Subject: GPL'd code
To: Jason Thorpe <>
From: John F. Woods <>
List: current-users
Date: 06/14/1997 08:55:41
> Ok, to answer this... If Chris wanted to contribute code that was GPL'd,
> it wouldn't go into the tree... unless it was changes to things in the
> tree that are already GPL'd (e.g. toolchain modifications).

So the policy is no new GNU?  It seems that the barn door is already open
pretty wide on this.  Granted, absolutely NO ONE wants to write a new
multi-architecture compiler, and most of the GNU sources are binary toolchain
type things that no one in their right mind wants to rewrite (I've rewritten
one linker in my lifetime, thank you, that's quite enough :-), but chess?

Take perl, for example.  I can see not wanting to add it because of the
effort in chasing the latest revisions; I can see not wanting to add it
because it's larger than the rest of NetBSD :-) ; I can see not wanting
to add it because it's "unnecessary" (though folks who start scripting
in it quickly become unable to imagine doing without it; this COULD be
due to subtle chemical impregnation of the pages of the Camel book, though
:-) ).  But not wanting to add what is felt to be an otherwise worthy and
exceedingly useful tool because of it being GPL'ed seems to be fighting a
battle which is already lost.

Note:  I'm not trying to re-open the interminable "we want PERL!" thread.
It just seemed the ideal example for the topic at hand.

I would observe that you would want to forswear using perl scripts in
committed NetBSD sources:  someone wishing to ship a pure binary-only
NetBSD can leave out the C compilation system, groff, and chess and be
left with only the task of finding non-GNU replacements for bc, cpio,
diff, gawk, grep, sort, and tar (a fairly short list), but they would
not appreciate also having to write, from scratch, a set of system
scripts as well.  Perhaps it would simply be too much of a drag to have
to constantly tell enthusiastic would-be contributors "We can't accept
perl scripts, please rewrite this as a shell script."  Having perl be
something you have to pick up on street corners means that people don't
try rewriting /etc/rc in perl and submitting it...