Source Distribution and the GNU GPL (NewsForge)
Posted Jul 18, 2006 3:31 UTC (Tue) by kirkengaard
In reply to: Source Distribution and the GNU GPL (NewsForge)
Parent article: Source Distribution and the GNU GPL (NewsForge)
A) There isn't a choice in the matter if you get a CD distribution. You must receive the source. Legal environment of software under the GPL and all that.
B) As a user of the bleeding edge, I do all of my Slackware installs from bootable DVDs burned from the -current tree. Because I value the project, I subscribe to the stable series CD set releases. I have a stack of five four-disc cases, three of which are still in shrink. I get my trees with wget and maintain them with rsync. So the whole thing is superfluous to me, but were I to be the sort that complains about not needing the source, I could simply get the directory containing the binaries and ignore the source directory. This is not an exclusive strategy; if you really, really don't want the sources to take up space (of whatever sort), just download the parts you want of whatever distro you use. Just realize that you can't pass them along to anyone without the sources, whereas I can drop my full-tree DVDs on anybody who wants a copy.
In the end, however, space and convenience of storage are not the principal issue here. The freedom of the recipient is greater when the source comes with the software, because the source *is* the software, and it is often also the best documentation on the software. God help you if you have to rebuild a package without it.
to post comments)