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Re: copyright problem with install-sh, request for clean-room rewrite

From: Mathieu Lirzin
Subject: Re: copyright problem with install-sh, request for clean-room rewrite
Date: Mon, 03 Sep 2018 18:03:58 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/26.1 (gnu/linux)

Hello Eric,

Eric Blake <address@hidden> writes:

> This is contradictory, and needs to be fixed in the Autoconf
> manual. However, the question on the floor is whether the fix is
> merely rewording that sentence to describe the actual copyright and
> permissive license, or if a better fix might be possible, such as
> rewriting 'install-sh' from scratch so that we can ship a version of
> the file that is completely copyright FSF and therefore uses the
> identical GPLv3+exception as the rest of the files we care about,
> rather than having to play the legal games of whether the X Consortium
> copy introduces any wrinkles in the first place.

Given the small size of this script it seems a reasonable option to
rewrite it from scratch, to avoid the license mess.

> Is anyone willing to take on a clean-room reimplementation of the
> functionality of install-sh?  If so, I can write up a list of
> requirements for what your implementation must provide; you must write
> a shell script that has that functionality, and without using any
> reference to the existing install-sh file, and where your work can
> have copyright assigned to FSF; but you can use GNU Coreutils' install
> program for a reference on functionality questions (I consider myself
> ineligible for such a clean-room reimplementation, since I am one of
> the people that has already made edits to the 'install-sh' belonging
> to Automake, but I have no qualms in reviewing your work for accuracy
> and portability).

According to ‘git blame’ I appear to not have touch this file, so if you
think that I am eligible, I am volunteering on this rewriting task.
Your help regarding ‘install-sh’ requirements analysis and code review
would indeed be welcome.  Regarding the requirements I guess Automake
test suite already contains some tests validating some of them.


Mathieu Lirzin
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