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From Pedro Giffuni <...@apache.org>
Subject Re: PROPOSAL (was Re: Category-B tarballs in SVN )
Date Mon, 16 Jan 2012 16:17:24 GMT
Hi Rob;

I specifically avoided answering to this on Sunday because
in my religious beliefs it is a day to rest and I didn't
really want to spend time on this.

Since the time this was posted I think I have seen the light
(TM) and I am willing to share it with you if you have the
patience.

The comments that follow are NOT meant for the faint of
heart if you are likely to have strong feelings about this
please STOP READING NOW. 

Also, if you are still here, remember ... don't kill
$MESSENGER.

--- Sab 14/1/12, Rob Weir <robweir@apache.org> ha scritto:

> 
> OK, though this is solving a problem we don't really have,
> right?
> Although we have not yet built a script to produce a source
> package per Apache rules, when we do it will not include
> any of the /ext-src modules, correct?  It won't include
> the category-a and it will not include the category-b
> either?  What would be the point, since the
> build script brings down what it needs via the bootstrap,
> per the configuration flags used?  So if we really want to
> give proper notice to the person downloading our source
> release, this needs to be done:

We do have to include Category-A in the release or the
release wont build. Separation has to happen.

Here is the first big flaw in your reasoning: there is no
such thing as a source release or a binary release, there
is simply a release.

Let me explain it this way: long, long ago, before the
Internet ever was, release engineers would talk about
preparing the distribution stuff they could put into
specific media as a Release. The media then was usually
tapes, later floppies, then CDs, and with the advent of
the Internet new forms of media appeared and new formats
corresponded to those distribution, ZIP files, .tar.gz
archives, you get the idea.

Eventually, new releases and updates were made available
by electronic means without dealing directly with tarballs
or zipfiles and the tendency is indeed to use such modern
methods when possible. One of such methods is called
"subversion" (SVN) and it has been very popular in the
advent of Opensource software, where the source code is
sometimes more important than the accidental binaries.

And the point here is: a release is not just what is
included in a source tarball or a zipfile it is
what is tagged and branched in SVN. Also, if you
check the documentation on how tags and branches
are created you will notice we have to clearly separate
what belongs to the release to what doesn't.



> 
> I have no objections if you want to shuffle things around
> in the directory structure, and update bootstrap logic
> accordingly.

"shuffling" things is not a problem but I don't think
updating the bootstrap logic was mandatory. Our releases
have to build on their own and as you note the sources for
Category B stuff are not included anyways, but let me point
out the second big failure in your reasoning.

As I said before there is no such thing as "source releases"
or "binary releases" and such terms don't appear anywhere in
the the Apache licensing policies:

http://www.apache.org/legal/3party.html

Now, this phrase concerning Category-B has received a particular
wrong reading:

"Code that is more substantial, more volatile, or not directly
consumed at runtime in source form may only be distributed in
binary form."

We, and particularly you, have read this as a prohibition to
include MPL'd code in "source release" but the truth is that
it is a prohibition to distribute Category-B software *at
all*. Distribution certainly includes subversion.

The point is further clarified:
"In addition, C-based projects may have difficulty using works
under these licenses since they would have to deal with
platform-specific binaries, rather than just distributing
source that can be built on most any platform."

This last clarification has an upside: we can include in
our releases (and therefore in SVN) platform independent files
like Java bytecode and fonts under a Category-B license.

Pedro.

PS. My proposal was a step in the right direction but
given that it's already insufficient I hereby withdraw
it.


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