binary restrictions?

David Johnson david at
Wed Oct 3 04:38:50 UTC 2001

On Tuesday 02 October 2001 09:17 pm, Ned Lilly wrote:

> Yeah, it kind of *is* to guarantee purchase.  That is, purchase from
> Foo, Inc. and no one else (if you want to purchase software in the
> first place).  But nothing's stopping you from getting the source
> and compiling it yourself.  Is that a hard and fast no-no?

Yes, that is a hard and fast no-no. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with 
doing it your way, but it won't be Open Source.

One rule of thumb that I use (and it isn't necessarily an accurate rule) to 
determine open-sourcedness, is whether I can sell a CD containing the source 
code, modifications and binary, without having to ask anyone.

> ISTM that Section 2 is more concerned with source code (and
> downloadability, non-obfuscation, etc.)  Why should restricting
> binaries be an issue if the source is 100% free?

Quick answer: Because not everyone has a compiler. Slightly longer answer: 
because Open Source allows me to distribute derivative works, and a binary is 
a derivative of the source code.

David Johnson
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