FREE Virus And Spam Protection for Windows Users

Fri Oct 4 11:46:02 2002

Hash: SHA1

On Friday 04 Oct 2002 10:45 am, Veronica Loell wrote:

> I know this is off topic but I would still like a clarification on
> the non-freeness of programs that run on windows. What exactly does
> that mean? An open source program that runs on Windows is not OS? I
> was under the impression that OS programs including gnupg when run on
> a mswin machine was still OS.
> - Veronica

Packages that run on Windows under the GPL have their source code freely=20
available for amendment and improvement provided the source code is=20
also passed on amended for others to use; but Windows itself cannot be=20
recompiled, debugged, and made secure except by Microsoft because of=20
its closed source policy, and its use is even restricted by their EULA. =20
So, although you can get programs that are for the most part free, they=20
run in an environment which is not free and so they cannot really be=20
said to be free of restrictions.

GnuPG is available under the GPL, and is available to Windows users. =20
When used in the Windows environment, GnuPG cannot really be said to be=20
free.  However, this list is an appropriate place to discuss GnuPG=20
versions on any OS, because users should be able to decide for=20
themselves how restrictive or free they wish their OS and software to=20
be, and because it deals with GnuPG specifically.  It is not an=20
appropriate place to discuss virus scanners, free or proprietary.

GNU has been around before Linux came on the scene, so this is not a=20
Linux-specific point, and it has always taken the philosophical stand=20
that software should be free of restrictions as well as free of cost. =20
This is the philosophical stand of this list (as I understand it to=20
be), so discussion of software which is proprietary and does not relate=20
in any way to GnuPG is out of place here.
- --=20

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