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Availability of source code (Was: Re: OFF TOPIC about GPL enforcement (Was: Re: [tdf-discuss] Re: [Libreoffice] Proposal to join Apache OpenOffice))


On Sat, Jun 18, 2011 at 1:30 AM, Dennis E. Hamilton
<dennis.hamilton@acm.org> wrote:
Ignoring the repetition on who is entitled to source code and how they are told about it, I would 
like to know the answers to some very specific, tangible matters closer to home.  My question is 
basically whether the terms of a GPL license attached to a software distribution are applicable 
to that software distribution, not just downstream derivatives of it.  I assume the answer is yes.

 - Dennis

WHY I ASK

I have a copy of LibreOffice 3.3.2 installed on my computer.  I am looking for any place that I 
am offered access to the specific (or, indeed, any) source code for the LibreOffice 3.3.2 
distribution that I have installed (en-win-x86).


Admittedly, I never checked the UI text as to where you can get the
source code.

To build LibreOffice, I would simply follow the instructions at
http://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Development/How_to_build
which cover different operating systems.

By following the instructions, you create a local "repository" of the
source code,
and this repository has *all* versions of LibreOffice (such as 3.3.2
and 3.4.0) and you can select which to build.
It should take you a few hours of downloading + compilation to create
your own LibreOffice.
If you have a fast Internet speed and a good computer, it should take
you about 3 hours of compilation.

Your question is actually about whether we can make the Help→License
information more informative
so that users who would like to build LibreOffice, will get directed
to the How_to_build page.

Looking at the Help | License Information ... tells me about licenses and where to find them, but 
nothing about source code.  If I give this to my friends, none of them will see anything about 
source code either.

If I examine the license, I see that LGPL3 incorporates terms of the GPL3 by reference, and 
license follows immediately thereafter.  The LGPL3 has definitions about source code and it being 
conveyed.  The GPL3 has the details.

The preface to the GPL sys that

"Our General Public Licenses are designed to make sure that you
have the freedom to distribute copies of free software (and charge for
them if you wish), that you receive source code or can get it if you
want it, that you can change the software or use pieces of it in new
free programs, and that you know you can do these things."

Section 6, which applies to the non-source form of the LibreOffice 3.3.2 that I installed 
specifies a number of ways that source code is still to be made available.  6(d) seems applicable 
to the way I obtained LibreOffice 3.3.2 by download:

"d) Convey the object code by offering access from a designated place (gratis or for a charge), 
and offer equivalent access to the Corresponding Source in the same way through the same place at 
no further charge. ..."

SO WHERE IS IT?

I know of no offer conveyed with the code.

If I go back to the site, all I see are 3.3.3 Final and 3.4.0 Final.  I see nothing that would 
allow me to re-retrieve or find the source of the 3.3.2 that I have in my possession.

If I follow the "Download the source code to build your own installer" (why does that have to be 
the reason?), I see a set of logs that tell me nothing.  Under 3.4.1.1, 3.4.0.2, and 3.3.3.1 I 
see lists of 20-21 tar.bz2's.

Well, maybe that qualifies.  Maybe not.  But what about for my 3.3.2?


Indeed, the 3.3.2 version is not showing, because there are newer
versions (3.4.1, 3.4.0 and 3.3.3) and the 3.3.2 does not fit to be in
that page.
You can get 3.3.2 files at
http://download.documentfoundation.org/libreoffice/
http://download.documentfoundation.org/libreoffice/old/src/

As I said earlier, if you really want to compile, you would go for the
'git repositories' and the instructions at
http://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Development/How_to_build

AND ABOUT THOSE DEPENDENCIES

If any of the listed dependencies also have derivatives used, is there some place where, ahem, 
those modified sources are available in some suitable way?


See the dependencies at
http://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Development/How_to_build#Dependencies

Simos

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