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Re: generated source files, GPL and DFSG

On Sat, Jul 23, 2005 at 12:40:00AM +0100, Matthew Garrett wrote:
> Florian Weimer <fw@deneb.enyo.de> wrote:
> >>From a technical point of view, Java bytecode is as good as
> > uncommented source code.  The Java-to-bytecode compilers are not very
> > sophisticated.
> We're happy to accept uncommented source code in main. If Java bytecode
> is as good as that, it would imply that we're happy to accept it in main
> as well.

Uncommented source is not the same as source with comments stripped to make
it harder to understand.

The former is merely potentially bad source code, but clearly source.  The
latter is obfuscation, and is not source at all.  Assuming what Florian
says is accurate, Java bytecode is not source any more than C code with
comments stripped, which would imply that Debian should not be accepting
it as source.

Of course, it can be difficult or impossible to tell the difference between
bad code and lightly obfuscated code, as with the nVidia driver.  Again,
that only means it's more difficult to determine if what you've been given
is really the source.

(And I also readily acknowledge that lightly obfuscated code is better than
none at all, but that's in the same vein as "slightly non-free is better
than onerously non-free"--better, but not good enough.)

Glenn Maynard

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