[Aboriginal] aboriginal

John Spencer maillist-aboriginal at barfooze.de
Wed Oct 5 15:21:31 PDT 2011

On 10/04/2011 10:04 PM, Rob Landley wrote:
> 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".
hmm. that means you have to add a note to the linux distribution that a 
DVD containing the sources
can be ordered at address xy. or you just put up a download which 
contains all the sources.
that's slightly uncomfortable since it is more work, but not really a 
big problem, since you basically just have
to publish your already existing build environment plus some tarballs.
> 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:
>    http://lwn.net/Articles/193852/
>    http://landley.net/code/toybox/licenserant.html
>    http://landley.net/notes-2008.html#13-12-2008

i've read that all, but it doesn't seem unnecessarily cruel.
a) both cases are about GPL 2 / LGPL 2, not GPL 3
b) in the case of the mepis distribution (which is commercially 
oriented) the guy obviously missed to provide proper
     build scripts to let the user easily change his code. i don't see 
any reference to a court trial or similar, it looks
     more as if the FSF just contacted the guy and told him to change 
his stuff, which he obviously did.
c) the cisco case: it seems the FSF was trying to talk with cisco for 
about 2 years to get them to provide source and
     build scripts for every piece of GNU sw they used.
     since cisco didn't manage to do that, it was actually necessary to 
go to court, to prove that the GPL is not a farce
     but something to care about, even for big business.
     if cisco had followed the instructions received by the FSF, they 
had gotten away with the costs of one salary for the
     open source officer.
     additionally, i can still get linksys routers at the local computer 
store. so the linux business of cisco was not
     really destroyed...

>>> 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:
>    http://lkml.indiana.edu/hypermail/linux/kernel/0009.1/0096.html
> And explained his reasoning in later posts over the years, some of which
> are collected here from 2002:
>    http://yarchive.net/comp/linux/gpl.html
> 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:
>    http://lwn.net/Articles/200422/
well i guess switching to GPLv3 could have really pissed of the majority 
of corporate kernel investors (intel et al.),
so that was never a real option...
> 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.
> Rob


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