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SubjectRe: OFFTOPIC: e2fsprogs and +2Gb partitions
chalub@actech.com.br writes:
> > If I want to make a program for Linux that's non-portable: Thats my right.
> > If I release it under something like the GPL, and you want to port it,
> > then you can. I dont have to port it for you. If you send me patches, and
> > I'm feeling nice, I can include them and make the code portable for
> > everyone. That's my choice.
>
> You're wrong and really far out the spirit of GNU. The GPL is here to
> protect the right for people to *use* programs. This is the ultimate
> goal. Protecting the programmer is the intermediate step.
>
> If, by releasing your code under the GPL *and* making it Linux-specific,
> you're denying the right for others to compile and run your program.
> There are others around. Others who may want for example to use the
> HURD kernel. Or the FreeBSD. or SunOS. Remember those?

If I release a programme under the GPL and I don't feel like or don't
have the time to make it work under non-Linux (or I don't have access
to those machines), that is my inalienable right. It is utterly
*stupid* to suggest that I cannot do that.

Now, it so happens that the userspace code I write *is* portable, and
there is a very simple reason for that: I want people to use it, so I
make it as easy for as many people to use as possible.

But the key point is that I *don't have to*. If I code for Linux only,
then less people will use my software, so that is *my* problem.
If you want my software to work under another OS, go ahead and patch
it: that's what the GPL is about. But *don't* tell *me* I MUST write
portable software. I'll write what I bloody well like and if you don't
like that you can write your own. You can tell me what to write when
you pay me lots of money.

> If GPL programs are being made Linux specific while it should be the
> contrary, then, by all means create a Linux Public License, create a
> Linux C Library, create a Linux-Compiler, in other words, create a LINUX
> operating system.
>
> For the moment, you're only using the kernel, the rest is GNU.

Rubbish. The rest is not all GNU. Some is non-GNU but GPLed. Other
stuff (like XFree86) is under a BSD-style licence or other licences
(like Larry Wall's "Artistic Licence"). This is what software freedom
is about. I have source access and I can use, distribute and patch as
much as I like.

> Linux is so popular due to the extremely portable GNU programs that were
> written before. The original idea was to create a full blown OS, but
> they wrote software that would run in a wide range of others operating
> systems that were Unix-like and have some support for POSIX/ANSI-C
> compliance. Now we have a full blown OS (Linux/GNU) and you're have the
> *very opposite idea*: "to hell with standards, I like Linux, I program
> for Linux." What if in the future I want (it is my right, remember?) to
> use the HURD as my kernel? Then all Linux-GPL programs would be of no
> use to me, unless someone take the pains of writing a
> Linux-compatibility module for the HURD (like in freebsd?).

Once again, it's not Linux/GNU. It's Linux/GNU/BSD/Artistic...

Note that Linux programmers don't deliberately write Linux-only code
to "screw the others". They do it because it's easier/simpler at the
time. If you don't like it stop whining at people who actually write
code. Instead start writing some of your own code or at least patch
these "Linux-only" programmes. Some of us have more work to do than
hours to do it in. Be happy with what you get. If you want more write
something yourself.

> And besides what kind of programs are you talking about? Come on, any
> program that doesn't make hardware access can be written in glibc
> without any pain at all. Like GNU.
>
> I think you should remember this and respect this idea. It was this
> idea that is making you code freely these days.

*ALL* Open Source (aka "free") software is written at the sufferance
of the authors. Attempts to mandate what authors write is a sign of
disrespect and will rightly be ignored and/or flamed.

Regards,

Richard....
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