Hi all,

after a short discussion in a recent thread, I have a serious technical

Assume that (for some reason) I want to write an Org-mode exporter which
won't be GPL'd.  (Use-case: having written a few custom exporters, I'm
writing a tutorial on them, and I consider publishing a *tutorial* with
GPL'd code a Bad Thing™.  (The idea of a programming tutorial is that
other people can or even should reuse the code in the tutorial, right?
And I see no reason to impose GPL on them.))

How do I do that?  Is that even possible?  Also, is it possible to get
an actual answer to this question without spending money on lawyers?

The manual says:

| Your two entry points are respectively ‘org-export-define-backend’ and
| ‘org-export-define-derived-backend’.  To grok these functions, you
| should first have a look at ‘ox-latex.el’ (for how to define a new
| back-end from scratch) and ‘ox-beamer.el’ (for how to derive a new
| back-end from an existing one.

So basically you are expected to use existing GPL'd code to learn to
write new exporters.

Also, the overall structure of the exporters is extremally similar.  For
instance, the :menu-entry argument of org-export-define-backend is
almost the same for all exporters (and it should be, in order not to
break usability!).  Should I follow such conventions, in order to
satisfy users, or should I deliberately break it, in order to satisfy

Also, the names of functions (like `org-latex-export-as-latex' vs
`org-latex-export-to-latex') are similar across exporters.  Should I use
this convention, too, in order to satisfy fellow programmers, or should
I deliberately break it, in order to satisfy lawyers?

Also, the docstrings of many transcoders are similar.  How am I supposed
to write a docstring which is at the same time more or less
comprehensive and different enough from the existing ones, so that
I don't end up in jail?  (<--- this is actually a joke.  I hope so at

And so on.

Please refrain from comments about my stupidity or stupidity of the
so-called IP law.  And please understand that if I'm sounding a bit
angry in this email, it's because I'm *very* angry about this whole
lawyer mafia restricting my freedom (again).  (Note: I'm all for
restricting people's freedom when there are important reasons for that.
I just consider this situation not to be one of these.)


Marcin Borkowski
Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science
Adam Mickiewicz University

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