[UFO Chicago] debian woody on an imac rev. b -- success! (fwd)
Fri, 10 Jan 2003 18:28:56 -0600
>> Modify and redistribute, of course. Are you lost?
> The point being? Modify and redistribute sounds like a chain letter
> scheme, or just the shouts of an ignorant crowd with litle clue or real
> ability and nothing better to do but cry "modify and redistribute!!!"
> Where exactly does "modify and distribute" get you? Great now your b0x
> runs some little rebel version of root compromise man. Good work. Much was
Modify: Bradley M. Kuhn, an individual of my aquaintance, was once
working in a computer lab back in the early 1990s. All the systems were
running GNU/Linux, an old 1.x version. They wanted to keep users from
Ctrl+Alt+Deleting and restarting the system. (Security reasons.) There
was no BIOS or boot flag for it. However, they had access to the source
code. So Brad went into the source code, MODIFIED it to comment out the
block of code that responded to the Ctrl+Alt+Del command, recompiled the
kernel, and installed it on all of the lab machines. That effectively
and completely prevented users from Ctrl+Alt+Deleting to reboot the
system. Had he not had access to the source code or not had permission
to MODIFY it, he would have not been able to complete the task.
Redistribute: In most cases, this takes two forms.
1) Take a snippit of the code in the program that does one task and drop
it into another program to do the same task in a different program.
(Eg, a sorting algorithm, a thread parser, etc.)
2) Immediate fix. A bug in man, if released, can be fixed at any time
by any of a few hundred thousand people and uploaded. Such fixes are
usually in place in a matter of hours, days at the most. If the code is
not available to be modified and REDISTRIBUTED (in this case, back to
the original author), then there are perhaps 5 people who can fix it and
upload it, and they generally have other things on their minds.
Everyone then gets a very quick turnaround time on bug fixes.
What you are talking about is "forking", which does happen but not as
often as you would expect. (Surprisingly little, actually.)
I'm not even a Free Software advocate, and even I understand these
Larry Garfield AIM: LOLG42
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