Ovidiu Predescu writes:
The way I saw things happening with other free software packages is to provide already configured files for Windows and Mac OS. You simple don't run the configure tools at all but come up with some assumptions on those platforms.
For a finished, end-user package, this is true. Based on the developer's day discussion at IPC7, distutils will also be used to help the developers of those packages. Many authors are not able to provide binary distributions for all platforms. The ideal would be for me to put together a source distribution as a distutils-based package; people with access to various platforms can pull that down, build any platform-dependent components, and then create an installable package for others to use. Hopefully this can be reduced to one or two commands. There are also people who will want to build from sources regardless of platform; having a Python-only system makes this a lot easier; only the compiler issues become platform-dependent, and that can be isolated within the distutils package.
The output generated by autoconf, aka the configure script, is not covered by GPL, so there's no licensing issue here. Only the autoconf package itself is covered by GPL, but not its result.The autoconf manual also specifies this very
I agree. This issue is not entirely a matter of legal interpretation, unfortunately; some organizations will (reportedly; I don't know of any documented cases) fire people for installing un-approved software, and the GPL or GNU label can make corporate software managers very leery. Whether or not it should is *not* the issue. Having the system entirely in Python also helps when creating packages on non-Unix systems; autoconf may not do the right thing on a Macintosh!
-- Fred L. Drake, Jr. firstname.lastname@example.org Corporation for National Research Initiatives