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

Re: GPLed software with no true source. Was: Bug#402650: ITP: mozilla-foxyproxy

Don Armstrong wrote:
> The bright line is actually pretty straight forward: Do you modify the
> file with syntactic whitespace or the file without? Is it preferable
> to modify the file without the keyword expansion or with?

Preferable by whom? That is a matter of personal preference and taste,
where I as upstream might vary drastically from the recipients of the
code -- or from my own preferences the next day.

Personally, my current preferred form for modification of source code is
a subversion repository containing the entire history of the code.
Without the full history, the code can be hard to understand and work
with. That doesn't mean that I get to demand access to the repository or
claim that their code doesn't meet my preferences and is thus nonfree.

It's very dangerous to take a stance that any code that someone claims
has a different preferred form for modification is nondistributable
under the GPL. This allows anyone slander upstream and get their code
considered unusable. It allows upstreams to lie about their development
practives and damage us by forcing us to drop their entrenched code.

Far better is to consider the actual code, not statements made about how
that code came to be. Is the code understandable? Can the code be
modified by others? Is the code truely licensed under a DFSG free
license? Then the code is suitable for inclusion in Debian, no matter
what statements anyone may make about how the code came into being.

see shy jo

Attachment: signature.asc
Description: Digital signature

Reply to: