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Re: [PROPOSAL] Builder, a build system integration for Emacs

From: Jim Porter
Subject: Re: [PROPOSAL] Builder, a build system integration for Emacs
Date: Wed, 24 May 2023 16:32:26 -0700

On 5/24/2023 2:35 PM, Richard Stallman wrote:
I think that means it leads people to do their building in someone
else's server, rather than on your own computer.  For moral reasons,
that is not good.

I don't think this is true, though I'm not an expert on Cargo. When you build your Cargo project via `cargo build`, it will download the source code for any dependent libraries from crates.io and then build them all on your computer. (The Cargo manual makes this a bit confusing by talking about "binary packages", but those are really "packages that produce an executable program", not "packages distributed as precompiled binaries".)

I suppose it would be possible to distribute precompiled data in some form on crates.io (similar to how the Linux kernel has binary blobs), but I'm not aware of this happening in practice.

ISTR that Cargo has a catalog of libraries, some of them nonfree,
and that this makes it hard to build a Rust package and ensure
no nonfree library is used.

This I'm not sure about. The documentation[1] says: "The crate registry at crates.io distributes the source code of your packages, so it primarily hosts code that is open source." The word "primarily" makes me somewhat concerned, and I don't see any further documentation on the matter.

For Rust developers who are concerned about licensing of dependencies, there's "cargo-deny"[2], which (among other things) lets you ensure that your dependencies' licenses are acceptable to you. That requires the user to set all this up, but it would then provide an automated way to ensure you only use free libraries.

[1] https://doc.rust-lang.org/book/ch14-02-publishing-to-crates-io.html
[2] https://crates.io/crates/cargo-deny

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