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Re: No more ports of unfree software

On Tue, May 27, 2003 at 11:13:09AM -0500, Rick Pettit wrote:

> Sheesh,  learn to  build software  yourself. It's just  not that
> hard...

It's not quite that simple. The  ports system provides a clean way
of dealing with  software. Sure, building third-party applications
usually isn't too  hard. But first you have to  check the makefile
to be  sure that they're not  going to pollute /usr/bin  or create
/opt or  do other silly  things. Then you've got to  remember what
you  did a  year ago  when it  comes time  to upgrade. And  heaven
forbit you have to do all this to dozens or hundreds of computers.

By the  time you've  created the  tools to deal  with all  of this
cleanly, you've  re-invented the ports system. (Or,  you could use

Further, if you add up all the time that people waste on this kind
of stuff, when you could instead have one person create a port and
save everybody else the trouble....

If  it  really  does  cause   legal  problems  to  have  makefiles
describing how to fetch and  install software with murky licenses,
then  I  don't see  how  there  can be  a  choice  in the  matter.
Personally, that's what I thought permit* was for, but I'm neither
a lawyer nor porter.

If  permit*=NO  isn't  enough,  then what  happens  when  somebody
publishes a  Web page telling  people how to manually  install the
suspect software? Are they also setting themselves up for trouble?



Ben Goren

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