I'm working on a project with the working title of "Ruby Automation 
Language" (Ruby AL). It's a component for Script Editor and friends on 
Jaguar that implements 'watch me' automation. That is, the user can 
open the Editor and a target application, click the record button, 
start working in the target application, and Ruby AL generates Ruby 
code to repeat her actions. It's a way to quickly script workflow in 
Ruby.

I want to release this under the Academic Free License Version 1.1. 
http://www.opensource.org/licenses/academic.php I am given to 
understand that the AFL is not compatible with the current version of 
the GPL though it may be compatible with the next version. It does seem 
compatible with Ruby's own license but IANAL.

My problem is that when I went to the FSF site for guidance, I found 
this:

<quote>
"What constitutes combining two parts into one program? This is a legal 
question, which ultimately judges will decide. We believe that a proper 
criterion depends both on the mechanism of communication (exec, pipes, 
rpc, function calls within a shared address space, etc.) and the 
semantics of the communication (what kinds of information are 
interchanged).

"If the modules are included in the same executable file, they are 
definitely combined in one program. If modules are designed to run 
linked together in a shared address space, that almost surely means 
combining them into one program.

"By contrast, pipes, sockets and command-line arguments are 
communication mechanisms normally used between two separate programs. 
So when they are used for communication, the modules normally are 
separate programs. But if the semantics of the communication are 
intimate enough, exchanging complex internal data structures, that too 
could be a basis to consider the two parts as combined into a larger 
program."
</quote>

This seems to be saying both "yes" and "no" to me because, in run mode, 
Ruby AL just opens a pipe to Ruby sends it the script. That's the 
point. Ruby AL is just a front end to *real* Ruby.

I'm asking Matz, as the copyright holder of Ruby, to give me a legal 
OK. I'd like the Ruby community to comment on the ethics. This would 
make Ruby a fairly intimate part of some very non-free software but it 
seems to me that WIN32OLE has already been down that road.
-- 
As an adolescent I aspired to lasting fame, I craved factual certainty, 
and I thirsted for a meaningful vision of human life - so I became a 
scientist. This is like becoming an archbishop so you can meet girls. 
-Matt Cartmill, anthropology professor and author (1943- )