Python to use a non open source bug tracker?

"Martin v. Löwis" martin at v.loewis.de
Wed Oct 4 23:13:35 CEST 2006


Paul Rubin schrieb:
> "Martin v. Löwis" <martin at v.loewis.de> writes:
>> You fail to recognize that Python is *already* using a non-free software
>> for bug tracking, as do thousands of other projects. 
> 
> I don't think that reflects an explicit decision.  SF started out as
> free software and the software became nonfree after people were
> already using it.

That, in principle, could happen to any other free software as well.
What is critical here is that SF *hosted* the installation. If we would
use a tracker that is free software, yet hosted it elsewhere, the same
thing could happen: the hoster could make modifications to it which
are non-free. Not even the GPL could protect from this case: the
hoster would be required to publish source only if he publishes
binaries, but he wouldn't publish any binaries, so he wouldn't need
to release the source changes, either.

Also, even if it the software is open source and unmodified, there
still wouldn't be a guarantee that you can get the data out of it
if you want to. You *only* get the advantages of free software if
you also run it yourself. Unfortunately, there is a significant
cost associated with running the software yourself.

Despite what other people say, this *is* an issue. On python.org,
things that should get done don't, just because there is no
volunteer doing them. Hosting such a service elsewhere has the
clear advantage that you don't have to worry about most routine
maintenance jobs.

Regards,
Martin



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