"source code" button

Emiliano emile at iris-advies.nl
Sat Mar 16 09:28:21 UTC 2002

Bruce Perens wrote:

> I feel that the draft GPL change for the ASP issue chooses the wrong
> balance point between the right to privacy and the right to modify.
> In my opinion, the correct solution would be to require publication
> of derived works, with one-time notification to FSF

Why to the FSF? Not all GPL-licensed applications are copyrighted by the

> of the publication URL,

What to do when this URL changes?

> when those works are deployed in the form of a service to others.
> I think you can make the language about this limited enough that
> there would be no more privacy issues than those that would be created
> by the "source button".

And how will this allow the users (clients) of said ASP-type application
to know that the source must be made available to them upon request?

> I am the creator of a GPL-ed embedded system: Busybox. I would not be
> able to use the "source button" on busybox because of the system size
> constraints.
> Embedded systems are subject to the ASP problem - Busybox
> is used for routers and appliance servers.
> But I really wouldn't want to use the source button on any of my software,
> because I feel it breaks the efficiency of the software to drag its source
> code around with each and every runnable copy. It feels awkward and kludgy.
> Source should live on a well-known internet server where it can be easily
> retrieved and archived. It doesn't need to be a ball and chain.

OK, so BusyBox doesn't _need_ to include the 'fetch source'
accessability option.

> The source button also seems to be too interface-specific to me. I can
> think of any number of services where there is not a direct user-interface
> in the form of an HTML form, etc., but just a set of RPC calls. It
> might be difficult to find a "source button" in that setting, even if
> one exists.

But do we want to remove this notion because a subset of this type of
application can't (easily), or don't wish to include it?


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