Is 'purple' secret, too?

Ethan Blanton elb at
Thu Mar 22 10:40:34 EDT 2007

Evan Schoenberg spake unto us the following wisdom:
> I've been using mtn HEAD for all Libgaim.framework builds since the  
> official switch to monotone.. so Adium 1.0.1 includes a build which  
> is built from the-code-in-monotone-which-wasn't-yet-called-libpurple,  
> as are Adium 1.0.2 betas 1 and 2.  Adium 1.0.2 beta 3, pushed earlier  
> in the week, is using libpurple-as-such, since the s/gaim/purple had  
> occurred.

This is a mistake.  It is unfortuante that we were not consulted on
this issue.

> I committed monotone HEAD, pre-purple-name-switch, to Adium's Libgaim  
> repository with Adium 1.0.2b2.  That code was therefore immediately  
> available.  I have not committed any changes since then as I didn't  
> want to make the full purpliness public without discussing it here.

This is reasonable, although it would look somewhat suspcious to
anyone paying attention.

> Not making the source available in a public repository is *not* a  
> violation (clear or otherwise) of the terms of the GPL.   The GPL  
> states:

You are, of course, correct, but I think you understand that you are
*definitely* splitting semantic hairs here.  Are you saying that you
had every intention of releasing code which you knew to be part of a
legal settlement if someone asked, without consulting those involved
in the settlement itself?  Perhaps I was mistaken, but I thought that
everyone contributing to the post-monotone repository understood that
their work was not going to be distributed until the settlement was
complete -- as without distribution, the requirement to release source
is not invoked.

This is precisely the nature which Stu (along with the rest of us) has
been uncomfortable with ... however, we were advised by _actual
lawyers_, not armchair experts, that to release the data point that
our rename was already under way before the settlement was completed
would weaken our position.

This is not to even mention the shady subversion of the GPL's *intent*
in requiring particular requests for source code in an age where
people simply expect the "Download Source" link on a web page to
provide them with the latest and greatest.  This issue, of course, is
one of moral character and stomach for dissimilation, so I suppose it
is out of scope.

> The GPL itself is of course distributed with Adium.  The offer is  
> made for a complete copy of the corresponding source code.  Failure  
> to commit changes immediately such that the code isn't in a public  
> repository does not mean I would deny a request for the libgaim source.

I assume you realize that, when complying with that request, the GPL
does not allow you to place any conditions upon the release.
Therefore, you have committed the secrecy of the AOL settlement to the
potential judgment of users and developers you have never met, nor had
the opportunity to determine their trustworthiness.

I am extremely disappointed in the judgement of the Adium developers
in making this decision without consulting us.  Fortunately, it looks
like a settlement is at hand (but how many times has that happened?),
so we may reasonably hope that this lapse of reason will not adversely
affect it.


The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws [that have no remedy
for evils].  They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor
determined to commit crimes.
		-- Cesare Beccaria, "On Crimes and Punishments", 1764
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