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Re: AppleScript debian floppy maker script

Chris Tillman <toff@azstarnet.com> writes:
> A few months ago I put together a Debian floppy-maker script for usage
> on powerpc. The script depends on the MacOS-provided Applescript
> 'shell' and the scriptable Disk Copy program. The point was made
> before, that since these MacOS programs are not free (they come with
> all MacOS distributions), a script depending on them would not be
> Debian-distributable.

In some ways programs - especially the ones that come in the
distribution - are not much different than actual routines provided by
the kernel (the Mac Kernel in this case). Programs are just extensions
upon the system itself. When you get most (all?) distributions of
UNIX, you get a cc compiler. If, for example, you wrote a GPL program
for AIX that relied upon their version of cc, I don't see how anyone
could object: "IBM's version of cc isn't GPL'd!" So what? That's IBM's
problem not the author or the end-user.

The only objection that may be made is by some weird clause within
Apple's EULA, something like "You may use this Operating System
software to install another operating system." I know of no
EULA like that but perhaps there are some?

The properties and methods that a program exposes are fair game as far
as I'm concerned.

> I accepted that at the time, but I wonder, then, how we can distribute
> setlang.bat. (Aside from the point that with Lang-Chooser, AFAIK
> setlang.bat is obsolete.) Not to mention BootX and BootVars, which
> depend on MacOS resources also, although not separate MacOS programs
> like Disk Copy.

Indeed - since the OS is installed from disk and is not 'free', what
makes it so much different from a program that is installed with the

> So my question is, could/should we include MakeDebianFloppy.sit in the
> archive after all? The script itself is GPL. It really is pretty
> convenient, it's almost as easy to use as dd :-) . 

If someone were to right dd for the macintosh and you wrote a script
in AppleScript to do the same thing as what you're doing now, would
that make any difference? By that I mean, is AppleScript that much
different than DiskCopy in terms of licensing?

One has to draw the line somewhere and it only makes sense to use as
much of the the resources provided by the OS as needed - including the
programs that come bundled with it.

Just my two cents.


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