Structure of package /man
Stephen J. Turnbull
stephen at xemacs.org
Wed Jun 8 07:06:50 EDT 2005
>>>>> "David" == David Kastrup <dak at gnu.org> writes:
David> Quoting from the GPL:
David> The source code for a work means the preferred form of
David> the work for making modifications to it.
The intent of that passage is clearly to prevent distribution of
obfuscated sources, not to create special privileges for the upstream
vendor to specify "preferred form" to the detriment of downstream
As far as I can tell, your interpretation of that phrase prohibits
partial redistribution of the sources, and prohibits any
reorganization that would make the upstream Makefile fail to produce
working executables. Both are restrictions incompatible with software
David> There are no scripts or other files (like XEmacs.rules or
David> similar) whatsoever included that would be needed for
David> rebuilding the package in any manner.
The GPL doesn't require that users be able to rebuild the _package_.
It requires that they be able to rebuild the _program_.
David> It can't be used for recreating our source ....
The GPL does not require that a derivative support recreating upstream
sources, and trying to require that is entirely against the spirit of
free software. I'm astonished by your interpretation.
David> Fine, but some things are definitely necessary for creating
David> an XEmacs package, and you include nothing whatsoever. It
David> is not possible to drop the package in its current form
David> into an XEmacs package source tree and recompile it.
The GPL doesn't require that derivatives support that, not even for
their own distribution format. It requires that if you distribute a
working copy of the program, and the recipient wishes to change its
behavior, she must have access to the sources ("preferred form for
modification") of the objects that produce that behavior, as well as
any interfaces, scripts, etc, required to produce objects that
generate the _behavior_.
Your interpretation evidently goes far beyond that, well into non-free
School of Systems and Information Engineering http://turnbull.sk.tsukuba.ac.jp
University of Tsukuba Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
Ask not how you can "do" free software business;
ask what your business can "do for" free software.
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