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Re: [fink-core] Running Octave from Fink?

From: David R. Morrison
Subject: Re: [fink-core] Running Octave from Fink?
Date: Tue, 6 Nov 2012 14:39:23 -0800

On Nov 6, 2012, at 1:55 PM, Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso wrote:

On 6 November 2012 15:48, Dave Vasilevsky <address@hidden> wrote:

I'm not sure if this is true about osx-gcc-installer. But what I do
know is that osx-gcc-installer is definitely Non-Free. It's not built
from source, but produced by extracting files from Apple's installer.

Oh, that's a pity....

A number of these files are not Free, for example the AVFoundation
headers. I'm not even sure why it would be distributable, except for
the pragmatic reason that Apple doesn't seem to have cracked down on
it (yet).

Actually, this seems to have been Apple's response:

So, I guess homebrew can work without Xcode, but not with a free gcc
installation. Sigh... At least Windows has mingw32; I can't believe
nothing comparable exists for Mac OS X.

- Jordi G. H.


I'd like to understand better a distinction you are implicitly making.

Mac OS X itself is non-free, and when a person buys a Mac or buys/updates OS X, they must accept certain license terms from Apple.  OTOH, because Mac OS X is unix-based, it is quite possible to run free programs on this system.

What is the distinction between Mac OS X itself, and the "Command Line Tools for Xcode" software which was described in the post you referenced?  This is an extension of the non-free environment, which provides a compiler (yay!) that then enables users to build free software.

Does it make this software less free that it was built using a non-free tool?  Less free than it would be on a non-free OS if built by a free tool?

I absolutely understand the GNU position that it is best for everyone to use only free tools as well as free software.  But if one is going to work with people who choose not to do that, where does one draw the line, and why?

  -- Dave Morrison

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