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Re: Linux Core Consortium

me> binutils and modutils both depend on it.

Bruce> On flex? No. At least not in unstable.

sorry, I meant to write Build-Depend.

me> Or is the LCC proposing to standardize on a set of binaries without
me> specifying the toolchain that's used to reproduce them?

Bruce> Linking and calling conventions should be standardized and should
Bruce> survive for reasonably long. We need to know what we use to build the
Bruce> packages, but we are not currently proposing to standardize development
Bruce> tools on the target system.

Agreed there needn't be development tools on the target system.  But
the development system itself needs to be fully and accurately
specified, both among the participating distros and to the end users. 
That's what it takes to satisfy the letter of the GPL, at least as I
read it, and it's certainly the standard to which Debian packages are
held.  It's going beyond the level of effort that has historically
been put into binary distributions, but I don't think it's too much to
ask in this context.

me> Not having a policy is also a choice.  For a variety of reasons, a
me> written policy about legal and technical issues can be a handicap to
me> the sort of calculated risk that many business decisions boil down to.

Bruce> "The sort of calculated risk that many business decisions boil down to"
Bruce> is too vague to have meaning. What you may be groping at is that some
Bruce> publicized policy can be taken as a promise. The organizations
Bruce> participating in LCC have chosen to make such promises.

I wasn't groping, I was trying to leave it to the reader's imagination
rather than rehash old flamewars.  On the legal side, for instance,
some distros have been known to be cavalier about GPL+QPL and
GPL+SSLeay license incompatibilities.  On the technical side,
expecting releases to be self-hosting can constrain release timing
relative to toolchain changes.

I tend to be skeptical of promises that I think are logically
contradictory.  Promising ISVs that they need only test against
"golden" builds, while promising end users the Four Freedoms, doesn't
add up.

Note that if Distro X distributes both NonFreeWareApp and glibc, and
only offers technical support on NonFreeWareApp to those who don't
recompile their glibc, then Distro X's right to distribute glibc under
the LGPL is automatically revoked.  (IANAL, etc., etc., but I don't
see much ambiguity in this.)

- Michael

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