Re: binary-alpha and binary-sparc directories
On Sat, 6 Jan 1996, Ian Jackson wrote:
> There's no problem, btw, with having several source versions in the
> FTP site. We should only delete an old source version when all the
> old binaries have been replaced with the new ones (this is a GPL
> requirement, amongst other things).
That clarification about multiple-version source packages
provided a missing piece of the puzzle for me. As I read the
GPL, we're prohibited from distributing alternate architecture
binary packages which require source code modifications unless
the modified source code is available for distribution as well.
Perhaps there's not a strict requirement that the sources
be available at the time when the binary appears, but we must
be able to provide them. When source changes are introduced
for packages with old-version binaries in distribution, we're
required to keep sources for these old-version binaries
available for three years or until we have later-version
binaries available which are built from later-version sources.
That seems to say that if a sparc-binary maintainer wishes to
release a binary whose primary maintainer is the i386-binary
maintainer, and the sparc-binary introduces modifications to
the source code, it'd be necessary for the primary maintainer
to modify his sources to incorporate the changes and release
the modified sources before the sparc-binary package could be
released. Ideally, the sparc-binary maintainer would download
the modified sources and build his for-release binary from them.
Alternatively, the sparc-binary maintainer could upload modified
sources. In that event, he'd then have become the primary
maintainer (possibly only until the i386 maintainer uploaded
an i386 package built from the new sources and resumed that
Also, if the older sources sources also support a Mac-binary
package maintained by a separate Mac-binary maintainer, the
old version sources supporting i386 + Mac would need to remain
available until a new Mac-binary package built from the newer
i386 + Mac + sparc sources appears.
Presuming a regular progression of version and release
numbering, so that earlier vs. later relationships can
be inferred from the version number, the effect of all of
that seems to be that all released binaries must have an
available source package with a matching version number.
That'd allow automated maintenance on the ftp site(s?), with
no binary package being placed into the distribution until
a matching-version source package is available, and with
source packages being eligible for deletion when the final
binary package with a matching version number is superseded
by a later version.
There seems to be one remaining wrinkle which is not covered
by this. As I read the GPL, we're required to keep sources
available for three years for GPL'd packages withdrawn from
the distribution without a later-version replacement.