[ECOS] RedBoot banner

Jonathan Larmour jifl@eCosCentric.com
Tue Feb 3 14:02:00 GMT 2009


Chris Zimman wrote:
>>> RedBoot(tm) bootstrap and debug environment [ROM]
>>> Non-certified release, version UNKNOWN - built 12:06:17, Feb  2 2009
>>> Copyright (C) 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
>>> RedBoot is free software, covered by the eCos license, derived from
>>> the GNU General Public License. You are welcome to change it and/or
>>> distribute copies of it under certain conditions. Under the license
> terms,
>>> RedBoot's source code and full license terms must have been made
> available to
>>> you.
>>> Redboot comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY.
>>>
>>> Platform: Olimex LPC-H2294 header board (ARM7TDMI-S)
>>> RAM: 0x81000000-0x81100000, [0x81005900-0x810e1000] available
>>> FLASH: 0x80000000-0x803fffff, 8 x 0x2000 blocks, 63 x 0x10000 blocks
>>> RedBoot>
>>>
>>> What do you think? Thank you,
>> That seems reasonable, but I'd appreciate wider input first on whether
>> that's the best order before changing it.
> 
> I'd rather not see license related info as part of a startup banner.

Under section 2(c) of the GPL it isn't really an option:

    c) If the modified program normally reads commands interactively
    when run, you must cause it, when started running for such
    interactive use in the most ordinary way, to print or display an
    announcement including an appropriate copyright notice and a
    notice that there is no warranty (or else, saying that you provide
    a warranty) and that users may redistribute the program under
    these conditions, and telling the user how to view a copy of this
    License.  (Exception: if the Program itself is interactive but
    does not normally print such an announcement, your work based on
    the Program is not required to print an announcement.)

And of course RedBoot does print that sort of announcement (copyrights) and
has done from the outset. It's been strictly incorrect for RedBoot not to
comply with 2(c) for as long as it has (since the RHEPL->GPL+exception
switch). It does seem an appropriate thing for RedBoot to say too.

If anyone has any suggested improvements to make the wording more concise
while still meeting 2(c) and being clear, I'd welcome it - I only made it
up based on a mixture of what other GPL'd apps say, the 2(c) requirements,
and the fact the eCos licence is not in fact pure GPL. Despite the example
at the end of the GPL, I was not keen to include the full licence text via
a special command, and I don't think that's a hard obligation.

Of course due to the exception at the end, I would not expect an eCos
user's own interactive application (not related to RedBoot) to do the same
as RedBoot.

Jifl
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