Cygwin license

Steve Morris
Wed Mar 31 19:45:00 GMT 1999

Earnie Boyd writes:
 > ---Steve Morris <> wrote:
 > --8<--
 > > I keep hammering on this issue because I believe that cygwin is much
 > > less valuable unless common tools, not part of the core set, are also
 > > available in binary form. It is unreasonable to expect every user of
 > > cygwin to collect all the sources for all useful utilities and build
 > > them.
 > --8<--
 > Thanks, Steve, for hammering.  This issue needs to be "put to the
 > test" and I don't think this thread needs to be dropped yet as there
 > hasn't been a resolution.  

Lets split the thread in half and drop one half. Here are the two
topics that get intermingled.

o - Distribution of binaries that do not have available source. This
would include commercial packages. Let's drop this sub-thread and
leave it to the lawyers of the respective parties.

o - Distribution of binaries for packages currently available in
source where someone wants to provide a valuable compiling
service. Let's figure out how to do this without:

1) Violating Cygnus license

2) Placing an undue burden on people intending to help people do what
they already have the right to do.

Currently people provide binaries, some possibly in violation of the
license, and Cygnus eithor doesn't know or doesn't persue them. I
prefer to believe that Cygnus quietly supports the efforts with
intentional benign neglect but I can't speak for Cygnus. However this
exposes those people to unfair risk. Let's define to everyone's
satisfaction how to do this right.

> If you plan to supply binaries using the cygwin1.dll then you must:
> 1) provide a means to obtain the source for that version of the
> cygwin1.dll
> 2) provide a means to obtain the source for the packages that the
> cygwin1.dll is dependent upon.
> 3) provide a means to obtain the source for the packages that you are
> providing binaries for and ensure that those packages meet the
> requirements for the GPL.
> Does anyone disagree with this?

It is my understanding that there is no 2). cygwin stands
alone. Cygwin is currently packaged with many tools that depend on
cygwin.dll but not the other way around. I believe that cygwin in this
context (i.e. which sources need to be included in binary
distributions of third party software) consists of cygwin.dll,
libcygwin.a and the sources necessary to build these and link to
them. Someone at Cygnus should say wether they agree.

I think someone should make a Cygnus blessed tar ball of just those
files as a public service and then the Cygnus source requirement can
be met by proving the blessed tar ball. One person can solve the
problem and the binary distributors can share the results, everybody
is happy.

People have suggested that extracting just those files might not be
easy but remember GPL doesn't say the result has to be easy to build,
merely that they are complete.

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