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Mail Archives: cygwin-apps/2002/04/19/10:34:32

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Date: Fri, 19 Apr 2002 10:20:11 -0400
From: Earnie Boyd <earnie_boyd AT yahoo DOT com>
Reply-To: Earnie Boyd <Cygwin-Apps AT cygwin DOT com>
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To: Charles Wilson <cwilson AT ece DOT gatech DOT edu>
CC: Robert Collins <robert DOT collins AT itdomain DOT com DOT au>,
Corinna Vinschen <cygwin-apps AT cygwin DOT com>
Subject: Re: strange source packaging?
References: <FC169E059D1A0442A04C40F86D9BA7600C5E7A AT itdomain003 DOT itdomain DOT net DOT au> <3CC0142C DOT 3000707 AT ece DOT gatech DOT edu>

Charles Wilson wrote:
> Robert Collins wrote:
> > And the GPL requires us to document the changes made - if we have the
> > patch pre-applied, with no reverse patch, then this isn't the case.
> > Asking folk to go elsewhere to get that 'pristine' source puts the onus
> > on the upstream to make that available, which we can't do - for the same
> > reason that folk that ship cygwin1.dll need to host their own copy of
> > the source.
> At the risk of wading into yet another GPL argument -- I don't think the
> GPL requires documentation of the entire provenance of changes relative
> to some external source; it's just the polite thing to do.
> All the GPL requires is that you distribute THE source that YOU used to
> build THE binary YOU distribute.  That's it.

<Section 2.a>
You must cause the modified files to carry prominent notices stating
that you chaned the files and the date of any change.
</Section 2.a>

A differences file alone doesn't accomplish.  You must state in the file
header (a prominent place of notice) that you changed the file.  Now how
many of us do that?  Instead we use a ChangeLog to note the changes to
the files.  The GPL itself doesn't give exception for this method. 
However, since the Copyright holder, Redhat, uses the ChangeLog method
for file change notification then it can be argued that the Copyright
holder gave the exception to the license so it can continue without
change as far as Cygwin is concerned.  But the FSF is the copyright
holder the most of the other packages we distribute, have the changed
files been given appropriate prominent notice?

Back to the subject at hand, source packaging and the con to Robert's
argument.  I can in my wisdom download the individual binary and
accompaning source.  At that point I should be able to rebuild an
exacting duplicate from the source package with supplied scripts found
within the source package (autoconfiguration).  Therefore having
setup.exe perform any patches by downloading only the patch doesn't meet
the criteria layed out by the GPL.  Nice thought, but not workable
within the wording of the GPL.

<Section 3, para. 5>
These requirements apply to the modified work as a whole.  If
identifiable sections of that work are not derived from the Program,
and can be reasonably considered independent and separate works in
themselves, then this License, and its terms, do not apply to those
sections when you distribute them as separate works.  But when you
distribute the same sections as part of a whole which is a work based
on the Program, the distribution of the whole must be on the terms of
this License, whose permissions for other licensees extend to the
entire whole, and thus to each and every part regardless of who wrote
</Section 3, para 5>


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