Policy on new ports

Paul Chvostek paul at it.ca
Wed Feb 21 13:33:38 UTC 2007

On Wed, Feb 21, 2007 at 12:25:06PM +0100, Atz-Soft wrote:
> The program has the GNU General Public License as published by the Free
> Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option)
> any later version.
> The program is not in the FreeBSD ports system but can be compiled on
> FreeBSD without problems with approx. 5 commands.
> And because of that the author may not want his program in the ports
> collection.

If that's the author's reason for not wanting a FreeBSD point, I suspect
he can be safely ignored.

If you want to engage him in further conversation about this, points to
remember (or perhaps to make) are:

1) The port is not the software, it's effectively a database entry
implemented in a Makefile, and the license on the port is completely
independent of the license of the software.  (That said, USING the port
could potentially violate a license if the software wasn't GPL'd.)  In
the absense of a blanket policy that ports in the FreeBSD ports tree are
covered by the same license as FreeBSD, I believe that YOU as the author
of the port determine the license.  (Note: IANAL. I don't even play one
on TV.)

2) The five commands required to compile the software comprise only ONE
requirement addressed by a port.  Others include upgrade management,
security vulnerability tracking and dependencies.  We use the ports
system to address ALL these requirements, not just the compile process.

> So will the program be added even if the author may disagree with that?

The port is not the software.  If the author wants to limit the
availability of the software, he needs to use a license that allows
this.  GPL is not that license.  And the effect of such a license will
be to limit the ACTIVITY of the port, not the existence of it, since the
port is not a derived work.

  Paul Chvostek                                             <paul at it.ca>
  Operations / Abuse / Whatever
  it.canada, hosting and development                   http://www.it.ca/

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