So the OpenBSD kernel supports Linux emulation, a feature which exists for the sole purpose of running nonfree sourceless programs. In fact, I’ve even contributed to the development of this feature. I must be an unjust developer.
Is that really the sole purpose? Is that your reason for developing that, so that people can use non-free programs? Is that what you tell them, “look at all the non-free software you should use with our emulation layer”? It seems to me that there are probably many free programs that only compile for GNU/Linux, and it’s easier to emulate GNU/Linux than to modify these programs to also compile for OpenBSD.
My point is that he seems to say that features that work solely on non-free systems are a problem. But this doesn’t seem to be the case for your work on emulation.
I really think you and the FSF are on the same team, and in-fighting within the free software camp is very reminiscent of all minority social movements.
Edit: further evidence that you two seem to be on the same team: the FSF lists Wine in its free software directory. Their only warning is about non-free fonts. So, if they think this is ok, it does not seem very different from your own stance, even if you really are working on GNU/Linux emulation solely so that people can run non-free software.
Yes, it exists to run the opera browser and adobe reader.
It seems to me that there are probably many free programs that only compile for GNU/Linux, and it’s easier to emulate GNU/Linux than to modify these programs to also compile for OpenBSD.
Really? I can’t think of any.
POSIX is a fantasy. Targetting both Linux and OpenBSD is not automatic and requires work, and devs are lazy and only target the most popular OSes. Anything that’s got #ifdef LINUX and #ifdef APPLE in its source code (and nothing else). Anything that depends on Linux’s exact /proc hierarchy and nothing else. Old, abandoned software that was only targetted to Linux syscalls.
Here’s one example I can think of: zsnes. Does that compile for OpenBSD? It doesn’t even compile for 64-bit Linux because it’s got inline 32-bit assembly. Other free emulators that typically target very specific parts of the Linux sound stack could also qualify.
zsnes runs on OpenBSD, but only i386.
Anything targeting very Linux specific features is unlikely to run. It’s still the OpenBSD kernel, just with some shims to remap syscall arguments. But if it’s digging around in /proc, there’s nothing to see there and it won’t work.
Most of the nonfree software users wanted wasn’t designed to be Linux specific, that just happens to be the platform they release binaries for. The FreeBSD compat was even simpler, but existed to run perforce. Nothing FreeBSD specific about it, but there wasn’t an OpenBSD build.
if it’s digging around in /proc, there’s nothing to see there and it won’t work
FreeBSD does have linprocfs for this case, and afaict a main purpose of that is to get unported free software to run on FreeBSD. For example, it lets you run htop. :D
I wonder if Stallman only reads books that are out of copyright, or with a permissive license?
He does not. He does not oppose copyright per se. In fact, he’s talked about how copyright could be improved if it was reduced to 10 years instead of the de facto perpetuity it has acquired.
Let’s argue against Stallman, not against Strawman.
No strawman intended. I was genuinely curious. You cannot copy a book, and distribute copies to your friends and colleagues, much like you cannot with software; unless it is provided under a permissive licence, or it is out of copyright. You can lend them the book, though. (Unless it’s a DRM protected one.)
I didn’t intend having a dig at the man either. I have a lot of respect for what he’s done for software, despite finding him disagreeable when I approached him in person at FOSDEM over a decade ago. (TL;DR: Young starry-eyed student approached idol in the hallway to exchange a few words but was fobbed off. It hurt at the time, but he might just have been jet-lagged and tired and to be left alone.)
(Aside: how soon until we get to test if copyright on software expire after author’s death + 70 years, like for other works?)
Books aren’t really that comparable to software. The main point of similarity is basically that they’re both covered by copyright law. You don’t execute a book; the worst possible consequence of errata in a book is to convey misinformation, and errata can be corrected in local copies of books easily (perhaps through marginalia). There’s no “source code” to a book.