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SubjectRe: Solaris 2.6 and Linux
 > Its not that its a secret, its just that its a pain in the ass.

I have to agree here. Theoretically, it's easy, practically, it's
hard to do.

Speaking for reasons why I haven't used any FSF stuff in my own
products (I don't do embedded systems though, just tiny utilities).
Even putting it up for ftp is difficult; for my company, we have a
huge ftp directory, but it is constantly full (we have a huge
product). And a very large number of our customers don't have ftp
access. Shipping out a floppy takes up a significant amount of time
during the day (how long does the GPL give me to procrastinate on a
customer's request :-). If it takes multiple floppies, going to cdrom
is highly impractical (we have two writers, both behind locked doors).
The "just put it up for ftp" doesn't cut it (why not just say "get
it from prep.ai.mit.edu and don't bug us?).

You also have to convince the bosses to go along. That's the hardest
challenge; they're going to worry about who's going to deal with all
this mysterious stuff when you're gone. My boss in particular doesn't
even like it when I use Linux for important work (I was building a cd
from there once, and he told me flat out to put the utilities on an
hp, so someone could deal with it if something happened to me).
And of course, the legal department is going to want to take a very
long look at the GPL, and they won't get back to you right away.
This is going to create big waves with the executives.

Yes, theoretically, this stuff is nice. But practically, it's a bit
painful (I'd be happy to use the gnu regexp library, but the boss
would never allow it...).

On the other hand though, just to prove I'm not totally cynical; it
might be simplest of all just to include the source code on the
initial CD as well. (However, it doesn't solve the problem of
pre-releases, special builds, or the customer support person that put
up for ftp out a tiny executable and forgot to include the source to a
library...)

> b) Accompany it with a written offer, valid for at least three
> years, to give any third party, for a charge no more than your
> cost of physically performing source distribution, a complete
> machine-readable copy of the corresponding source code, to be
> distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium
> customarily used for software interchange; or,

Hmm, you could get source to linux, and source to all common linux
utilities, from any linux vendor for a nominal price. Heck, why pay
full price for RedHat, when they're obligated to give you the source
code for $6-$8 (the cost of a writable CD) if you ask them? And no
more of those expensive shipping and handling charges, they'd have to
charge only the true shipping charges.

(then I'm tempted to ask, what if the company is out of business in
less than three years, or the person that knows the details is no
longer at the company? Can you ship the source in EBCDIC if the
customer can't read it?)

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