[sldev] GPL issues....

Marine Kelley marinekelley at gmail.com
Sun Aug 17 02:10:24 PDT 2008

I develop and release on Windows, VS2005 and I'm getting it the hard way,
thankyouverymuch :p

I don't have any patch management system, do not know what git is (yes I
know there is a thread about it in the list, didn't take the time to read it
yet), nor quilt, pristine tar, nor can manage a debian package to save my
life. Yes I work in the IT industry.

So here is what I suggest : let all the regular and well-organized Linux
developers maintain and release their own "tarballs", and all the other OS
devs like me can get stuffed. After all, who needs VS2005 anymore.
Maintaining open-source packages like this viewer is for serious people, not
for us peons.

And about Henri, I do understand his way of working. He wants people to be
able to pick the patches they want, especially since most patches on his
site are not his own. If he made a monolithic bundle he would be accused of
absorbing other people's work, or to at least not be flexible enough. So his
way of releasing may not be GPL-compliant (mine isn't either), but it's much
more practical.

2008/8/17 Robin Cornelius <robin.cornelius at gmail.com>

> Marine Kelley wrote:
> > In an ideal world, an open-source dev releases their binaries AND the
> > EXACT source code and makefiles to reproduce the EXACT same binary. Why
> > ? Just so the end-user can check that the binaries they downloaded are
> > exactly what is advertised with an MD5 hash or some other signature. It
> > is all too easy to distribute flawed binaries (with a little keylogger
> > here, a short dial home there) and clean source code along with it. Most
> > people tend to think that "this is ok" to download a binary if the
> > provided source code seems clean, but it's like agreeing to buy a house
> > just from the pictures.
> >
> > Unfortunately this is not possible with the SL viewer. Far too clumsy,
> > maintaining a custom viewer over different SL versions is already quite
> > tedious. Some parts of the SL viewer are not even open-source, and a
> > full viewer compressed is 60Mb compared to just 6Mb for just a
> > compressed exe (which is only what the user needs). So try to enforce
> > that and the number of custom viewers around will be dramatically
> > reduced. Only companies would be able to maintain that, and to me it's
> > the contrary of the goal of open-sourcing a product.
> I completely disagree, I maintain my git tree in sync with my binary
> releases. At any given instant i can tarball an exact release version.
> In fact when i push a binary i automaticly push a debianised source as
> well and i know for a fact that some of my users pull the source file
> and build themselves. I also GPG sign the sources and the binaries so it
> is known that I created it.
> I maintain patches using a patch management system so its quick and easy
> to remove,update, add patches to the build and also reference the clean
> upstream source
> I could not work the other way around.
> The problems are caused by the tools used, git, quilt, pristine tar and
> friends make maintaining multiple custom viewer versions alongside
> upstream versions simple add in the debian package management tools and
> it becomes a breeze.
> I guess windows and visual studio does not really have these tools
> unless you either use cygwin to use the unix tools or use some clumsy
> front end to the tool.
> I also offer FULL downloads of a complete viewer package (minus the non
> free bits, which i strip in my build process).
> Oh and BTW i am not a company, i'm just a Debian package maintainer.
> Robin
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