Windows?

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Windows?

dmelliott

Dear Help,

    Could there be at least an older Windows Installer version @

    http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=2888&package_id=40078


                                                    dmelliott

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Re: Windows?

Søren Hauberg
søn, 10 05 2009 kl. 08:19 -0500, skrev dmelliott:
>     Could there be at least an older Windows Installer version @

The windows installer has been removed due to a possible license
problem. So, to make sure we stay legal, we can't really distribute MSVC
compiled installers for windows. I know this sounds kinda silly, but,
hey, blame the lawyers. From what I understand a MinGW solution is in
the works.

Søren

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Re: Windows?

Bill Denney-5
Søren Hauberg wrote:
søn, 10 05 2009 kl. 08:19 -0500, skrev dmelliott:
  
    Could there be at least an older Windows Installer version @
    

The windows installer has been removed due to a possible license
problem. So, to make sure we stay legal, we can't really distribute MSVC
compiled installers for windows. I know this sounds kinda silly, but,
hey, blame the lawyers. From what I understand a MinGW solution is in
the works.

The MinGW installer is available at http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=2888&package_id=287261&release_id=630002

Have a good day,

Bill

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Re: Windows?

Qianqian Fang
In reply to this post by Søren Hauberg
why not dynamically download a VC redistribution package from
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/259403 and install it as an dependent
of octave? in this case, no need to ship the dlls in the package.

Søren Hauberg wrote:

> søn, 10 05 2009 kl. 08:19 -0500, skrev dmelliott:
>  
>>     Could there be at least an older Windows Installer version @
>>    
>
> The windows installer has been removed due to a possible license
> problem. So, to make sure we stay legal, we can't really distribute MSVC
> compiled installers for windows. I know this sounds kinda silly, but,
> hey, blame the lawyers. From what I understand a MinGW solution is in
> the works.
>
> Søren
>
> _______________________________________________
> Help-octave mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://www-old.cae.wisc.edu/mailman/listinfo/help-octave
>  

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Re: Windows?

John W. Eaton
Administrator
On 10-May-2009, Qianqian Fang wrote:

| why not dynamically download a VC redistribution package from
| http://support.microsoft.com/kb/259403 and install it as an dependent
| of octave? in this case, no need to ship the dlls in the package.

In the FSF response to our question about this issue, Brett Smith
wrote:

  The reason the GPL works this way is because we need to keep the
  System Library exception very narrow.  If we make it too easy for
  libraries to qualify as System Libraries, it will become feasible
  for companies to change free software and keep the changes
  proprietary by putting them in a "System Library."  The language
  that prevents System Libraries from being distributed alongside the
  software helps prevent this sort of abuse.

So the intent of the distribution restriction seems clear to me.
We don't want people to be able to claim that their library is a
"system library" when it is not really part of the OS.  But then he
also went on to say

  [...]  Distributing the Octave binaries and the runtime libraries on
  the same media would be problematic, regardless of the specific
  medium used.

  I think the Windows binary distribution should simply provide users
  with instructions to obtain the libraries from Microsoft's site.  I
  realize that's inconvenient, but hopefully it's not too bad, and I
  think it's a worthwhile change to avoid any GPL trouble.

However, this response surprises me, because it seems to provide a way to
sidestep the distribution restriction.  Instead of distributing the
"System Library" along with the software, just distribute instructions
for how to install it.  So I think maybe I've misunderstood the
response, and I've asked for further clarification.

Here are links to the full texts of the original response from Brett
and my request for clarification:

  https://www-old.cae.wisc.edu/pipermail/octave-maintainers/2009-May/012132.html
  https://www-old.cae.wisc.edu/pipermail/octave-maintainers/2009-May/012159.html

jwe
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Re: Windows?

Sergei Steshenko
In reply to this post by dmelliott



--- On Mon, 5/11/09, John W. Eaton <[hidden email]> wrote:

> From: John W. Eaton <[hidden email]>
> Subject: Re: Windows?
> To: "Qianqian Fang" <[hidden email]>
> Cc: [hidden email], "dmelliott" <[hidden email]>
> Date: Monday, May 11, 2009, 12:00 PM
> On 10-May-2009, Qianqian Fang wrote:

[snip]

> Instead of
> distributing the
> "System Library" along with the software, just distribute
> instructions
> for how to install it.

[snip]

> jwe


Users do not want even to read instruction, let alone follow them.

FOSS movement is known for consistently shooting itself in the foot.

In practical terms, if possible, 'octave' installer should automatically
download the needed DLLs from MS site using 'wget', 'curl' and the like,
or to start default browser with URL pointing to the download page.

If it is allowed to redistribute the needed DLLs not in the same archive
as 'octave', then the DLLs should be hosted somewhere (maybe the same hosts
as 'octave', but different packages) and 'octave' installed should
automatically download them.

Regards,
  Sergei.


     
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RE: Windows?

schi
In reply to this post by dmelliott

I must confess that I did not follow all details of the thread. I am bound
to a windows environment and would like to use octave within a restricted
commercial environment.

By now, I only used the MSVC-precompiled builds and I really appreciate
them. The key is that they are really easy to install and use (even without
administrative privelleges) and are well maintained - thanks Micheal!

Now I probably have to switch to mingw in the future. O.k. - but what does
that mean from a user perspective?

One thing I understand immediately is that I would need gcc in mingw to
build oct-files (instead of MSVC). But I would assume that most windows
users rarely build oct-files themselves (at least those users who we are
worrying about here). And please remember all the issues with getting the
right "MSVC release" - that really never was easy. In addition, mingw/gcc
might be distributed in the same package, ensuring that every user is able
to build oct-files without additional package loading (that would even be an
improvement over MSVC).

What else will change?

Will there be a reduced performance of octave?

Will gnuplot still work well with a good performance for the rendering?

Will there be limited interaction with standard software? (I use emacs as a
shell / UI anyway).

Will I have to install separate packages (e.g. the mingw environment) or
will all be bundled in one package (as the MSVC build)?

Are there additional caveats when switching?

I really never used a mingw build on windows, so I honestly ask the experts
to comment on these questions.
But if the changes from a user perspective will be minimum or virtually
non-existant, then many users might not even notice the difference of mingw
instead of MSVC and all the discussion is not really worth continuing.

Just my 2 ct.

Rolf
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RE: Windows?

tmacchant
Hello

Do you know that octave-3.0.2 on mingw binaries have been available at the following?
http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=2888&package_id=287261

The version is still a little bit old but works well on windows.

Unfortunately Jhandle does not work on the octave-binaries 3.0.2 on windows.

Except this point, the octave-3.0.2 mingw binaries is good tools for most octave users for windows.
However the package includes GCC and mkoctfile works without install complier by the user. That is
quite good point so that I have used this mingw version until recently.

(Now I am using octave 3.0.5 with the ATLAS optimized to my cmputer built myself on mingw platform.)

Benjamin Lindar is now preparing octave-3.0.5 binaries on mingw.
Please wait a while he will complete his work.
 
Regards

Tatsuro
--- "Schirmacher, Rolf"  wrote:

>
> I must confess that I did not follow all details of the thread. I am bound
> to a windows environment and would like to use octave within a restricted
> commercial environment.
>
> By now, I only used the MSVC-precompiled builds and I really appreciate
> them. The key is that they are really easy to install and use (even without
> administrative privelleges) and are well maintained - thanks Micheal!
>
> Now I probably have to switch to mingw in the future. O.k. - but what does
> that mean from a user perspective?
>
> One thing I understand immediately is that I would need gcc in mingw to
> build oct-files (instead of MSVC). But I would assume that most windows
> users rarely build oct-files themselves (at least those users who we are
> worrying about here). And please remember all the issues with getting the
> right "MSVC release" - that really never was easy. In addition, mingw/gcc
> might be distributed in the same package, ensuring that every user is able
> to build oct-files without additional package loading (that would even be an
> improvement over MSVC).
>
> What else will change?
>
> Will there be a reduced performance of octave?
>
> Will gnuplot still work well with a good performance for the rendering?
>
> Will there be limited interaction with standard software? (I use emacs as a
> shell / UI anyway).
>
> Will I have to install separate packages (e.g. the mingw environment) or
> will all be bundled in one package (as the MSVC build)?
>
> Are there additional caveats when switching?
>
> I really never used a mingw build on windows, so I honestly ask the experts
> to comment on these questions.
> But if the changes from a user perspective will be minimum or virtually
> non-existant, then many users might not even notice the difference of mingw
> instead of MSVC and all the discussion is not really worth continuing.
>
> Just my 2 ct.
>
> Rolf
> _______________________________________________
> Help-octave mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://www-old.cae.wisc.edu/mailman/listinfo/help-octave
>


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Re: Windows?

Francesco Potortì
In reply to this post by Sergei Steshenko
>FOSS movement is known for consistently shooting itself in the foot.

While it does certainly makes sense to speak about "Free and Open Source
Software" (FOSS) when dealing with licence issues, it does make a
difference when speaking about aims and priorities.  If you speak about
free software, then your priority is freedom.  If you speak about open
source, then your priority is convenience.

I think that, while trying to interpret the GPL in the specific case at
hand, the maintainers simply chose to err on the side of freedom rather
than err on the side of convenience, at least until the legal issue can
be assessed with more certitude.

At least, this is how I read it, sorry if I misunderstood.

--
Francesco Potortì (ricercatore)        Voice: +39 050 315 3058 (op.2111)
ISTI - Area della ricerca CNR          Fax:   +39 050 315 2040
via G. Moruzzi 1, I-56124 Pisa         Email: [hidden email]
(entrance 20, 1st floor, room C71)     Web:   http://fly.isti.cnr.it/
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Re: Windows?

Sergei Steshenko
In reply to this post by dmelliott



--- On Tue, 5/12/09, Francesco Potorti` <[hidden email]> wrote:

> From: Francesco Potorti` <[hidden email]>
> Subject: Re: Windows?
> To: "Sergei Steshenko" <[hidden email]>
> Cc: [hidden email], "dmelliott" <[hidden email]>, "John W. Eaton" <[hidden email]>, "Qianqian Fang" <[hidden email]>
> Date: Tuesday, May 12, 2009, 11:20 PM
> >FOSS movement is known for
> consistently shooting itself in the foot.
>
> While it does certainly makes sense to speak about "Free
> and Open Source
> Software" (FOSS) when dealing with licence issues, it does
> make a
> difference when speaking about aims and priorities. 
> If you speak about
> free software, then your priority is freedom.  If you
> speak about open
> source, then your priority is convenience.
>
> I think that, while trying to interpret the GPL in the
> specific case at
> hand, the maintainers simply chose to err on the side of
> freedom rather
> than err on the side of convenience, at least until the
> legal issue can
> be assessed with more certitude.
>
> At least, this is how I read it, sorry if I misunderstood.
>
> --
> Francesco Potortì (ricercatore)       
> Voice: +39 050 315 3058 (op.2111)
> ISTI - Area della ricerca CNR       
>   Fax:   +39 050 315 2040
> via G. Moruzzi 1, I-56124 Pisa     
>    Email: [hidden email]
> (entrance 20, 1st floor, room C71) 
>    Web:   http://fly.isti.cnr.it/
>

And could you please elaborate on freedom in this context in layman terms ?


Thanks,
  Sergei.


     

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Re: Windows?

Sergei Steshenko
In reply to this post by dmelliott



--- On Tue, 5/12/09, Francesco Potorti` <[hidden email]> wrote:

> From: Francesco Potorti` <[hidden email]>
> Subject: Re: Windows?
> To: "Sergei Steshenko" <[hidden email]>
> Cc: [hidden email], "dmelliott" <[hidden email]>, "John W. Eaton" <[hidden email]>, "Qianqian Fang" <[hidden email]>
> Date: Tuesday, May 12, 2009, 11:20 PM
> >FOSS movement is known for
> consistently shooting itself in the foot.
>
> While it does certainly makes sense to speak about "Free
> and Open Source
> Software" (FOSS) when dealing with licence issues, it does
> make a
> difference when speaking about aims and priorities. 
> If you speak about
> free software, then your priority is freedom.  If you
> speak about open
> source, then your priority is convenience.
>
> I think that, while trying to interpret the GPL in the
> specific case at
> hand, the maintainers simply chose to err on the side of
> freedom rather
> than err on the side of convenience, at least until the
> legal issue can
> be assessed with more certitude.
>
> At least, this is how I read it, sorry if I misunderstood.
>
> --
> Francesco Potortì (ricercatore)       
> Voice: +39 050 315 3058 (op.2111)
> ISTI - Area della ricerca CNR       
>   Fax:   +39 050 315 2040
> via G. Moruzzi 1, I-56124 Pisa     
>    Email: [hidden email]
> (entrance 20, 1st floor, room C71) 
>    Web:   http://fly.isti.cnr.it/
>

And could you please elaborate on freedom in this context in layman terms ?


Thanks,
  Sergei.


     

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Re: Windows?

Francesco Potortì
>> >FOSS movement is known for consistently shooting itself in the foot.
>>
>> While it does certainly makes sense to speak about "Free and Open
>> Source Software" (FOSS) when dealing with licence issues, it does
>> make a difference when speaking about aims and priorities.  If you
>> speak about free software, then your priority is freedom.  If you
>> speak about open source, then your priority is convenience.
>>
>> I think that, while trying to interpret the GPL in the specific case
>> at hand, the maintainers simply chose to err on the side of freedom
>> rather than err on the side of convenience, at least until the legal
>> issue can be assessed with more certitude.
>>
>> At least, this is how I read it, sorry if I misunderstood.
>
>And could you please elaborate on freedom in this context in layman terms ?

The reason why GPL programs cannot be linked with non-free programs is
to preserve freedom and diffuse it.  This aim is sometimes inconvenient.

To me, it looks like in this case it is not very clear whether and how
the MSVC libraries can be linked with Octave: maybe it is possible,
because the rules say that freedom is preserved to a satisfying extent,
maybe it is not, because the rules say that freedom is not preserved
enough.  Being on a boundary, the maintainers are trying to understand
what is the correct position.  In the meantime, one can err on the side
of freedom or else on the side of convenience, and they chose the first
option.

Again, this is how I see it, but I myself was not involved in this
decision in any way, so I may be wrong.

--
Francesco Potortì (ricercatore)        Voice: +39 050 315 3058 (op.2111)
ISTI - Area della ricerca CNR          Fax:   +39 050 315 2040
via G. Moruzzi 1, I-56124 Pisa         Email: [hidden email]
(entrance 20, 1st floor, room C71)     Web:   http://fly.isti.cnr.it/
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Re: Windows?

Sergei Steshenko
In reply to this post by dmelliott



--- On Wed, 5/13/09, Francesco Potorti` <[hidden email]> wrote:

> From: Francesco Potorti` <[hidden email]>
> Subject: Re: Windows?
> To: "Sergei Steshenko" <[hidden email]>
> Cc: "Qianqian Fang" <[hidden email]>, "John W. Eaton" <[hidden email]>, "dmelliott" <[hidden email]>, [hidden email]
> Date: Wednesday, May 13, 2009, 7:49 AM
> >> >FOSS movement is known
> for consistently shooting itself in the foot.
> >>
> >> While it does certainly makes sense to speak about
> "Free and Open
> >> Source Software" (FOSS) when dealing with licence
> issues, it does
> >> make a difference when speaking about aims and
> priorities.  If you
> >> speak about free software, then your priority is
> freedom.  If you
> >> speak about open source, then your priority is
> convenience.
> >>
> >> I think that, while trying to interpret the GPL in
> the specific case
> >> at hand, the maintainers simply chose to err on
> the side of freedom
> >> rather than err on the side of convenience, at
> least until the legal
> >> issue can be assessed with more certitude.
> >>
> >> At least, this is how I read it, sorry if I
> misunderstood.
> >
> >And could you please elaborate on freedom in this
> context in layman terms ?
>
> The reason why GPL programs cannot be linked with non-free
> programs is
> to preserve freedom and diffuse it.  This aim is
> sometimes inconvenient.
>
> To me, it looks like in this case it is not very clear
> whether and how
> the MSVC libraries can be linked with Octave: maybe it is
> possible,
> because the rules say that freedom is preserved to a
> satisfying extent,
> maybe it is not, because the rules say that freedom is not
> preserved
> enough.  Being on a boundary, the maintainers are
> trying to understand
> what is the correct position.  In the meantime, one
> can err on the side
> of freedom or else on the side of convenience, and they
> chose the first
> option.
>
> Again, this is how I see it, but I myself was not involved
> in this
> decision in any way, so I may be wrong.
>
> --
> Francesco Potortì (ricercatore)       
> Voice: +39 050 315 3058 (op.2111)
> ISTI - Area della ricerca CNR       
>   Fax:   +39 050 315 2040
> via G. Moruzzi 1, I-56124 Pisa     
>    Email: [hidden email]
> (entrance 20, 1st floor, room C71) 
>    Web:   http://fly.isti.cnr.it/
>

If I understand correctly, the MSVC library in question is not static, but
a DLL.

If it's the case, nothing prevents a GPL from being dynamically (i.e. at
runtime) linked. Look at all the proprietary SW running under Linux -
Oracle, SYNOPSYS, Cadence, etc.

Again, if I understand correctly, the question was about distributing in
the same tarball 'octave' and MSVC DLL which are _not_ statically linked
to each other.

This whole thing is getting ridiculous because there are whole DVD-size
media (SUSE, Mandriva) distributing free and non-free programs and
libraries/programs in the same .iso file; the free and non-freeitems are
also not statically linked.

So, the counter-example of SUSE/Mandriva, as well as already mentioned
'inkscape', sparked my genuine interest in the issue of freedom in the
light of consistent shooting itself in the foot.

Since it is possible/allowed to distribute instruction on how to get MSVC
DLLs, it is also possible to write code which implements these
instructions.

And someone will probably do it, spending his/her energy on nothing instead
of spending it to do really useful things. This an example of shooting
itself in the foot - spending time to please ideologists instead of
spending it on something useful.

I'm glad 'inkscape' developers were smart enough to stick to "don't ask,
don't tell" policy.

I am really disturbed by the fact GNU folks dare to interpret motivation
of SW developers dynamically/on the fly, essentially (IMO) changing the
rules during the game.

People want convenience, and they also want _not_ to be harassed; the
answers JWE got from GNU licensing engineer looks like effective
harassment.

Freedom is needed to avoid harassment, not to encourage it.


Regards,
  Sergei.


     

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Re: Windows?

Judd Storrs
In reply to this post by Francesco Potortì
On Wed, May 13, 2009 at 10:49 AM, Francesco Potorti` <[hidden email]> wrote:
The reason why GPL programs cannot be linked with non-free programs is
to preserve freedom and diffuse it.  This aim is sometimes inconvenient.

To me, it looks like in this case it is not very clear whether and how
the MSVC libraries can be linked with Octave: maybe it is possible,
because the rules say that freedom is preserved to a satisfying extent,
maybe it is not, because the rules say that freedom is not preserved
enough.

The MSVC run-time libraries fall under the System Library exemption. If the GPL lacked the system library exception you would only be able to use* GPL licensed software on GPL-compatible operating systems and compilers.

It's pretty easy to agree with the FSF's rationalle if you understand that all functionality provided by the MSVC run-time libraries is fundamentally necessary for any working C++ compiler. In fact the equivaltents of these run-time libraries are included with the standard install of just about every other platform (that's why it's called a "system library" after all). The specific copyleft license used by Octave (GPL) forbids distribution of the missing sytem libraries together as a part of octave.

Microsoft's method of (not) distributing these system libraries makes it difficult to distribute GPL software for the Windows platform. I guess you could be grateful that Microsoft's current license for MSVC even allows anyone to compile and distribute GPL software at all.

--judd

*Technically by "use" I mean distribute binaries

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Re: Windows?

Judd Storrs
In reply to this post by Sergei Steshenko
On Wed, May 13, 2009 at 11:16 AM, Sergei Steshenko <[hidden email]> wrote:
I am really disturbed by the fact GNU folks dare to interpret motivation
of SW developers dynamically/on the fly, essentially (IMO) changing the
rules during the game.

I think you're unfairly minimizing Microsoft's role in this conflict. The core of the problem is Microsoft's policy of not distributing system libraries with their operating systems coupled with the claim that users of their operating systems apparently cannot be bothered to install a single missing system component from Microsoft's website.

--judd



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Re: Windows?

John Swensen
In reply to this post by Sergei Steshenko

On May 13, 2009, at 11:16 AM, Sergei Steshenko wrote:

>>
> If I understand correctly, the MSVC library in question is not  
> static, but
> a DLL.
>
> If it's the case, nothing prevents a GPL from being dynamically  
> (i.e. at
> runtime) linked. Look at all the proprietary SW running under Linux -
> Oracle, SYNOPSYS, Cadence, etc.
>
> Again, if I understand correctly, the question was about  
> distributing in
> the same tarball 'octave' and MSVC DLL which are _not_ statically  
> linked
> to each other.
>
> This whole thing is getting ridiculous because there are whole DVD-
> size
> media (SUSE, Mandriva) distributing free and non-free programs and
> libraries/programs in the same .iso file; the free and non-freeitems  
> are
> also not statically linked.
>
> So, the counter-example of SUSE/Mandriva, as well as already mentioned
> 'inkscape', sparked my genuine interest in the issue of freedom in the
> light of consistent shooting itself in the foot.
>
> Since it is possible/allowed to distribute instruction on how to get  
> MSVC
> DLLs, it is also possible to write code which implements these
> instructions.
>
> And someone will probably do it, spending his/her energy on nothing  
> instead
> of spending it to do really useful things. This an example of shooting
> itself in the foot - spending time to please ideologists instead of
> spending it on something useful.
>
> I'm glad 'inkscape' developers were smart enough to stick to "don't  
> ask,
> don't tell" policy.
>
> I am really disturbed by the fact GNU folks dare to interpret  
> motivation
> of SW developers dynamically/on the fly, essentially (IMO) changing  
> the
> rules during the game.
>
> People want convenience, and they also want _not_ to be harassed; the
> answers JWE got from GNU licensing engineer looks like effective
> harassment.
>
> Freedom is needed to avoid harassment, not to encourage it.
>
>
> Regards,
>  Sergei.
>
>

I don't always agree with GNU licensing, but the fact is that when GPL  
is applied to a bit a source code, the use of said source code implies  
you have accepted the license.  At this point (and note IANAL), in  
some sense the user of the source code has made a legally binding  
agreement.  There are plenty of court cases where the use of GPL  
source code and the defacto agreement entered into upon use of the  
source code has been upheld.

So there are two issues here: 1) people interpret the word freedom in  
different manners and 2) the people who volunteered their time and  
code to a GPL project did so under the assumption that users of their  
code would follow the legally binding GPL requirements.  Had they  
intended something else, they would have used a different license  
(e.g. BSD, Apache, etc.).  So rest assured that those who "look the  
other way" and violate either in spirit or in a legal sense the GPL  
are violating a choice made by the developer/contributor from which  
the code originated.

John Swensen



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Re: Windows?

Sergei Steshenko
In reply to this post by dmelliott



--- On Wed, 5/13/09, John Swensen <[hidden email]> wrote:

> From: John Swensen <[hidden email]>
> Subject: Re: Windows?
> To: "Sergei Steshenko" <[hidden email]>
> Cc: "Francesco Potorti`" <[hidden email]>, "John W. Eaton" <[hidden email]>, "dmelliott" <[hidden email]>, [hidden email]
> Date: Wednesday, May 13, 2009, 8:35 AM
>


>
> I don't always agree with GNU licensing, but the fact is
> that when GPL is applied to a bit a source code, the use of
> said source code implies you have accepted the
> license.  At this point (and note IANAL), in some sense
> the user of the source code has made a legally binding
> agreement.  There are plenty of court cases where the
> use of GPL source code and the defacto agreement entered
> into upon use of the source code has been upheld.
>
> So there are two issues here: 1) people interpret the word
> freedom in different manners and 2) the people who
> volunteered their time and code to a GPL project did so
> under the assumption that users of their code would follow
> the legally binding GPL requirements.  Had they
> intended something else, they would have used a different
> license (e.g. BSD, Apache, etc.).  So rest assured that
> those who "look the other way" and violate either in spirit
> or in a legal sense the GPL are violating a choice made by
> the developer/contributor from which the code originated.
>
> John Swensen
>

So, where is the GPL violation if 'octave'/'inkscape' are _not_ statically
linked with MSVC libraries ?

Thanks,
  Sergei.


     

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Re: Windows?

Alain Baeckeroot
In reply to this post by Sergei Steshenko
Le 13/05/2009 à 17:16, Sergei Steshenko a écrit :

> If I understand correctly, the MSVC library in question is not static, but
> a DLL.
>
> If it's the case, nothing prevents a GPL from being dynamically (i.e. at
> runtime) linked. Look at all the proprietary SW running under Linux -
> Oracle, SYNOPSYS, Cadence, etc.
>
> Again, if I understand correctly, the question was about distributing in
> the same tarball 'octave' and MSVC DLL which are _not_ statically linked
> to each other.
>
> This whole thing is getting ridiculous because there are whole DVD-size
> media (SUSE, Mandriva) distributing free and non-free programs and
> libraries/programs in the same .iso file; the free and non-freeitems are
> also not statically linked.
It seems that they provide a separate CD/DVD for non free (at least they
used to in the past)
And there are many kind of nonfree. I doubt they include msvc dll in their
dvds


>
> So, the counter-example of SUSE/Mandriva, as well as already mentioned
> 'inkscape', sparked my genuine interest in the issue of freedom in the
> light of consistent shooting itself in the foot.
>
> Since it is possible/allowed to distribute instruction on how to get MSVC
> DLLs, it is also possible to write code which implements these
> instructions.
>
> And someone will probably do it, spending his/her energy on nothing instead
> of spending it to do really useful things. This an example of shooting
> itself in the foot - spending time to please ideologists instead of
> spending it on something useful.
Due to this ideologists so far we avoided software patents in europe, and
can enjoy our music and movies (even if you buy a dvd in the wrong zone)
Feel free to try to convince fsf to change its mind.

>
> I'm glad 'inkscape' developers were smart enough to stick to "don't ask,
> don't tell" policy.
>
> I am really disturbed by the fact GNU folks dare to interpret motivation
> of SW developers dynamically/on the fly, essentially (IMO) changing the
> rules during the game.
>
> People want convenience, and they also want _not_ to be harassed; the
> answers JWE got from GNU licensing engineer looks like effective
> harassment.
>
> Freedom is needed to avoid harassment, not to encourage it.
Freedom need some efforts :

"A society that will trade a little liberty for a little order will
 lose both, and deserve neither"
              Thomas Jefferson (3rd US president)

Regards
Alain.


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Re: Windows?

John W. Eaton
Administrator
In reply to this post by Sergei Steshenko
On 13-May-2009, Sergei Steshenko wrote:

| If it's the case, nothing prevents a GPL from being dynamically (i.e. at
| runtime) linked.

I believe that the FSF has long claimed that the method of linking is
irrelevant.  The GPL doesn't somehow not apply if you use dynamic
linking.

| Look at all the proprietary SW running under Linux -
| Oracle, SYNOPSYS, Cadence, etc.

The license for the GNU C library is LGPL.  The license for the GNU
C++ runtime library (libstdc++) is GPLv3 plus a special exception.  So
I think you are confusing some issues here.
n
| Again, if I understand correctly, the question was about distributing in
| the same tarball 'octave' and MSVC DLL which are _not_ statically linked
| to each other.

Static vs. dynamic linking is not the issue.  Distributing in the same
tarball is not the issue either.

| This whole thing is getting ridiculous because there are whole DVD-size
| media (SUSE, Mandriva) distributing free and non-free programs and
| libraries/programs in the same .iso file; the free and non-freeitems are
| also not statically linked.

See above, and also read the clause in the GPL about "aggregation"
(the end of section 5 of GPLv3).

| Since it is possible/allowed to distribute instruction on how to get MSVC
| DLLs, it is also possible to write code which implements these
| instructions.

As I think I've already mentioned, I've asked the FSF about this
issue:

  https://www-old.cae.wisc.edu/pipermail/octave-maintainers/2009-May/012159.html

| I'm glad 'inkscape' developers were smart enough to stick to "don't ask,
| don't tell" policy.

I'm not sure that is a wise policy.

| I am really disturbed by the fact GNU folks dare to interpret motivation
| of SW developers dynamically/on the fly, essentially (IMO) changing the
| rules during the game.

I'm not sure what you mean by "interpret motivation ... dynamically",
or how it is that we are changing the rules during the game.  But
instead of directing your anger at us, maybe you should direct it at
the idiotic policies of Microsoft?

| People want convenience,

If choose convenience over freedom, then it seems likely to me that
you will quickly lose your freedom.

| That can lead and they also want _not_ to be harassed; the
| answers JWE got from GNU licensing engineer looks like effective
| harassment.

I don't see it that way.

In any case, we have a free alternative.  It's called MinGW.  I don't
understand what the problem is with simply using that.  If there are
problems with MinGW, then I suggest that people help to improve MinGW
rather than simply complaining or giving up on freedom.  If you don't
understand this, then I don't see why you are bothering with free
software at all, unless it is just that you want something for nothing.

jwe
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Re: Windows?

Przemek Klosowski
In reply to this post by Sergei Steshenko
Sergei,

   So, where is the GPL violation if 'octave'/'inkscape' are _not_ statically
   linked with MSVC libraries ?

Essentially, it doesn't matter whether linking is static or dynamic,
and in any case FSF seems to argue that static linking is more
acceptable if it's a part of the platform-specific compile/load
operation. The FSF does a good job clarifying the issues in
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.htm 

Here's their argument (as far as I understand it) broken down into
logical steps, so that if you disagree with the final conclusion you
should be able to point out which statements you disagree with.

- when Free software components are combined with non-Free components,
  the result is less Free, therefore Free software needs protection
  against being combined with non-free software

- it is impossible to entirely avoid such combination, because Free software
  requires non-Free runtime/OS libraries in non-Free environments

- therefore, the System Library exception is granted, to the extent
  that the non-Free system libraries provide standard runtime
  facilities that are also provided on Free systems.

- it is possible to abuse the System Library exception by expanding the
  scope of such libraries, so FSF maintains strict restrictions, e.g.
  requiring that such libraries are directly distributed with the OS.

- unfortunately, this affects the MSVC libraries, because Microsoft
  chose to not distribute those essential libraries with Windows.
 
I think this discussion became repetitive, so I will leave it at this.
As I mentioned earlier, I think FSF should carve a specific exception
for MSVC libraries, under these circumstances, but so far that didn't
happen.
 
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