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Re: 64 bit official Windows builds

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: 64 bit official Windows builds
Date: Sat, 09 Jan 2016 08:58:30 +0200

> From: Arash Esbati <>
> Date: Fri, 08 Jan 2016 22:42:20 +0100
> My apologies for the unclear sentence.  I meant: I build Emacs on my Win
> 64bit machine with Msys2/MinGW-w64 and have access to the necessary
> DLLs; it would be a pain if I only had bare Emacs binaries and had to
> collect all those DLLs myself somehow.

It's some work, but I wouldn't describe that as "pain".  Depends on
how the sites that offer those DLLs are organized and what tools they
offer for downloading and installation.

> > No, this compromise contradicts the GPL.  The sources must be
> > available from the same place as the binaries,
> Hmm, I read the FAQ differently:
> --8<---------------cut here---------------start------------->8---
> Can I put the binaries on my Internet server and put the source on a
> different Internet site? (#SourceAndBinaryOnDifferentSites)
>     Yes. Section 6(d) allows this. However, you must provide clear
>     instructions people can follow to obtain the source, and you must
>     take care to make sure that the source remains available for as long
>     as you distribute the object code.
> --8<---------------cut here---------------end--------------->8---
> I admit that the "you must take care to make sure that the source
> remains available for as long as you distribute the object code." part
> makes things more complicated, but still ...

Not just "complicated", practically impossible.  You have no control
on what another site holds, and for how long.  They could decide to
upload a "fixed" archive, which no longer builds for that version of
Emacs, or is no longer compatible to it.

> > because otherwise it isn't practical for the user who wants to rebuild
> > a DLL (e.g., to fix a bug in it or add a feature) of the exact version
> > used to build Emacs.  (If she tries to do that with a different
> > version, that version might be incompatible with the specific version
> > of Emacs she uses.)  For the same reason, the source distribution
> > found near the binary should be of the exact same version used to
> > produce the binary, and include any changes done by whoever built the
> > binary.
> True, from a developer point of view.  But not required by GPL if I get
> it correctly.

The GPL gives users and developers the same rights.  A user who cannot
by herself change the program can hire someone who can.  That someone
will be a developer who will need the exact sources you used.

> Please, don't get me wrong here, I do understand your point.  But from a
> user point of view, I think Emacs becomes more attractive on Windows
> if it is provided as a self-contained binary package.

I agree.  I'm just saying that providing such a self-contained binary
means more work on the part of the person who provides that.  I know
that, because that's what I do when I upload packages to the
ezwinports site -- each binary zip contains all of its dependency
DLLs, and there's always a source zip for each of those dependencies,
in the same directory, or sometimes in the sibling directory.  That's
what the GPL requires.

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