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

From: DJ Delorie
Subject: Re: Gow, Cygwin alternative refers to GNU programs as open source UNIX tools
Date: Tue, 27 Oct 2020 22:41:51 -0400

Jean Louis <> writes:
> I have downloaded packages. For GNU tools I can find sources. For Gow,
> I cannot find.

Perhaps the runtime was elided under the "major components" part of GPL
sec 3 ?

 "However, as a special exception, the source code distributed need not
  include anything that is normally distributed (in either source or
  binary form) with the major components (compiler, kernel, and so on)
  of the operating system on which the executable runs, unless that
  component itself accompanies the executable."

That exception was added so that DJGPP-built GNU executables did not
need to include DJGPP's sources, just the GNU sources.  DJGPP has been
distributing GNU binaries this way for 30 years (the "corresponding
sources" are the GNU sources, although the DJGPP sources themselves are
available elsewhere in the typical DJGPP mirror area).

As for the GOW sources themselves, the GPL allows for "mere aggregates"
and perhaps that applies here.  If you use a non-GNU "cp" command to
copy a GNU "find" binary, does that make the non-GNU "cp" illegal?  Of
course not.  If GOW is independent of the GNU tools, other than to copy
them to your machine, I don't see how the GPL derivative-work rules

> This package below is distributed as gow-0.8.0 "source" and contains
> binaries. Users receiving binaries cannot know to which license each
> binary is there, unless they would be experienced.

This is no different than any other GNU-including distribution, like
Fedora or Ubuntu.  This is why GNU tools are supposed to print their
license when run in a default way.

> There is nowhere written or explained how to make the Gow oneself and
> I do not find source for Gow.

I see no reason why you're entitled to it, either.

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