[Aboriginal] aboriginal

Rob Landley rob at landley.net
Tue Oct 4 13:04:11 PDT 2011

On 10/02/2011 07:28 PM, maillist-aboriginal at barfooze.de wrote:
> On 09/27/2011 02:32 PM, Rob Landley wrote:
>> On 09/25/2011 10:39 AM, maillist-aboriginal at barfooze.de wrote:
>>> On 09/25/2011 07:09 AM, Rob Landley wrote:
>>>> On 09/24/2011 11:51 AM, maillist-aboriginal at barfooze.de wrote:
>>>>> hi, was playing around with aboriginal lately.
>>>>> since i haven't seen you on #uclibc lately, i thought i'd just write a
>>>>> mail...
>>>> I'm on the road at the moment, with limited internet access.  I get
>>>> home
>>>> the 27th.
>>>>> i was wondering why gcc 4.2.1 has been chosen (i know that 4.2.4 is
>>>>> the
>>>>> last one that builds without dependency libraries)
>>>> 4.2.1 was the last GPLv2 release.  I've built newer ones, but don't
>>>> distribute them.  I'll probably check in a script to do so at some
>>>> point, and add a config option for it.
>>> hmm... what's the difficulty with GPL v3 if i may ask ?
>> 1) It's not the license the Linux kernel is under, and is incompatible
>> with the Linux kernel.
> hmm, didnt know that. is that only for binary distributions ?

Pretty much all open source licenses only put conditions on binary
distribution.  Restricting source distribution means "you aren't
remotely open source".

That's why I've been pondering adding build scripts for more recent
binutils/gcc versions, but not shipping the resulting binaries.  (I
wouldn't mind so much if they hadn't added mpfr and such and made the
resulting builds _complete_different_.  Even though they're just
different versions of the same packages they don't build remotely the
same way, because the FSF is crazy.  So I'd have to maintain two
sources/sections/{gcc,binutils}.sh build scripts for those packages,
which seems silly.)

> how is it possible that you can get livecd's like ubuntu that have also
> GPLv3 stuff on em?

The same way you can have the proprietary binary-only flash plugin on
your livecd, that's "mere aggregation" according to the last paragraph
of GPLv2 section 2:

  In addition, mere aggregation of another work not based on the Program
  with the Program (or with a work based on the Program) on a volume of
  a storage or distribution medium does not bring the other work under
  the scope of this License.

>> 2) The FSF is crazy and I don't trust them to enforce anything after
>> they destroyed Linksys and chased Cisco out of the Linux business.
>> (Cisco outsources all Linux work now so as not to get any FSF copyrights
>> on them.)
>> Specifically, after what the FSF did to the Mepis distribution I know
>> they go after individuals.  (Mepis was an Ubuntu reskin that had
>> officially partnered with Ubuntu, had press releases from both sides to
>> that effect, and was relying on Ubuntu's upstream source repositories
>> for all the packages they hadn't modified.  The FSF sued the one
>> full-time guy doing Mepis for not mirroring all those unmodified source
>> packages.  I can send you links if you like.)
> hmm if thats true, that's pretty evil.

That's what I thought, yes:


>> 3) GPLv3 is an incredibly tone deaf license out of touch with the
>> development community: I had to point out to them that their
>> anti-tivoization crap meant that burning the code into ROM was violation
>> of the penultimate draft of the license.  (They fixed _that_ one but it
>> still implies that if I have a world of Warcraft account and the WOW
>> servers run BusyBox I can demand root access to their servers to upgrade
>> the version of busybox on it.)
>> 4) GPLv3 had no reason to exist, nothing ever rendered GPLv2
>> unenforceable so triggering the "lifeboat clause" in
>> GPLv2 was disingenuous at best.  The license was created because the FSF
>> had lost political relevance, and this was their only avenue to regain
>> leverage over the larger community.
>> 5) Bruce Fucking Perens drove me away from Busybox development by
>> trolling the busybox list about GPLv3 conversion, when we'd already
>> discussed it extensively and come to a decision on the 10-year old list
>> he'd never bothered to post on in the list's entire history.
>> 6) If somebody wants to use the Sun CDDL or OSI license they're welcome
>> to, but I don't.  It's yet more pointless license fragmentation pushed
>> by zealots at the expense of the pragamatists, and I'm not interested.
> yeah. the whole license stuff is pretty annoying.

I thought so, yes.

GPLv2 was 15 years old, well understood, and worked great.  Linus
Torvalds said "the linux kernel is under GPLv2 only" back in 2000:


And explained his reasoning in later posts over the years, some of which
are collected here from 2002:


And that extended to a lot of the kernel-developer tools like udev.

Then in 2006 (YEARS after the kernel locked down its license), the FSF
quoted Darth Vader from The Empire Strikes Back, "I am altering the
bargain, pray I don't alter it any further", and the Linux kernel
developers went "When we said we were sticking with GPLv2 we meant it",
the FSF guys said "you'll change", the Linux developers came out with a
statement that they wouldn't:


The FSF went ahead with v3 anyway, and fractured the community.  Jeremy
Allison went along with them switching the license on Samba, and then
later publicly said he regretted doing so.  A lot of projects (such as
QEMU and BusyBox) had to stay GPLv2 only because they'd incorporated
kernel code over the years...

It's a mess, and it's entirely the FSF's fault.  They are _insane_.

I'll reply to the non-license stuff next message.


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