David Kastrup writes:
Just in a different arrangement (isn't everything just an
of 0 and 1?), one that is not the preferred form for modification as
an ongoing development process.
The GPL makes no mention of "development process". "Preferred form"
refers to the *source language*, not to the organization of the
complete source. That's why the scripts needed to be explicitly
the receiving end is not the right question to answer with regard to
the spirit of the GPL.
You're confusing the spirit of the GPL with the spirit of the free
software movement. They are not the same. The GPL is a legal
document designed to preserve freedom, and therefore walks a fine line
balancing the restriction of freedom to distribute certain forms of
software (ie, binaries without source) against preserving the freedom
to receive source and to do with it whatever you please (including
things that upstream doesn't like).
The free software movement, on the other hand, does not hesitate to
condemn all kinds of perfectly legal behavior. Eg, making a deal with
prosecutors to get out of a foreign jail (RMS explaining why he called
Dmitri Sklyarov a traitor, remember?) Or exploiting the ASP loophole,
or exploiting the reluctance of monopolistic clients to redistribute
GPL code, in order to avoid public distribution of your derivative
There are links and cross references to the source code next to the
Of course not. The package binaries contain all the source that the
GPL requires, as I've told you several times. The link is to the
closely related CVS version of the XEmacs package distribution, which
is convenient for certain segments of the user population.
As of a couple hours ago. :-) Use FTP to log in anonymously to
and cd to pub/xemacs/packages. Or fetch
Anyway, how do you link an ftp- or http server to a CVS server?
(a) In a README, as above. (b) Directly via ViewCVS. For the latter,
see the table in http://www.xemacs.org/Develop/packages.html
In particular in a way facilitating development (not just
There you go again. You are not paying attention. Not to me and not
to the GPL.
The GPL is not and never was intended to *mandate* specific practices
to facilitate development. It is intended to preserve user freedom.
This has an important and intended side-effect of encouraging
development, access to existing proprietary code being the only thing
that would-be developers can't provide for themselves. Once you've
got the code, though, it's up to you to provide facilitation. That is
not an obligation imposed by the GPL on me.
Of course my wording here seems to put words in Richard's mouth. That
is an exaggeration for effect; I'm not very good at channeling
Richard. But I'm pretty sure that Richard will tell you that I've
basically got this right.
I think that this FAQ entry rather refers to the practice of
offering source and binary package archives, and some servers
mirroring only the binaries and providing links for the source.
Why do you think I mentioned legal review? Because your theory is
quite plausible, but there's a hole in the actual wording big enough
for two SUMOs to walk through side-by-side.
This is law. We don't pay attention to what the FAQ entry "refers
to", we pay attention to what it *says*. Of course the FSF can
explicitly tell us that the FAQ is a steaming pile of crap, and that
it intended to restrict permission to mirrors using the same protocol.
But until the FSF's lawyer does tell us so, we're golden, and once he
does, we're still protected from the worst consequences of copyright
infringement because we relied on the licensor's own public
statements about the meaning of the license language.
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