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Re: Why were all DJB's ports removed? No more qmail?

At 11:53 PM +0000 8/27/01, D. J. Bernstein wrote this lot:
>The word ``ports'' in the qmail documentation predates BSD-style ports.
>It refers to modified versions of the source code.
>I don't mind a BSD-style port that simply follows the installation
>instructions. I have also explicitly granted permission for the
>distribution of precompiled packages that behave correctly. There's
>nothing stopping OpenBSD from distributing a qmail package.

This is long statement I'm writing here. It's intent is not to argue 
with you or with Theo, but to simply put both sides of the argument 
in a different perspective that hopefully both will understand. The 
ill will that is clearly developing is not constructive.

If one were to take Dan's own web site at face value, 
http://cr.yp.to/softwarelaw.html, then one could do what ever one 
wanted with his software. Regardless of his licensing restrictions. 
Providing that all ones does is make a patch and not a derivative 

AFAIK, OpenBSD ports don't make derivative works, just patches that 
make the distributed software work as intended for the given OS. 
Whether or not that patch is distributed by any means is, according 
to Dan, irrelevant, providing one doesn't also redistribute the 
original software or a derivation of it.

Answer: there is little to stop openBSD from distributing a qmail package,
except a philosophical difference over the INTENT of the license. And 
here is the key to Theo's objection, I think.

Dan appears to intend by his license 
(http://cr.yp.to/qmail/dist.html) to require ALL patches or patched 
distributions, or "ports" of his software to require his explicit 
approval. The INTENT appears to be to attempt to promote a more 
universal and therefore more compatible software system. Though one 
that is tailored to his own vision of things.

OpenBSD on the other hand would like to see a software system that 
can be FREELY distributed, without any restriction. 

I run a Machintosh computer with a BSD style kernel grafted onto the 
side so I can run BSD software, often with only a recompile, on my 

Dan: Do you have any objection that is meaningful in the context of 
your web page to me building a version of qmail that runs under 
liamBSD? In the directory configuration that makes sense in a 
Macintosh context? Rather than a True UNIX manner?

OpenBSD puts no restriction what-so-ever upon my taking any component 
that I choose and rewriting it any manner that I choose and in 
installing it in any manner that I choose.

I don't even need to ask Theo if he agrees or not, it is irrelevant 
given his license.

Even if you did not impose such restrictions, would I have objections 
to running your software in my system for other reasons?

That is the difference between you and Theo. Your license does not 
sit well with someone who's public policy is to "make available 
source code that anyone can use for ANY PURPOSE, with no 

Would you consider changing your license for openBSD to use your 
software in this manner?

Would Theo consider changing his license for openBSD to impose your 
vision of order on the user community?

<-->Later . . . 'liam

William C Allen, BLS, EET

"It may be that your sole purpose in life is to serve as a warning to others"
At least I /have/ a purpose!