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Re: license of the plist format
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Re: license of the plist format

On Dec 27, 2004, at 12:59 PM, Michael Roitzsch wrote:
I want to write an application licensed under the GPL which will run on Linux,
Windows and Mac OS X. Since my application is going to use configuration
files, I looked for a format already in use, so I would not have to reinvent
the wheel. I found the plist format used by Apple and I like it.

But since my application will have to run on platforms other than Mac OS X, I
will need to implement my own plist parser, so the question arises, what
license the plist format is bound to? Can I read and write Apple-style plists
from GPL'ed code and can I include the link to the DTD
("";) into the plists my
application creates?

Obviously I cannot give a definitive answer.

However, Apple's Core Foundation property-list management API is all included with Darwin. That is, all of the code for CFPropertyList* functions, along with the CF data types needed for property lists, is open-sourced under terms of the APSL. I'd wager that's your answer right there, and probably the easiest solution as well. Not only could you use the plist format, you could use it with Apple's own source code. No need to even bother with your own parser, Apple will give you theirs.

It's at Apple's Darwin site, and at Look under src/CoreFoundation/.

But again, I'm not a lawyer...

Tom Harrington

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