[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: No more ports of unfree software

> Date: Sun, 25 May 2003 22:24:17 +0200
> From: Nikolay Sturm <sturm@sec.informatik.tu-darmstadt.de>
> * Christian Weisgerber [2003-05-25]:
> > I think after the hackathon there is a fair bit of consensus among
> > porters that we want to put the brakes on ports of software that we
> > can't at least put up for FTP.  I would like to remind everybody
> FWIW, I disagree on this one. To me the ports tree is a nice
> infrastructure to get 3rd party software installed on my system. I don't
> care about distribution rights insofar, as I primarily want to use
> software, not distribute it. I see packages as just a means to install
> the software, they are useful for distribution, that might even be their
> original meaning, but that's not the light I see them in.

Actually, the original meaning of ports was just that, a way to make
it easy for OpenBSD users to *use* 3rd party software.
Redistributable packages is just yet another step of making it even
simpler.  However, some people still want to build their own packages,
for various reasons, thus not caring about redistribution.

I understand the drift of preferring really free software in the ports
tree, although I cannot say I totally support it.  To me that
contradicts with another of OpenBSD's goals: freedom from politics.
Now, I cannot say I cannot get by without this or that port being in
the port tree.  I know how to make stuff I need work myself.  But I do
like being able to use ports as the first choice of installation method.

The problem is, as always, where to draw the line?  What software to
we really want to get political about, and make political actions and
statements about.  Are bad redistribution licenses enough?  I am not
so sure.  Sure, we don't like them, but it's not a critical problem
for all of our users, if they cannot get the precompiled packages, as
long as they can build their own.  Things like native Sun Java will
have to stay outside our ports tree (I guess stuff like Opera needs to
be revisited too).  Not that it's an unsolvable problem, others can
setup another ports repositories carrying non-redistributable ports'
ports (i.e. not packages or distfiles).  I just find it a bit tough on
our users, and I bet they won't understand that this hassle they get
is due to we knowing their best and want to change the world and
punish bad licenses :-)

Just my $.02,