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

From: Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso
Subject: Re: [fink-core] Running Octave from Fink?
Date: Fri, 9 Nov 2012 11:16:59 -0500

On 8 November 2012 21:53, Richard Stallman <address@hidden> wrote:
> You seem to be saying there is no issue.  Maybe so, but I can't
> tell from that.
> Would those who DO believe there is an issue like to tell me
> what the posited issue consists of?

Hi, Richard. Sorry, I thought you would be able to tell what the
problem was, but I forgot that you're a busy man and have lots of
email to read.

Let me try to summarise: distribution of free programs in Mac OS X is
frequently done through three distribution methods: Fink, Macports,
and Homebrew. All of these are essentially source-based distribution
so the user has to also acquire a compiler in order to do this.
Although both gcc and clang are available for Mac OS X, their most
frequent method of distribution is through Xcode, which involves
making the user accept some very restrictive licensing terms (I
remember some NDA clauses, forbidding redistribution, and agreeing to
be spied upon, but I may be misremembering).

Users of Mac OS X argue that since you're already agreeing to use a
non-free OS, accepting Apple's terms again just to use a free compiler
is moot, since you've already given up your freedom, while I feel
uncomfortable with having to ask Octave users on Mac OS X to again
submit themselves to Apple's will just so they can install Octave.

This could be fixed by ensuring that users can get a free distribution
of gcc on Mac OS X, but there are some great difficulties involved
therein, and morever, I believe that a majority of free programs
distributed through Fink, Macports, and Homebrew depend on non-free
libraries specific to Mac OS X, some of which to me do not seem to
fall into the GPL's system library exemption.

- Jordi G. H.

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