GPL vs APSL (was: YAPL is bad)

Greg London greglondon at
Mon Sep 24 18:08:26 UTC 2001

% OSD 2:
% The program must include source code, ...
% When some [program] is not distributed with
% source code, there must be a well-publicized
% means of obtaining the source code 
% preferably, downloading via the Internet without charge.

so, according to OSD, you have two options

you distribute source and binary in one kit.

OR (B)
you distribute a binary in one kit.
and you make the source code freely available.
(preferably downloading for free on the net)

those are the only two options of the OSD.

(B) somewhat implies public distribution 
by mentioning "internet" and "well-publicized".
but it is possible to distribute a binary
and give a URL that requires a password for
those you allow to download the source code.
and such a way could be "well-publicized"
even though the password is not public.

Option (A) does not, in any way, require publicity.

Alice could download some software off teh net.
Alice could modify it and send the Binary and Source
to Bob. Bob and Alice could be employees of Charlie
who owns a Corporation. Charlie has Alice adn Bob
sign a NDA, saying they will not distribute any of
their software outside the company. 

As long as all distributions within said company
include source code from employee to employee, 
the source does not have to be made public.
And satisfies the Open Source Definition.

One thing Bob can't do, according to OSD,
is fix a bug in Alice's code, send her a binary
that works, and taunt her, saying "I'll send
you the source for a million bucks."
Once Bob sends Alice a binary, he must make
the source available to her.

I don't have a problem with this. And I think
allowing this makes corporations warmer to using
Open Source within their company.

The OSD does not require that all modifications 
be sent to the author. Nor should it require
all modifications be public.

The APSL raises the bar. It takes the OSD
and makes it even "more open". Which is fine by me.
See my allegory sequel to the cathedral and
the bazaar. Some dealers at the bazaar want 
square tables and some want round tables.

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