql.
 That's the part I don't know how to handle.  Do I provide some
automated migration capability?  I suspect that won't ever work
properly, because I don't have any way to discover where all such
possible databases are located.  Do I put up big warning signs
somewhere that say: "You must convert all of your XEmacs databases
before updating to Fedora 21, and here is a recipe to do so?"  (And,
to be honest, I have no idea what that recipe would be.)

Thanks in advance for any advice.
Jerry James

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