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Re: 25+2 packages with (Glade) generated C source files without the source

Others have explained why this is not a critical bug in this specific
case.  (Although as an aside it seems quite incomprehensible to me
that these projects, and Gnome in general, have effectively thrown
away the source!)

But there was one misunderstanding here which I think is important to

Manterola writes ("Re: 25+2 packages with (Glade) generated C source files without the source"):
> On Sat, Aug 30, 2008 at 10:17 PM, Sami Liedes <sliedes@cc.hut.fi> wrote:
> > [ stuff ]
> No.  .c files are still source code.

This is not correct.  `Source code' means (in the words of the GPL)
the preferred form for modification.  In many programs the .c code is
automatically generated from some other input in the source tree.
Compilers for some languages even work by translating the source code
to C and feeding it to a C compiler.

The output from code generators and language translators is not
source, even though it may be in C (or some other language that humans
sometimes write).  So Sami was right to suspect that there was a
serious problem here and to investigate.

Whether something is source or not cannot be determined simply by
looking at which language it is written in.  The question is: if we
wanted to edit this, which file would we need to change ?

If someone somewhere still has the input file, and is generating new
versions of the output, then the input file is still the preferred
form for modification.  If the input file is completely lost, or the
output file has been directly edited to the point where the input file
is no longer relevant, then the output file has become the source

I would say that _at the time when these projects were first shipped_
in this state, it _was_ a clear violation (both of our principles and
of the GPL) to do so.  If we had noticed at the time that the source
was missing, and insisted that it was provided and that the package
should be built from it, the source would not now be lost.

> We might ask authors to include their .glade files, IF they still have
> them (if they don't, then the .c files have already become the actual
> source code).

If the .glade files can still be found, and the glade2 translator
resurrected and plumbed back into the build system of these programs,
we would be in a much better position.  As Sami says, many of these
programs are effectively immutable because editing the autogenerated C
is impractical.

But that's a lot of work.  I'm not sure it can be done sensibly in
time for lenny.  If such changes _can_ be made in time then they're
probably pretty safe.  After all the output from glade2's code
generator can be compared with the current manually-edited files.  I'm
not sure if the RMs would agree :-).


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