Can you under the GPL distribute executables without full sources?

James Michael DuPont mdupont777 at
Thu Aug 22 14:32:08 UTC 2002

Dear List,
I have a question about the nature of the GPL with source code.

Assuming that someone is porting GNU/Gnome libs to windows :

Can a person distribute just a DLL or lib without the source code being
able to compile directly?  

Or Even worse : 
if other people base thier DLLS just on the DLLS provided, but no-one
is able to recompile the entire thing from scratch, is that legal? 

Currently I am trying to re-compile some of the gnome/gnu libs ported
to windows. 

Almost non of them compile from the source codes published, there are
missing files, missing directories and such. Some people just based
their work on these DLLS, and then a whole chain of missing sources
gets started up.

Can a user just say what version of the sources he used, but not
distribute the patches, shell scripts and environmental variables
needed to compile? What if the sources are not available as stated.

As far as I can tell from the GPL, all sources that do not belong 
to the standard system install have to be provided, not just the name
of the lib used.

I am looking forward to your comments,


James Michael DuPont

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