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Thread: PathScale Open-Sources The EKOPath 4 Compiler Suite

  1. #201
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    Quote Originally Posted by energyman View Post
    yeah and you can not compile closed source software with a gpl'ed compiler without an exception like FSF's gcc exception. Which has been known for ages and everybody who is able use google might find that for himself.
    By the same logic, wouldn't PathScale be obliged to license at least their frontend with the same gcc exception? Their frontend is gcc. Code directly taken from the gcc repositories. Unless the exception explicitly allows you to redistribute the code while opting to remove the exception, they are obliged to provide the same exception to anyone they distribute it to.

    Also, there are parts of the PathScale compiler suite that are not licensed under the GPLv3. The parts of their codebase that are not licensed under the GPLv3 don't have the same problem, even without a gcc exception. Let's enumerate the licenses one by one:

    MIT/X11: A liberal license with no copyleft clause. You can make proprietary software with MIT/X11 licensed code.
    BSD: same as above.
    LGPL 2.1 or later: A copyleft license, but it explicitly allows you to make proprietary software with a derived work, as long as you don't modify the original works. So basically, as long as you don't modify the PathScale compiler or runtime while writing your C/C++ application, you can make it proprietary and comply with the LGPLed parts of the code.

    The only code in question is GPLv3'ed code that is not part of the gcc frontend, but is written by the PathScale developers. If, indeed, such code exists, and is not licensed with the gcc exception, then yes, there might be a problem where anyone who distributes software compiled by EkoPath is obligated to license it under the GPLv3. That's pretty damn extreme, even for a free software project.

    That's a huge, huge problem, if indeed it is the case. Because theoretically you wouldn't even be allowed to compile a BSD or MIT/X11 licensed software with this compiler, because you would violate the copyright license of the software you're compiling by trying to license it under the GPLv3. Would the same apply if you tried to compile LGPLed software?

    This looks ugly. Unless I am really misunderstanding something here (such as, the gcc exception really is in effect for the entire compiler project and runtimes), we might have a situation where every program compiled by the PathScale EkoPath compiler either needs to be licensed under a license compatible with the GPLv3, or else you are not allowed to distribute it to anyone other than yourself and/or the company you work for. Wow.

  2. #202
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    and there you find this gem:

    You have permission to propagate a work of Target Code formed by combining the Runtime Library with Independent Modules, even if such propagation would otherwise violate the terms of GPLv3, provided that all Target Code was generated by Eligible Compilation Processes. You may then convey such a combination under terms of your choice, consistent with the licensing of the Independent Modules.

    you really should read that site.

  3. #203
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    Quote Originally Posted by allquixotic View Post
    By the same logic, wouldn't PathScale be obliged to license at least their frontend with the same gcc exception? Their frontend is gcc. Code directly taken from the gcc repositories. Unless the exception explicitly allows you to redistribute the code while opting to remove the exception, they are obliged to provide the same exception to anyone they distribute it to.

    Also, there are parts of the PathScale compiler suite that are not licensed under the GPLv3. The parts of their codebase that are not licensed under the GPLv3 don't have the same problem, even without a gcc exception. Let's enumerate the licenses one by one:

    MIT/X11: A liberal license with no copyleft clause. You can make proprietary software with MIT/X11 licensed code.
    BSD: same as above.
    LGPL 2.1 or later: A copyleft license, but it explicitly allows you to make proprietary software with a derived work, as long as you don't modify the original works. So basically, as long as you don't modify the PathScale compiler or runtime while writing your C/C++ application, you can make it proprietary and comply with the LGPLed parts of the code.

    The only code in question is GPLv3'ed code that is not part of the gcc frontend, but is written by the PathScale developers. If, indeed, such code exists, and is not licensed with the gcc exception, then yes, there might be a problem where anyone who distributes software compiled by EkoPath is obligated to license it under the GPLv3. That's pretty damn extreme, even for a free software project.

    That's a huge, huge problem, if indeed it is the case. Because theoretically you wouldn't even be allowed to compile a BSD or MIT/X11 licensed software with this compiler, because you would violate the copyright license of the software you're compiling by trying to license it under the GPLv3. Would the same apply if you tried to compile LGPLed software?

    This looks ugly. Unless I am really misunderstanding something here (such as, the gcc exception really is in effect for the entire compiler project and runtimes), we might have a situation where every program compiled by the PathScale EkoPath compiler either needs to be licensed under a license compatible with the GPLv3, or else you are not allowed to distribute it to anyone other than yourself and/or the company you work for. Wow.
    which makes sense for pathscale. GPL compatible software has no problem, everybody else has to buy a licence.

    Sounds like a valid business model.

  4. #204
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    Quote Originally Posted by energyman View Post
    and there you find this gem:

    You have permission to propagate a work of Target Code formed by combining the Runtime Library with Independent Modules, even if such propagation would otherwise violate the terms of GPLv3, provided that all Target Code was generated by Eligible Compilation Processes. You may then convey such a combination under terms of your choice, consistent with the licensing of the Independent Modules.

    you really should read that site.
    you really should read this topic

  5. #205
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geri View Post
    WARNING

    it seems, peoples are NOT alowed to share binaries compiled with the opensourceEkoPath!

    http://linuxcommercial.blogspot.com/...ke-is-lie.html
    Based on you being told to leave an irc channel? From the excerpt you posted it seems very strange that you would be asked to leave, but something tells me this is only part of the conversation and that whatever codestrom was pissed about was something discussed earlier and outside of the log you provided. Do you have anything else with which to back your claim?

  6. #206
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    no, based on he called me ,,license troll''

  7. #207
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    i checked back in the logs... i rarely talked... i have never hurt him or anything.

    i was part of the channel shince 2010.07.05.

  8. #208
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geri View Post
    you really should read this topic
    I did and then I did tell you that gpl means: no closed source unless exception. There is no exception so you can not compile cs software with ekopath. Which is obvious for everybody who spent 5 minutes thinking about licencing. Then you started talking crap about later gcc releases.

    So now that you have been shown that you are farting around you are reminding ME of the topic?

    How old are you? Eleven?

    You were accused of licence trolling because for a lot of people a question like yours just looks like trolling.

  9. #209
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    Quote Originally Posted by energyman View Post
    I did and then I did tell you that gpl means: no closed source unless exception. There is no exception so you can not compile cs software with ekopath. Which is obvious for everybody who spent 5 minutes thinking about licencing. Then you started talking crap about later gcc releases.

    So now that you have been shown that you are farting around you are reminding ME of the topic?

    How old are you? Eleven?

    You were accused of licence trolling because for a lot of people a question like yours just looks like trolling.

    Okay okay okay, keep cool ^ ^, however, you just clearifyed that the informations in my blogpost is correct.

  10. #210
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    Quote Originally Posted by energyman View Post
    which makes sense for pathscale. GPL compatible software has no problem, everybody else has to buy a licence.

    Sounds like a valid business model.
    To be honest, I can see the appeal to it, too. Trolltech Qt did it this way for a long time, until they added LGPL as a license alternative. Adding in the LGPL probably lost them a lot of sales, too, because 99.9% of their developer-user base doesn't need to modify Qt at all, just use it. And use it they did -- in proprietary applications. And eventually the Qt business ends up getting punted around from place to place because it's not making money.

    The only problem I have with making generally-useful libraries and compilers available strictly under the GPL (and not LGPL or other more liberal licenses) is that:

    1. Other free software licenses exist that are incompatible with the GPL, and the compiler authors might even like those licenses. But since you are tying yourself down to the GPL, you exclude the ability for those projects (or distributions who want to package those projects) to compile your code and legally distribute it.

    2. Other free software copyleft licenses exist that are incompatible with the GPL, and the compiler authors might even really like those licenses. But since you are tying yourself down to the GPL and compatible licenses, you exclude the ability for projects using these licenses to compile your code and legally distribute it.

    As a Free Software advocate, I think the GPL is a very important and powerful license. But at the same time, license proliferation is a huge problem, that probably won't be solved in our lifetimes. There is a tonne of useful, widely-deployed software out there based on free software licensed under the BSD, MIT/X11, CDDL, and other GPL-incompatible licenses. For something as generally useful as a compiler (a compiler is inherently useful to every program written in a language that the compiler can compile, so it epitomizes general usefulness to an extent that no mere library can match), tying yourself down to the GPL seems awfully limiting.

    What I wouldn't mind seeing is something like: you may build software under any Free Software license (as defined and approved by the FSF's official list) with PathScale EkoPath, and distribute that software under the Free Software license of your choice, but with one restriction: you may not make modifications to a Free Software codebase, then build binaries with EkoPath, distribute the binaries, but then refuse to distribute the source code when asked.

    The above language, once turned into legalese, would effectively say "you can build any software under a copyleft license using EkoPath, and distribute the resulting binaries, as long as you comply with the terms of the copyleft license." Going this far would not restrict us just to GPL-compatible licenses; it would expand the zone to also include GPL-incompatible free software copyleft licenses. This would essentially prevent people from using the "BSD trick" to build proprietary software using EkoPath. In other words, if you remove the copyleft requirement, a user could do something like this:

    1. Write some code (or obtain some code) licensed under the BSD license.
    2. Modify the code.
    3. Compile the modified code with EkoPath.
    4. Release the binaries, but refuse to release the modified source code. This would be in full compliance with the BSD license.

    Since the BSD license is a free software license, but not a copyleft license, if PathScale were to remove the copyleft restriction altogether, then any company seeking to release proprietary software compiled with EkoPath could just license their code under the BSD internally, but then never distribute the code to any third parties. This would comply with both the BSD license, and with the (hypothetical) EkoPath license.

    In summary, I agree with the decision to form a business model around allowing free use of EkoPath for copyleft free software, while charging money for a separate proprietary license and support contract. However, I disagree with the strictness of requiring only GPL-compatible licenses: I personally believe they should expand the category of allowed licenses to cover all copyleft licenses, to help make EkoPath more license-compatible in the face of massive license proliferation.

    I mean, shit, even the Free Software Foundation, the most partisan entity imaginable in favor of widespread use of the GPLv3, was pragmatic enough to add an exception to their compiler, permitting you to compile code with gcc under any license you choose. So the Free Software Foundation is more liberal with their licensing than a corporation with a history of being proprietary? Wow...
    Last edited by allquixotic; 06-27-2011 at 04:07 PM.

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