Notice of intent: patching glibc

Roberto Ragusa mail at
Sat Sep 3 18:56:55 UTC 2011

On 09/03/2011 07:31 PM, Adam Williamson wrote:

> To look at things at a higher level: it's clearly the goal of the
> guidelines that any interested party (with sufficient basic knowledge)
> who comes along and checks a Fedora package out of git should be able to
> _understand it_, and this includes finding out where all the stuff that
> goes to make up the package actually comes from. glibc spec clearly
> doesn't achieve this goal; the casual browser is left looking at a
> gigantic patch and a mystery tarball and wondering where they came from
> and what they do, as I was. This makes glibc not at all raptor-proof,
> and not very amenable to outside review or improvements, which is rather
> against the spirit of an open source, community project.

And the mind goes to a recent case of "obfuscation by merging patches".

In that case RedHat acknowledged that a single giant patch is more
difficult to understand and it confirmed that this was considered a
feature (for commercial reasons); someone even started to debate
if that could be considered a GPL violation, on the "source in preferred
form" criteria.


   Roberto Ragusa    mail at

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