Distributed Version Control for ports(7) ( was: Re: autoconf update )

perryh at pluto.rain.com perryh at pluto.rain.com
Wed Sep 22 08:31:13 UTC 2010

jhell <jhell at DataIX.net> wrote:

> Feel free to correct me if I am wrong but it is not going to
> matter much to what extent a license has to do with this besides
> ease of mind maybe.  We would not be using the source for the VCS
> in a repo that holds the source that is being distributed and
> none of the contained software would be effected by a GPL'd VCS.
> I don't believe the GPL reaches out that far as to where it can
> effect the contents of a repo even if it would happen to be GPLv3.

My primary concern is not that the GPL would extend to the contents
of a GPL'd VCS -- AFAIK it would not -- but that the whole point
of moving to a _distributed_ VCS is presumably that a significant
fraction of ports contributors (not just committers and/or
maintainers) would be running the VCS locally so as to maintain
repositories.  I have the impression that some fraction of those
potential contributors will be less likely to participate if the
price of doing so is running a VCS that is GPL'd.

Beyone that, we should not overlook (what I understand to be) the
general policy that I mentioned earlier:

> >>> AFAIK FreeBSD prefers to avoid GPL in the base or in critical
> >>> widely-used infrastructure if a viable non-GPL alternative
> >>> exists.

As I understand it, what is being suggested is the adoption of a
new code base for a significant piece of infrastructure.  I think
the proposal is at less risk of being summarily rejected if it can
viably be based on BSD-licensed code rather than on GPL'd code.

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