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Re: Gow, Cygwin alternative refers to GNU programs as open source UNIX

From: Kaz Kylheku (gnu-misc-discuss)
Subject: Re: Gow, Cygwin alternative refers to GNU programs as open source UNIX tools
Date: Tue, 27 Oct 2020 13:47:26 -0700
User-agent: Roundcube Webmail/0.9.2

On 2020-10-27 12:43, Jean Louis wrote:
* Kaz Kylheku (gnu-misc-discuss) <> [2020-10-27 22:13]:
On 2020-10-27 07:43, Jean Louis wrote:
> On this page accessible with LibreJS turned on:
> There is useful tool Gow that runs GNU programs on Windows, quote:
> Gow - The lightweight alternative to Cygwin

There is a case to be made here that the project is GPL violating;
it's shipping compiled GNU programs without any clue as to how
the user can re-build that from scratch.

I see only compiled binaries in the Gow repo; I don't see any build
scripts or instructions how rebuild it from scratch: how the
binaries were obtained.

It seems to be shipping MSYS DLL's, so it appears to be a MinGW

I did not notice it. There are no sources on Github, just binaries and
there is Gow license which is contradictory to GPL license making it
unclear that it is majority GNU programs and GPL license:

Moreover, some wording in the documentation (FAQ list and Contributing)
are insinuating that if the user wants some utility included, the way to
do that is to create a ticket and wait for upstream to spin a new binary
release, using the unreleased build system. In other words, the user is
dependent on the author of this package.

I'm suspecting that this is being cobbed together using manual steps.
So that is to say, the author massages a program into building, and\
then adds the .exe file into version control.

Even so, then the documentation should describe the exact build
environment, and document the steps, no?

From the GPLv3:

"The “Corresponding Source” for a work in object code form means
all the source code needed to generate, install, and (for an
executable work) run the object code and to modify the work,
including scripts to control those activities. "

But what if the build procedure is not completely scripted, relying
on manual steps?

I think that to comply with this in situations when there are manual
steps, the redistributor has to document those exact steps. Basically,
the user who gets binaries must be able to closely reproduce those binaries.

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