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Re: Web application licenses

Josh Triplett <josh.trip@verizon.net> writes:

> > Does the Department of Transportation need to make stoplight software
> > generally available?

> While I do think government software should always be Free Software and
> distributed to the public, I would not really classify that case as
> "direct interaction", or really "interaction" at all.

I don't see the distinction. A stop light with a sensor is just a 
simple multi-player game--you "push" a "key", and it changes the 
internal state of the "game", and if you hit it at the right time,
the "screen" changes color. 

What about elevator software? There's certainly direct interaction there.

> For example, suppose someone wanted to use GCC as a basis for the
> compiler for a new language, but they didn't want to release the source
> for it.  All they would need to do is make the changes, put them behind
> a web-accessible SOAP API, and tell people to use that for compilation

They could also write a translator from that language to C or Java 
bytecode and use GCC as a backend. They could also make the compiler 
free and make the library proprietary (a compiler for "E" used to do 
this with GCC). Besides the computering power needed to run this, how 
many people are eager to use a proprietary language where you have to 
submit all your code to the company?

If the website invokes a bash script that invokes sed, recode, GCC, 
gas and ld, which if any of those seven programs did the user directly
interact with?

David Starner -- dvdeug@debian.org
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