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Re: Why savannah? (was L4Hurd at Sourceforge)

From: Niels Möller
Subject: Re: Why savannah? (was L4Hurd at Sourceforge)
Date: 24 Oct 2001 10:29:52 +0200

Ian Duggan <address@hidden> writes:

> Again, can someone please explain to me which parts of Sourceforge are
> offensive? Which parts aren't free? I just checked, and the full source
> is downloadable and under the GPL version 2. What isn't free about that?

I've been staying quiet, hoping that someone who really knows the
history would explain this. But as nobody else does that, I'll try.
Please correct me if I have the details wrong.

I think there's no big problem, and I don't think sourceforge is
offensive. As I have understood the situation, some gnu folks have
looked at sourceforge, and seen that it's a nice thing to have. So
that moving random GNU packages like gcc, fileutils etc to sourceforge
started to make sense.

Now, any conservative person would be a little wary about outsourcing
his or her source management. And on top of this, I think the company
running sourceforge stopped being a 100% free software company, i.e.
they sell proprietary software to some customers sometimes (even if
sourceforge itself is perfectly free). And the FSF preferres not using
services from proprietary software companies.

So savannah.gnu.org was created, as a sourceforge-like home for
packages that are part of the GNU system. There have been some
discussion about whether or not non-GNU packages can be hosted at
savannah.gnu.org, last thing I heard was that they should probably
not, and perhaps another site like freesoftware.fsf.org should be
created for that. I don't know if that has happened yet.

I've also heard of no plans of a complete rewrite of all of the
sourgeforge code used at savannah.

My conclusion is that Official GNU Software should live at savannah.
For any other free software, using sourceforge is fine. Roland McGrath
has recommended using the hurd repository at sourceforge for
"temporary" hurd-related projects (which will move into some savannah
repository when they stop being temporary).

> I'm curious, can I get a show of hands from people on this list that are
> really, really concerned about the "free" thing? I'm not talking about
> proprietary vs. nonproprietary, but "free as in freedom" vs "free as in
> beer" vs "open source" vs whatever? I'm interested in understanding what
> the dynamic of the group is.

I'm fairly concerned, but I think about the difference between "free"
and "open" as different marketing strategies. They can be important,
and debated (in the right forum), but the thing they market is the
same. (And "free as in beer" is of course neither "free as in freedom"
nor "open source").


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