[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Meaning of `source code'

In article <199711040950.BAA24605@ceramic.fifi.org>,
Philippe Troin <phil@fifi.org> wrote:

>So now, smalleiffel seems to be DFSG-compliant (in the text, we say "The
>program must include source code, and must allow distribution in source
>code as well as compiled form." In the spirit, this is completely wrong
>and smalleiffel belongs to non-free I think.  Maybe we should enhance the
>DFSG to specify that the source code we want musn't intermediate source
>code (that is we don't accept assembler nor eiffel-generated C-code).

I would argue that intermediate code isn't source code, even if it's
in a language that we might write source code in -- that is, source
code is what's written by the programmer.  Some programs have assembly
source code, but the assembly generated by gcc-cc1 isn't source code.
An already-preprocessed C program is not source code...

Has anyone else noticed that the DFSG doesn't specify that the tools
used to build the program must be free; I think that should be mended
while we're about it...

I suggest that DFSG item 2 should be modified as follows:

2.  Source Code

    The program must include full source code for itself and any tools
    required to build it, and must allow distribution in source code
    as well as compiled form.  However, if tools or pieces of source
    code required to build the program are available as free software,
    they need not be included with the program.  (Source code means
    the preferred form of the program for making changes to it -- for
    example, the C output of Flex or Bison does not count as source code,
    even though C is a language customarily used for writing source code.)

Is it reasonable to say that no program in a given language is free
unless there is a free compiler or interpreter for that language?

--Charles Briscoe-Smith
White pages entry, with PGP key: <URL:http://alethea.ukc.ac.uk/wp?95cpb4>
PGP public keyprint: 74 68 AB 2E 1C 60 22 94  B8 21 2D 01 DE 66 13 E2

TO UNSUBSCRIBE FROM THIS MAILING LIST: e-mail the word "unsubscribe" to
debian-devel-request@lists.debian.org . 
Trouble?  e-mail to templin@bucknell.edu .

Reply to: