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From Marc Slemko <>
Subject Re: [ANNOUNCE] Apache Module Contrib
Date Tue, 04 Aug 1998 17:14:34 GMT
On Tue, 4 Aug 1998, Dean Gaudet wrote:

> +1 for better contrib maintenance
> +1 for contrib living on (it will have a large set of
> mirrors already running for it) 
> +1 for including non-free stuff
> +1 for splitting non-free stuff into a non-free hierarchy (see
> for example, they have a non-free hierarchy) 

I do _not_ like this splitting out.  Debian does it and it is a royal
PITA.  "hmm, where will pine be... no, isn't under free.  Let me go check
non-free... no, isn't there either.  Hmm, let me check their web site.
Oh.  They don't like the license so won't distribute it."  Part of that is
the dumb package manager, but that is another matter...

I would suggest that the best way to do things is to have (as I described
a few months ago but haven't done anything on yet...) something very
similar to the FreeBSD ports; do not actually have the software be part of
the "port" as such, but have the port be strictly metadata required for
installation, with a reference to the source or binary.

For that free source which doesn't already have a well established, well
connected home then that reference can be to somewhere on the Apache site.
For that stuff which has source but isn't free enough to allow us to or to
make us want to distribute it, or that stuff which is binary only and we
don't want to distribute it, we simply have the port.  

This also avoids license agreements that prevent us from redistributing

We can, of course, have something that is part of the system that does
describe what sort of license agreement it is and make big bold notice of
those that aren't nice, etc.

What this does is make the ports system into a very lightweight thing that
doesn't require a huge amount of overhead for every port.  Once the
framework gets going, lots of people will contribute, authors will make an
"apache package" as a defacto part of their software, etc.

Anyone interested should look at the FreeBSD ports system, since I think
it is a good base idea to work from.  Using make isn't the way to go, but
that doesn't change the idea.  We also don't necessarily want to do
packages either; packages are binary builds of the ports.  The reason for
this, obviously, is that FreeBSD has one platform to build packages for we
have two zillion, nine hundred billion, sixty million, six thousand and
forty one.

OTOH, if we decided we wanted vendors to donate access to machines or
donate machines, then it wouldn't be too hard to automatically build them
without much hassle.

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