Why not GNU cmp?

Bob McConnell rvm at CBORD.com
Thu Sep 25 12:42:59 UTC 2008

On Behalf Of Chad Perrin
>On Thu, Sep 25, 2008 at 08:34:50AM +0100, Kris Kennaway wrote:
>> Unga wrote:
>> >I was wondering why FreeBSD wrote their own version of cmp. If it
just the 
>> >license, then that's fine. I prefer the BSD versions of diff, etc.
>> >available. 
>> You are asking the wrong questions: why did GNU write their own
>> of cmp?  FreeBSD's dates to 1987.
> Y'know -- that's a really good question.

The answer is simple. The BSD license does not guarantee freedom as
defined by RMS.

 * The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
 * The freedom to study how the program works and adapt it to
   your needs (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition.
 * The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor
   (freedom 2).
 * The freedom to improve the program and release your improvements
   to the public, so that the whole community benefits (freedom 3).
   Access to the source code is a precondition.

For example, Microsoft uses many of the TCP applications and drivers
from BSD, but will not allow access to their source code as required by
freedoms 1 and 3.

Bob McConnell

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