The Industry choice
crap1234 at hotmail.com
Fri Jan 7 23:02:26 CET 2005
> Oh, and by the way - since Python bytecode can be relatively
> easily decompiled to source, could it interpreted to "really"
> count as source code and not binary? What are the consequences
> of releasing code _written in Python_ as GPLed?
Well, to your first question, in a word 'no', it wouldn't count as
source code. To quote the GPL section 3:
"The source code for a work means the preferred form of the work for
making modifications to it. For an executable work, complete source code
means all the source code for all modules it contains, plus any
associated interface definition files, plus the scripts used to control
compilation and installation of the executable."
As the preferred form for making changes to Python programs would be
Python source, that's what counts. This is also what forbids obfuscated
code. If you were to *write* Python bytecode, as a form of assembly,
then of course that's another matter.
I've released Python source as GPL and as far as I'm concerned it ought
to work, even though that's not explicitly covered. As the only way
you're going to receive my program is by receiving the source then
you'll end up having it and everything's basically OK. If someone tries
to make a binary from that and distribute that without also making the
source available then the GPL obviously comes into effect, and the game
is up. I haven't sought legal (or FSF) input on this matter though, it's
just my understanding. You can be fairly confident that the GPL is iron
clad though, it would have been dragged through every court in the land
by now if it wasn't.
I've also followed the LGPL/GPL library debate, and while I have
opinions on that as well, this is getting long in the tooth already.
Stefan Axelsson (email at http://www.cs.chalmers.se/~sax)
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