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SubjectRe: Is the BitKeeper network protocol documented?
On Wed, 22 Jan 2003 07:10:28 +0000, Jamie Lokier <>

>Hua Zhong wrote:
>> > First, I would in fact prefer to have the version control
>> > information to make changes. The commit comments, for example, may
>> > explain the rationale for changes.
>> These comments are not part of the source. The source has its own comments.
>> They are helpful when you try to track the changes, but GPL doesn't require
>> releasing the tracking record of a GPL project.
>> It only requires releasing the whole source (or diff).
>No, a "diff" is _not_ sufficient when releasing a modified binary -
>you must provide, or offer to provide, the whole source used to make
>that binary.
>People differ in what they think the "whole source" means. The GPL
>defines what _it_ means by the source code for a work, and that is the
>definition you are bound by, but even that definition is understood
>differently by different people. It is the nuances of that definition
>that are being discussed in this thread.
>I agree with Larry that clear boundaries will be found in case law, as
>and when they are required, and that meeting minutes and repository
>metadata probably are not considered part of the source code.
>It is just tough luck that you miss out on useful information.
>In addition, even if Linus refused to work with someone who did not
>use the repository, that is also tough luck. You have the right to
>fork the project; the GPL does not give you the right to work with Linus.
>However if there was a project where the repository was _essential_ to
>do any meaningful work on the project, I suspect that a court of law
>would find that the repository is considered part of the source code
>per the GPL's definition.

First you would have to find a court willing to accept jurisdiction.
One court per country you were interested in. And all the appelate
courts. Then you would have to find plaintifs and defendents willing
to pony up money to pay for thousands of hours of lawyer time.

All for a product which is "free".

heh heh heh

john alvord

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