[Aboriginal] aboriginal

John Spencer maillist-aboriginal at barfooze.de
Fri Oct 7 22:55:56 PDT 2011

On 10/06/2011 09:22 PM, Rob Landley wrote:
> On 10/05/2011 05:21 PM, John Spencer wrote:
>> 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.
> Oh I'm mirroring all the gplv2 stuff (and possibly some bsd stuff) at
> http://landley.net/aboriginal/mirror
> I've spoken to Eben Moglen (co-author of both GPLv2 and GPLv3) about
> this when I visited the SFLC's office in New York (which was handling
> the busybox license enforcement lawsuits), and he _almost_ convinced me
> that GPLv3 wasn't worth opposing.
indeed, seems to much effort, or leaves you behind with outdated sw...
> But what he couldn't convince me was that it was actually required.  The
> FSF did it as a giant ego trip, they trod all over the Linux community,
> and I am _NOT_ a GNU developer.  I'm a Linux developer.  The
> GNU/Linux/Dammit crusade is an attempt to write history; Linux was a
> reaction to Andrew Tanenbaum's Minix (and 0.0.1 was written under it),
> and has no more relationship to the gnu project than FreeBSD, Solaris,
> AIX, or MacOS X do.
> Computer history is a hobby of mine, and I wrote up some of the REAL
> history on this topic (as I understand it) last year:
>    http://landley.net/notes-2010.html#17-07-2010
>    http://landley.net/notes-2010.html#19-07-2010

interesting read.
afaik unix systems were relatively uncommon here in europe and only got 
popular with linux.
so you don't really learn about that kind of history.

> Linus used the FSF as a tools vendor in _exactly_ the same way the Sun
> developers did, but he didn't try to claim GNU/Solaris.  (Even when Ian
> Murdoch got hired to do project Indiana, which was opensolaris with
> mostly FSF packages for the root filesystem!)
> That said, the third parties like Code Sourcery who actually write new
> code push that code upstream under the project's current license, and
> since the FSF successfully recaptured EGCS stuff like armv7 and
> microblaze support is either in external forks or only in newer versions
> of gcc/binutils after the gplv3 switch.  And pcc and llvm/clang have a
> long way to go to build a workable Linux system even under x86...
oh, i actually expected clang to be mature enough to build the kernel.
>>>>> blog/2009/12/15/23/2) 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
> After almost two decades of dealing with it (EMX under OS/2, baby!) I
> understand the nooks and crannies of GPLv2 pretty darn well.  I don't
> pretend to understand GPLv3 in that detail, and don't want to.  It's a
> much bigger and more complicated license.
> Plus, most of what I distribute _isn't_ FSF code, and the versions I do
> are older versions they're less interested in defending.  I'm limiting
> my exposure to the crazy people.
>> 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.
> He did a bog standard debian derivative.  All that stuff was extensively
> documented in Debian already.
>> 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.
> The FSF has lawyers (although Moglen got fed up with them and left to
> form a new organization, the SLFC).  This guy was a garage operation
> that did not have the budget to even show up in court and plead "not
> guilty" with representation other than a public defender.
> It's the same way patent trolls shake down small companies for payments
> because defending against a patent lawsuit _when_you_succeed_ costs on
> average over $2 million per instance, and a lot of small businesses
> either can't afford or think it's good busienss to settle for 1/10th of
> that.
> The FSF was threatening to sue this guy, which would have bankrupted him
> long before a verdict.

well, maybe, but they didn't sue him in the end.

>> 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.
> Did I mention that when that happened I was coincidentally working a
> brief contract at cisco (a couple months, helping them set up their new
> open source strategy)?
>    http://landley.net/notes-2008.html#05-12-2008
> I had gotten to know the developers quite well (I was working directly
> with the remaining guys who had moved to california when Cisco BOUGHT
> Linksys in the first place), and when it went down I got their side of
> the story?
> Trust me, the FSF was talking out of its ass here.  It led to me washing
> my hands of the SFLC:
>    http;//landley.net/notes-2009.html#15-12-2009


>>      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.
> Hi, I'm the guy who introduced BusyBox and the SFLC and was the plantiff
> in about half a dozen lawsuits in the US and even one in Europe.  We
> very much proved that GPLv2 is enforceable in court, it had nothing to
> do with the FSF, and the FSF's actions put a stop to my participation in
> such activities.
> They did it because once again, they were utterly irrelevant and felt
> left out, so they struck out blindly to grab the spotlight.  The end
> LINUX DEVELOPMENT ENTIRELY.  (Outsourced what they couldn't immediately
> kill to Red Hat, if I recall.)

ok. thats somewhat unfortunate, if it really was only about the realtek 

>>      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...
> A) A large chunk of the linksys routers don't run Linux, they run some
> other embedded micro-OS outsourced from Taiwan that fits in 2 megs of
> flash.  (This is why they came out with the WRT54GL with the L standing
> for Linux, for the people who wanted something to install OpenWRT or
> similar on back before 8 gazillion other companies had cloned it.)
> B) Development on the Linux stuff has ceased and the Linux engineers I
> knew no longer work for the company.  Cisco still owns the Linksys name
> and the old products they'd already developed still exist, but it's not
> updated (except for security fixes, which are outsourced).
>>> 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...
> If you think that Linus is particularly influenced by that, you don't
> know him very well.  (And Samba switched to GPLv3 years ago, corporate
> types continue to use it anyway because it interfaces with Windows and
> they want to do that.  Linux has not, and won't.)
> Rob


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