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GCC 4.2.1 Released 449

Posted by Zonk
from the licensing-with-drama dept.
larry bagina writes "GCC 4.2.1 was released 4 days ago. Although this minor update would otherwise be insignificant, it will be the final GPL v2 release; all future releases will be GPL v3. Some key contributors are grumbling over this change and have privately discussed a fork to stay as GPL v2. The last time GCC forked (EGCS), the FSF conceded defeat. How will the FSF/GNU handle the GPL 3 revolt?"
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GCC 4.2.1 Released

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  • Fact lite submission (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 23, 2007 @04:47AM (#19953613)
    Who is opposing the transition to GPLv3 and why?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 23, 2007 @05:02AM (#19953677)
      Who is opposing the transition to GPLv3 and why?

      There's this guy Linus [wikipedia.org], he's one. You may have heard of him. He's the guy who created git [wikipedia.org] and some other minor projects.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Svenne (117693)
        Oh, will he be forking GCC? No? Then how is that relevant to the topic at hand?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by vandan (151516)
      Basically people who want to write non-GPL software oppose GPL3 ( and also people pushing DRM ). For everyone else ( people writing GPL software, and users who don't write software ), GPL3 is a good step towards protecting us from the oncoming legal onslaught from the commercial software world, headed my Microsoft.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        For everyone else ( people writing GPL software, and users who don't write software ), GPL3 is a good step [...]

        No, GPLv3 is significantly different from GPLv2, and some of us think that the new version really, really, sucks.

        • by twistedcubic (577194) on Monday July 23, 2007 @06:52AM (#19954203)

          No, GPLv3 is significantly different from GPLv2, and some of us think that the new version really, really, sucks.

          If you're of this opinion, why not just read the license? You might change your mind.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by halivar (535827)
            That's one of the reasons people hate the GPLv3. Any time someone says they don't like it, proponents suggest it's because they haven't read it. It's a mite insulting.
            • by MysteriousPreacher (702266) on Monday July 23, 2007 @08:04AM (#19954731) Journal
              "the new version really, really, sucks." ranks alongside such great arguments as "Your mum" and "Because I said so". That's probably why it was suggested that they read the licence.
              • by tomhudson (43916) <barbara.hudson@nOSpaM.barbara-hudson.com> on Monday July 23, 2007 @09:18AM (#19955689) Journal

                A lot of us have read it and saying "it sux" is just our way of being polite.

                Its a fuck-up. The gpl was originally about software, and trying to extend it to hardware is inappropriate. It means that GPLv3 code is cut off from a lot of applications, for example, use in running medical devices where you absolutely want to prohibit anyone from changing the binaries; because of provisions for distributing keys, any device containing GPLv3 software is no longer certifiable. Nice way to hand a critical market to Microsoftie, where the blue screen of death is not just a metaphor.

                There are other examples, if you care to do some research; we've commented on them before. The GPLv2 was sufficient to defang the Novell-MS deal, but people panicked. The GPLv3 is a political maneuver that plays right into Microsoft's hands. They would love all free software to move to GPLv3. They'd shit-stain their tidy-whities if it all forked to, say, a BSD license instead. Sun could, for example, merge linux and solaris. Linux with zfs would be an instant hit.

          • by Timothy Brownawell (627747) <tbrownaw@prjek.net> on Monday July 23, 2007 @07:11AM (#19954357) Homepage Journal


            No, GPLv3 is significantly different from GPLv2, and some of us think that the new version really, really, sucks.

            If you're of this opinion, why not just read the license? You might change your mind.

            Why do you assume that anyone who doesn't like it hasn't read it?

            I have read it (and based my last couple .sig's on it, even), and I find the Tivo section to make it sound very much like "You are free to use this however you want. Except for things we disagree with.". Which is really a very hollow sort of "freedom", regardless of how bad the "things we disagree with" are.

            • by Scarblac (122480) <slashdot@gerlich.nl> on Monday July 23, 2007 @07:31AM (#19954471) Homepage

              You are totally, completely free to _use_ a GPLv3 program for whatever you want, and you're even guaranteed to be able to do that on the device it came on, if any. Of course, if you want to distribute the program yourself, you have to give receivers all the same rights.

              That doesn't sound like "you are free to use this however you want, except for things we disagree with" at all, to me.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by jez9999 (618189)
              make it sound very much like "You are free to use this however you want. Except for things we disagree with.".

              The GPLv2 already does this! It says, "you can use this how you want, except several things, one of which is modifying -> compiling -> distributing it without the modified source."

              Which is really a very hollow sort of "freedom", regardless of how bad the "things we disagree with" are.

              If you say so. I think it's a prefectly reasonable level of freedom. If you want 100% freedom, go BSD-licenc
    • Who is favouring a switch to GPL V. 3 and why?

      Seriously: It is quite unlikely that anyone is running gcc on a TiVo, and even more unlikely that anyone is running a modified gcc on a TiVo. And I can't see anyone creating a DRM encumbered version of gcc. Now if Microsoft decided to co-operate with Sony and create the most horrible DRM ever thought of for the new Microsoft-Sony-Dr.Evil Music Player, then there is nothing at all that would stop them from using a future gcc compiler under GPL V. 3 to do this.

      Now
    • The whole EGCS link is also unclear. If I recall correctly, EGCS was a fork to OPTIMISE gcc, not to subvert it.
      • by Per Abrahamsen (1397) on Monday July 23, 2007 @07:00AM (#19954253) Homepage
        Mostly EGCS happened because Richard Kenner, while widely recognized as an excellent compiler engineer, wasn't that good a maintainer. In particular, the Cygnus people felt that their changes to the C++ front-end was too long to get in to the mainline tree. The egcs branch tried to "modernize" the development process with open mailing lists and anonymous cvs access, as opposed to the traditional ("Cathedral") approach.

        Officially the egcs was an experimental branch of gcc, and there was never a feud between the Cygnus guys between egcs, and the FSF. The FSF could thus make egcs the official gcc branch without losing face, the experiment had simply been a success.

        The "link" to egcs is simply because the submitter is a troll. That gcc would change to GPL3 has been known and accepted since the whole GPL3 process started, and those developers who cared have responded by getting involved in the GPL3 process. The rare protests have been from non-developers only, and have seem more motivated by misguided Linus worship than by anything else.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by conares (1045290)
      I do! Becuz' dat Torvalds gai sed it was liek no gud....or sumpin...;)
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DrXym (126579)
      Who is opposing the transition to GPLv3 and why?

      Probably anyone who thinks it's a terribly bad idea to change licences midstream through the life of a product. They should have done what Samba is doing and declare a clean break at a major version change. It would be less confusing and far more clearcut to say that gcc 4.2.x is GPL v2 and 4.4.x is GPL3.

  • The threat... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by NoxNoctis (936876)
    ...of a fork for a large and well known project like GCC can definitely shake things up. All the people involved just need to remember that if they do fork GCC, they've got a lot of work to do. I'm not saying it shouldn't be done, but some people just whine about licenses, threaten to fork, and hope for the developers to hear their cry. I hate to say it, but GCC under GPLv3 is coming, and no amount of whining will change that.
    • by mwvdlee (775178)
      It really depends on who's "whining" (just because you don't agree, doesn't mean they're whining). The winner would be whichever (potential) fork would get the best development.
    • I hate to say it, but GCC under GPLv3 is coming, and no amount of whining will change that.
      No doubt about that.
      As seen with the XFree86 project, it takes considerable disgruntlement to create a serious fork. And even if it happens, the original project may stay alive.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XFree86#Release_histo ry [wikipedia.org] shows that XFree86 still exists, even if X.Org is the dominant X-Server these days. So I'm sure there will be an official GCC version under GPLv3.

      It is, however, possible that a well-maintai
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        I think it's more than possible. I think we can consider it as good as forked when we look at all of the interested parties, some of whom have a big financial interest in having a GPL 2 fork.

        The pity is that it might not be possible to merge the forks down the road. That used to be one of the strengths of the GPL, the ability to merge.
    • by timmarhy (659436)
      why is it that some people consider all descenting views to be "whining" ? could it be fear that the other party has very valid points?
      • by geschild (43455)
        Or it could be they are unjustly generalizing, or they could be right, of course.

        Are these people considering all descenting views to be "whining" on all subjects or just on this subject? Are the 'these people' knowledgable in the field?

        In other words, are you yourself generalizing?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by xquark (649804)
      I don't know "who" is grumbling, but just looking at the C++ and C side of things, those
      languages's syntax to RTL conversions are written by a small group of people (I believe 4-5)
      under the auspices of something called "code sourcery" of which some of them are employed
      by a company called EDG.

      Hence I believe if the majority of people from this group were to revolt and stay with gpl2
      then a fork occurring would be inevitable and the FSF wouldn't have a leg to stand on, they
      would have to concede as they did wit
  • IMHO, dual licensed (GPL 2 + GPL 3) is the way to go for a time, while things shake out in the world of free software. Of course GCC, as a FSF project wants to lead the way to a GPL 3 future. However, I think projects would be wise to require contributions as >=GPL2, and release their software as either >=GPL2 or dual-licensed. The latter is what I'm doing to do in the next release of my own work; I don't really want to take sides, and will let competition sort out which license becomes popular. I
    • What does that even mean? Clearly, you need to re-read the GPL. The GPLv2 is *already* "dual licensed" (I put the term in quotes because it's nonsensical to talk about it as such) as GPLv3 by virtue of its "any future version" clause. Furthermore, GCC requires assignment of copyright to the FSF, so the FSF has full say over what the license is. Nothing additional is required of contributors.

      I think you might want to consult with a lawyer about your own project's licenses, as well. It seems to me what you re
      • Re:Dual License (Score:4, Interesting)

        by SnowZero (92219) on Monday July 23, 2007 @06:10AM (#19954001)

        What does that even mean? Clearly, you need to re-read the GPL. The GPLv2 is *already* "dual licensed" (I put the term in quotes because it's nonsensical to talk about it as such) as GPLv3 by virtue of its "any future version" clause.
        Ahem, I think you need to reread the license. First, there are quite a few GPLv2-only projects out there, such as the Linux kernel. There is no requirement to include the "later version" statement in programs, as it is not a part of the actual license. The license statement/boilerplate says which license you use, but it is not the actual license (except in the case of short licenses like MIT, where the entire license is sometimes used as the boilerplate). This has been discussed in detail before on LKML and Debian-Legal, so I'm surprised you haven't heard of this. My particular projects are GPLv2-only at the moment, because I do not believe in supporting licenses which don't exist -- now that really is nonsense.

        Furthermore, GCC requires assignment of copyright to the FSF, so the FSF has full say over what the license is. Nothing additional is required of contributors.
        I'm well aware of this. If you can find something in my post which is inconsistent with this, let me know. I was just giving my opinion on what I think most projects should do. Since all FSF projects require copyright assignment, they can do what they want, and meanwhile I can give my opinion.

        I think you might want to consult with a lawyer about your own project's licenses, as well.
        I have talked with lawyers before on the licensing, although the GPL3 did not exist then so that wasn't the issue. As I stated before, the 2-vs-3 thing has been covered in quite a bit of depth elsewhere, and I'm pretty happy with what others have determined in their analyses. There are people out there using licenses they have never even read, so I think they might be more in need of a lawyer than I am. I don't make a living off my projects anyway, so I am not too worried about worst-case legal consequences causing me much harm.

        It seems to me what you really want is to continue accepting contributions as GPLv2, but I can't actually make any sense out of what you are saying above.
        Modulo your different interpretation of the GPL license itself versus the license statement for a block of code, we seem to agree completely. I require contributions to be submitted as "GPL 2 or at your option any later version". Thus far I've released my compilation as GPLv2 only, for much the same reasons that the Linux kernel is released that way. Future versions will likely be GPLv2+GPLv3 (exercising my "or later" option to others' contributions).
  • I call bull. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by c0l0 (826165) * on Monday July 23, 2007 @05:04AM (#19953687) Homepage
    I'm very interested in everything Free Software, and have been following developments around GPLv3 and its adoption rather closely. Apart from some flaimbaits proclaiming how $CORP was going to abandon GCC (or anything else) after going for v3 of GPL, there is no evidence whatsoever supporting that this might actually be considered by anyone important - or in case there is, it wasn't visible enough for me to spot it.

    So, user number 561269, would you please elaborate on the subject and cite any credible source supporting your view that a major contributor to GCC is considering to fork and "have it their way"? Your posting thoroughly lacks that kind of information right now, and therefore I think it deserves being tagged bogus or useless.

    Thanks in advance for clearing this up.

    - c0l0
    (who's growing tired of all this anti-GPLv3-FUD swellig so much recently fast)
    • Re:I call bull. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by samkass (174571) on Monday July 23, 2007 @06:32AM (#19954111) Homepage Journal
      I don't know of any fork of GCC happening, but I know that Apple now has their own C/C++/ObjC front-end to LLVM that can compile down to binary, and thus it seems will soon be able to avoid using GCC altogether. And since they appear to be prepared to open source it, perhaps there won't be a fork of GCC, but instead this may be the beginning of the end of GCC's dominance.
      • LLVM (Score:3, Informative)

        by Per Abrahamsen (1397)
        Actually, LLVM is (or was, I'm not sure what the current status is) a candidate for a new middle/backend for GCC.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by samkass (174571)
          Yes, but you don't need GCC at all in order to use LLVM to compile all the way from source to binary, once you have a new front-end. Now that Apple has such a front-end for the languages they use (and one which, from early benchmarks, performs significantly better than GCC), I see GCC's days as being numbered at Apple. Add to that the fact that there is certainly no consensus on GPLv3 yet, and GCC could easily deprecate its popularity by jumping to GPLv3.

  • by zsau (266209) <slashdot@NoSpAm.thecartographers.net> on Monday July 23, 2007 @05:04AM (#19953689) Homepage Journal
    Once more, Slashdot's editors demonstrate that they are here solely for adviews and not to provide "news for nerds" or "stuff that matters". The ECGS fork will be nothing like the current fork. ECGS was forked for technical/organisational reasons: GCC was being developed much like a closed-source program with a free licence, which resulted in a stagnating compiler and unhappy would-be contributors. ECGS should the superiority of the "bazaar"/open-source development method of the "cathedral"/closed-source method in this particular context. All of this is well-known information you can find just about anywhere on the web.

    Given that GCC development will remain open, this fork cannot be compared. On the other hand, we do have another situation that might be considered similar: The X.org/XFree86 fork. XFree86 was developed under a free software licence, but with 4.4 this was changed to a non-free licence. X.org forked the most recent free version and has basically completely replaced XFree86.

    But, of course, this is still not perfectly comparable. XFree86 was using a relatively closed development method, and the X.org fork's more open style saw it rejuvinated: And indeed, this was part of the purpose of the fork. A GPLv2 GCC fork will not see this sort of rejuvination, as GCC has already seen the benefit for it of an open method, and continues to use it. (See: The EGCS fork the article poster referred to.)

    In addition, the XFree86 licence was widely regarded as being non-free and some major distributions (e.g. Debian, Fedora) considered it completely inappropriate for inclusion. It was made unilaterally without discussion without relevant stakeholders. The GPLv3, however, has had public draft releases and discussion including many major distributors and producers of free software. Although it removes certain freedoms distributors had with GPLv2 (which, largely, went completely against the spirit of the GPLv2), the GPLv3 has the agreement of the people needed to make it work. There will be basically top-down push for adoption as there was with XFree86/X.org.

    My prediction: Any GPLv2 fork of GCC will be largely forgotten in a year or two.
  • by LingNoi (1066278) on Monday July 23, 2007 @05:05AM (#19953691)

    Some key contributors are grumbling over this change and have privately discussed a fork to stay as GPL v2.
    Who are they? You could have linked to the mailing list or somewhere these "key contributors" where discussing it but you didn't.

    Smells like FUD.
  • by vivaoporto (1064484) on Monday July 23, 2007 @05:07AM (#19953705)

    Some key contributors are grumbling over this change and have privately discussed a fork to stay as GPL v2. The last time GCC forked (EGCS), the FSF conceded defeat. How will the FSF/GNU handle the GPL 3 revolt?"
    (emphasis mine)

    The use of weasel words [wikipedia.org], speculation of "private discussions" (how would one in the public know the content of a private discussion without being a part of it himself?) and the use of the textbook definition of straw man [wikipedia.org] by bringing up the unrelated fact that one fork have been successful in the past and implying that, because of that, one "revolt" is imminent, is nothing by an ill flamebait, in order to generate controversy and the unavoidable licensing flamewar that it will certainly ensue.

    This is sad because Slashdot used to be a place where, when a new version of software were posted, the discussion were directed to the changelog and the new features, fixed bugs, and this particular article didn't even mentioned that. It was a cheap shot at GPLv3, a license that seems to have lots of people that dislikes it, people that aren't even affected by it in the first place. GPL doesn't cover use, only distribution.

    Sad, sad, sad, this used to be a cool blog with real "news for nerds" but lately it seems more interested in generating polemic and the page views that accompany it.

    DISCLAIMER: Nothing in my post shows any support (or lack of) for any of the mentioned licenses, nor discusses the their merit (or lack of). So keep me out of the flamewar.
    • This is sad because Slashdot used to be a place where, when a new version of software were posted, the discussion were directed to the changelog and the new features, fixed bugs, and this particular article didn't even mentioned that. It was a cheap shot at GPLv3, a license that seems to have lots of people that dislikes it, people that aren't even affected by it in the first place. GPL doesn't cover use, only distribution.

      This article is not about technical issues. As far as I know, there is no significant

  • evolution in action (Score:4, Interesting)

    by oohshiny (998054) on Monday July 23, 2007 @05:10AM (#19953717)
    If the GPL v3 objections are real and widespread, then the GPL v2 forks will survive.

    If the GPL v2 objections are unfounded or astroturfing, then the GPL v2 forks will die.

    I think the grumbling will blow over; I don't see any serious problems with the GPL v3. In fact, the fact that GPL v3 is compatible with more open source licenses seems like a big advantage.
  • by flibble (34145) <.zoe. .at. .zarp.org.uk.> on Monday July 23, 2007 @05:10AM (#19953719) Homepage
    To be honest from my reading of the gcc mailing list, most of the complaints seemed to be focused around the fact that the original plan (which was up for discussion at least) was to change the numbering system so they went straight from 4.2.1 to 4.3.3 (lots of 3's to ram the point home of course) which would be confusing to most people (and probably to a few packaging systems as well). With what would be 4.3 going to 4.4.

    The big problem is that RMS seems to want all patches put into SVN after July 31st to be GPL3+ no matter what, even on release branches which automatically pollutes them. This then causes problems for corporate users who may then have to wait for a legal department evaluation on the license...

    I don't think many people would object if the GPLv3+ restriction was for 4.3/4.4+ really. (well as long as RMS doesn't go mad and revoke the linking exception for libgcc anyway...)
  • GPL v2, v3 or *BSD? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by LinuxGeek (6139) * <{djand.nc} {at} {gmail.com}> on Monday July 23, 2007 @05:12AM (#19953729)
    People that use a Linux distro that is newly encumbered by Microsoft patent agreements *cough*Linspire*cough* cannot use the compilers for development anyway. What does the actual GPL version matter to the users in that situation?

    I am certainly not a lawyer, but MS has a ton of lawyers that seem to have become experts in the GPL arena and they seem to have little fear of GPL v2, but v3 seems to have them concerned. It seems that if developers want to stick with v2, then they may as well go all the way to the FreeBSD license. v3 is the future of free and open source projects that want to remain free in both senses until MS gets brave enough to sue over some vague patents. But if they can get enough partners like Linspire and Novell, they will have crippled much of the spirit that drives opensource. I plan on supporting companies that are standing up to the MS bullying in whatever ways I can.
    • '' People that use a Linux distro that is newly encumbered by Microsoft patent agreements *cough*Linspire*cough* cannot use the compilers for development anyway. What does the actual GPL version matter to the users in that situation? ''

      Please could you explain why I couldn't use the gcc compilers on a box running Linspire for development?

      In reality, this whole "patent agreement" is just a lot of hot air. Microsoft just agreed not to sue a very small subset of all Linux users. The other 90+ percent of Linux
  • by KNicolson (147698) on Monday July 23, 2007 @05:17AM (#19953759) Homepage
    I've not studied the details of GPL v3, but I believe there will no new restrictions of programs built with a v3'd GCC. For example, we can still built our TiVo-ised closed source DRMed patent-encumbered for sale software without fearing the wrath of RMS, or at least no additional rwrath from him.
    • by baadger (764884)
      My understanding is there has always been a clause in the licensing of GCC so that the small amount of GPL'd setup code compiled into C/C++ programs by the compiler doesn't 'infect' your application with the requirement to be released under the GPL. Of course it's a grey area, when turning C/C++ into assembly language there are going to assembly templates in GCC that are copied verbatim into your program.

      The general consensus however is this doesn't effect your average user of GCC, only those developing pro
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Asmodai (13932)
        With all due respect to the people hacking GCC, this is a grey area you do not want to worry about when compiling your code. Period.
      • I always thought that glibc/startup code was LGPL for that very reason. LGPL allows you to link against otherwise "gpl'ed" code but without the restriction that your application becomes GPL'ed [or LGPL'ed] itself. If I'm not mistaken that even allows static linking.

        Tom
    • by Chemisor (97276) on Monday July 23, 2007 @07:37AM (#19954511)
      I maintain a more or less portable OSS project (uSTL [sourceforge.net] - an STL implementation) and I have had to make at least a few changes for each compiler release. Sometimes it happens due to new warnings that catch potential bugs I didn't know about. Sometimes it is due to policy changes (like the stricter aliasing rules in gcc 4), and sometimes there are new features I want to take advantage of.

      Since I am strongly opposed to GPLv3 and anything that uses it, I am not going to upgrade my gcc any further than 4.2.1, which I'll probably do today. This means that uSTL, and my other five projects on SourceForge, may have problems compiling on later gcc releases, even though I will not intentionally put any incompatibilities in my code. Not being able to predict the future, I don't know whether these problems would be minor ones or major ones, but I do know that unless they expose some fundamental problem with my code, I will reject any bugs related to them and state explicitly that any gcc > 4.2.1 is not supported and never will be.

      Now, you probably wouldn't care about this. After all, I only had a few thousand downloads - a minute fraction of the developers in the world. And you might say "oh, who needs this guy's code anyway?" But I have a feeling I'm not the only one, and I do occasionally contribute to projects other than my own. Perhaps you don't care if you lose my skills and the skills of all those other developers, but I suspect that they do all add up to quite a bit, and while you might not notice it at first, the GPLv3 camp might get lonelier and emptier as time passes.
  • by eddy (18759) on Monday July 23, 2007 @05:17AM (#19953763) Homepage Journal

    I follow the GCC list (you know, where all significant contributors hang around), and the only thing I've seen discussed is what should happen to the old branches when GCC goes GPLv3, and if the change should come with a version change. The thread starts here [gnu.org].

    Me thinks someone is on crack.

  • by inflex (123318) on Monday July 23, 2007 @05:41AM (#19953875) Homepage Journal
    I'm a single-person software business, I don't hold any patents, I release by far a majority of my code under the BSD revised licence.

    I -do- however have a portion of code that I keep locked up for a commercial application, if I start using a GPL v3 GCC will I be putting myself into peril?

    Incidently, I'm not in the US, but well... sort of, I'm in Australia, which is almost as good as another US state *sigh*.
    • by kocsonya (141716) on Monday July 23, 2007 @06:23AM (#19954061)
      > I -do- however have a portion of code that I keep locked up for a commercial application, if I start using a GPL v3 GCC will I be putting myself into peril?

      No, you won't. You want to *use* gcc, not distribute it. The GPL explicitely states that it deals with the redistribution of the program and it puts no restriction on its use. If you want to distribute GCC itsels, then the GPL restricts you. If you distribute code compiled with GCC, the GPL has nothing to do with you.

      > Incidently, I'm not in the US, but well... sort of, I'm in Australia, which is almost as good as another US state *sigh*.

      It seems to me that in the civil rights/privacy/witch-hunt departments we're getting a lead on the mothership :-(
      • by inflex (123318)
        >No, you won't. You want to *use* gcc, not distribute it. The GPL explicitely states that it deals with the redistribution of the program and it puts no restriction on its use. If you want to distribute GCC itsels, then the GPL restricts you. If you distribute code compiled with GCC, the GPL has nothing to do with you.

        Great, that solves that then (since I won't be redistributing GCC at all, merely the binaries it generates).

        >It seems to me that in the civil rights/privacy/witch-hunt departments we're
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Since the advent of OS X Apple have made some not insignifacnt contributions to gcc as I'm sure IBM, Sun, HP, etc. have but Apple are to my knowledge to _only_ top tier hardware vendor that relies upon gcc as the core of its' OS build system.

    Anyone care to speculate on how Apple might react to gcc going GPL3, perhaps they may actually fork it themselves...
  • Grumbling (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jrumney (197329) on Monday July 23, 2007 @05:50AM (#19953907) Homepage

    Some key contributors are grumbling over this change and have privately discussed a fork to stay as GPL v2.

    References? The only grumblings I can see in the GCC mailing lists are about the version number change that accompanies the GPLv3 upgrade. A few developers feel that a license change is not a new feature so the first GPL version should be 4.2.2, not 4.3. And one developer who complains that not allowing backported patches to stay under GPLv2 will be a burdon to companies offering support for older versions (eg Novell, Xandros and Linspire).

  • Just my 2 cents (Score:2, Interesting)

    by nrgy (835451)
    I'm in the vfx industry and over the years I've picked up programming plugins for the applications I use. Now I don't use other peoples code because frankly I'm just doing math calculations and using the internals of the applications they are being coded for.

    That being said all this GPL3, tivo this tivo that stuff is confusing the hell out of me. I release my plugins free to anyone using the applications they are designed for, I don't however release the source code. You can call me lazy all you want and
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      > I don't use other peoples code

      Then you have no problem. If you link against a lib, check the license. Most libs are BSD or LGPL and permit linking without requiring you to release your source.

      > I'm halfway tempted to switch my development to a Mac

      What compiler do you think Apples XCode uses?

      > if things keep going the way they are though I might just have to start looking at another platform.

      I'm witness to the awesome power of FUD.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by nrgy (835451)
        > What compiler do you think Apples XCode uses?

        My not knowning this is from my lack of knowledge with Apple so forgive me for not knowing. If I at some time do decide to switch platforms I will have to read up more about each one and the pro's and con's that each have.

        > I'm witness to the awesome power of FUD.

        This has nothing to do with FUD, am I wrong for disagreeing with the way the FSF is handling things as of late? Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and mine just so happens to be that if
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and mine just so happens to be that if things keep going the way they are I may decide to look to other operating systems.

          No you're not. The GPLv4 explicitly disallows you from having any opinion on how the FSF works or you lose your right to have an opinion.
    • Re:Just my 2 cents (Score:5, Informative)

      by tokul (682258) on Monday July 23, 2007 @06:53AM (#19954211)

      Fault Windows all you want but the worries you have with licenses on Windows is slightly less then Linux, notice I SLIGHTLY easier. I'm halfway tempted to switch my development to a Mac and dump my Linux support to not worry about it ever again. This is pretty sad since I ENJOY Linux, I've been running nothing but Linux the past 5 years. I have better things to do then worry "Opps, shit did I link with something that requires I release the source".
      Then don't use GPL-licensed code in your proprietary software. If you use third party code, you don't own it and you must check copyrights. With GPL you must follow copyright laws or you must follow GPL. Without GPL you still must follow copyright laws.

      Like I have said in all my previous posts I like Linux, I like it a lot, but I'm sorry to say I don't view the FSF as the best people representing Linux.

      First F in FSF stands for Free. Your proprietary software is not free.

      Even if you don't like GPL, you still can use Linux. You only can't distribute Linux with your proprietary modifications.

  • I have just looked at the GCC mailing list. There is some discussion how to make the change the best way and what happens to backports. But I have to see now a message, which explicitly states, that he will fork GCC. I think this is overblown.
  • C'mon. v3 gives more patent protection to developers and it is written in more internationalised language. It's hard to see what people could complain about in terms of GCC.
  • by H4x0r Jim Duggan (757476) on Monday July 23, 2007 @05:59AM (#19953951) Homepage Journal
    I just read the linked-to email and found no mention of grumbling developers talking about forks.

    On what grounds did Slashdot say this is true???
  • Binutils (Score:5, Informative)

    by Asmodai (13932) on Monday July 23, 2007 @06:07AM (#19953991) Homepage
    And no one noticed yet that binutils already went to GPLv3?
  • duh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Vexorian (959249) on Monday July 23, 2007 @08:20AM (#19954913)
    Obviously many guys are worried about a compiler getting GPL3, they wouldn't be able to modify the compiler and then include the compiler in some tivo like device or whatever GPL3 would make GCC troublesome... Not really getting it, sounds as if some fudders want to call GPL3 dangerous whenever possible...
  • GPLv4? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by koehn (575405) * on Monday July 23, 2007 @09:22AM (#19955733)
    Not trolling here, but what's to keep somebody from coming up with a license called GNU Public License v4, defining their own wicked terms along with it, and picking up all the GNU software with the "or later" clause in it?

    Does the FSF have the trademark on GNU Public License? What is the third party called it something else, but declared it to be a newer version of the GNU Public License?

If it is a Miracle, any sort of evidence will answer, but if it is a Fact, proof is necessary. -- Samuel Clemens

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