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Why IBM Now Views LLVM As Being Critical Software

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  • Why IBM Now Views LLVM As Being Critical Software

    Phoronix: Why IBM Now Views LLVM As Being Critical Software

    It wasn't until the middle of 2012 that IBM viewed LLVM as being "critical" to support but since then they have decided to fully support LLVM across all IBM server platforms. Last week in Paris at the European LLVM Meeting, one of their developers talked about the tipping point in supporting LLVM on IBM hardware and their current development status...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTM2NjU

  • #2
    Licensing question

    Can you fork off LLVM under GPL2 or GPL3?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by dimko View Post
      Can you fork off LLVM under GPL2 or GPL3?
      Sure, provided that you leave the copyright notices intact and a reference to the original license terms for the code that was originally released under it.

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      • #4
        Have to disagree with the "Sure" part of your answer because I *think* the original question was whether you can relicense existing LLVM code. I think I agree with everything else you said though -- you can't relicense any of the current code, but you can mix GPL code into a copy of the current code. The existing code would maintain its (mostly UIUC) license while the new bits would be GPL and anyone distributing a binary built off the mixed code would need to offer/provide source for the entire tree.

        This would not be allowed in the main project tree, of course.
        Last edited by bridgman; 05-07-2013, 12:02 PM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by dimko View Post
          Can you fork off LLVM under GPL2 or GPL3?
          I see no reason why anyone would want to do that.

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          • #6
            Big companies

            Originally posted by tehehe View Post
            I see no reason why anyone would want to do that.
            Tend not to care about OS. Look at Oracle/MySQL situation and you will understand what I am talking about.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by bridgman View Post
              Have to disagree with the "Sure" part of your answer because I *think* the original question was whether you can relicense existing LLVM code.
              "Fork" doesn't imply relicensing all previous code to me. Also, the LLVM license explicitly allows "sublicensing", whatever that means.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by dimko View Post
                Tend not to care about OS. Look at Oracle/MySQL situation and you will understand what I am talking about.
                Bad example.

                It would not have made a difference in that case if it had been BSD licensed since Oracle owned the full copyright (in the old days, MySQL AB had two releases: a paid-for permissive one and a free GPL:ed). If Oracle wanted to they could have closed up the subsequent releases of MySQL without releasing the code (as a copyright holder they can change the terms). What they can NOT do is to change the terms retroactively of already released code, which is exactly the same with permissively licensed code (the code already released will always be open and free but someone can develop it further and choose not to release that code).

                This is why the "Linux way" (many copyright holders) of GPL is better than the "FSF way" (one copyright holder) of copyleft : signing over copyright to a single entity gives them a lot of power. There are ofcourse many side-effects that may be negative. Updating the "GPL2 only" terms in the kernel would now be near-impossible, so issues (like Apache- and CCDL- incompatibility bugs in GPL2) are either worked around or dealt with in other ways.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by dimko View Post
                  Can you fork off LLVM under GPL2 or GPL3?
                  Why would you even want to do this? GPL, especially in the 3 version is very restrictive and frankly reduces your freedom significantly. There are better ways to do open source these days.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dimko View Post
                    Tend not to care about OS. Look at Oracle/MySQL situation and you will understand what I am talking about.
                    Which means what? Oracle bought a product and thus has the right to license the code they create for it anyway they want too. So no we don't understand what you are talking about.

                    These cryptic posts often highlight that the poster simply doesn't understand the realities of the situation being discussed. LLVM/CLANG are licensed under very good terms that are less of an issue when it comes to software freedom than the GPL. GPL is in many ways the worst of the lot when it comes to open source as you as an author give up way too much of your rights.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by staalmannen View Post
                      Bad example.

                      It would not have made a difference in that case if it had been BSD licensed since Oracle owned the full copyright (in the old days, MySQL AB had two releases: a paid-for permissive one and a free GPL:ed). If Oracle wanted to they could have closed up the subsequent releases of MySQL without releasing the code (as a copyright holder they can change the terms). What they can NOT do is to change the terms retroactively of already released code, which is exactly the same with permissively licensed code (the code already released will always be open and free but someone can develop it further and choose not to release that code).
                      I'm not sure what the problem with Oracle is these days. It isn't like they magically caused all of the MySQL code to disappear the day they bought the database. In fact I can't see any thing that they did that is significantly wrong. People need to understand that they could have simply taken MySQL off the market for good.
                      This is why the "Linux way" (many copyright holders) of GPL is better than the "FSF way" (one copyright holder) of copyleft : signing over copyright to a single entity gives them a lot of power.
                      The Linux way does some what reduce the dangers of the GPL but there is a really bad side effect to that also. One example being a lone developer screwing with all of your open development efforts. Here I'm thinking about the port of VLC to iOS. It is a sad day when mental health problem out weigh the community working together.
                      There are ofcourse many side-effects that may be negative. Updating the "GPL2 only" terms in the kernel would now be near-impossible, so issues (like Apache- and CCDL- incompatibility bugs in GPL2) are either worked around or dealt with in other ways.
                      I find myself very bothered by GPL the more I've become aware of what it really implies. The actions of the FSF over the last few years have turned my thinking about GPL 3 and the GPL in general, around towards the negative direction. It truly is a damaged concept that needs a bit more rational reimagining.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by wizard69 View Post
                        I'm not sure what the problem with Oracle is these days. It isn't like they magically caused all of the MySQL code to disappear the day they bought the database. In fact I can't see any thing that they did that is significantly wrong. People need to understand that they could have simply taken MySQL off the market for good.
                        Not really. I mean, sure, they could, but that would only have guaranteed that someone would immediately fork the OSS code and everyone would have switched to it, thus removing 99% of the value of MySQL.

                        Oracle was walking a tight rope, trying to monetize it as much as possible without driving their users away. It looks like they finally reached to far, and are about to lose.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by smitty3268 View Post
                          Not really. I mean, sure, they could, but that would only have guaranteed that someone would immediately fork the OSS code and everyone would have switched to it, thus removing 99% of the value of MySQL.

                          Oracle was walking a tight rope, trying to monetize it as much as possible without driving their users away. It looks like they finally reached to far, and are about to lose.
                          Uh, no. I don't see anyone who forked the OSS code of MySQL having anywhere close to the resource of Oracle available to them. And the reality is that the value of MySQL and most other corporate backed OSS projects is providing enterprise support for the product, which isn't really affected by the license of the software. Having it be OSS is almost certainly to maintain marketshare and utilise crowdsourced bugfixing.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by GreatEmerald View Post
                            "Fork" doesn't imply relicensing all previous code to me. Also, the LLVM license explicitly allows "sublicensing", whatever that means.
                            Mostly unrelated.
                            When I tranfer source I received to you, any open source license needs to provide you with a license. Either you receive a license from the original authors and contributors, or I sublicense the code to you after receiving a license from them.
                            Either way, I cannot remove any obligations, including preservation of copyright notices. It might be permissible to add obligations; I dislike those who do so.

                            If you fork LLVM, you will need a critical mass behind you. Currently, you would be competing with something developed by Apple, Google, and Intel, supported by the BSDs, and also used by Mesa...most of whom have a definite preference for permissive licenses.
                            In fact, you would probably have few contributors who wouldn't be working on GCC otherwise (though you may have some), so you might end up with a small project, with little adoption, but able to stunt GCC.
                            Now, if Apple started closing most of their work, and Intel got some level of paranoia about this, and Google got scared off from LLVM, then you might be able to get somewhere. Short of that, forget about it.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by scottishduck View Post
                              Uh, no. I don't see anyone who forked the OSS code of MySQL having anywhere close to the resource of Oracle available to them. And the reality is that the value of MySQL and most other corporate backed OSS projects is providing enterprise support for the product, which isn't really affected by the license of the software. Having it be OSS is almost certainly to maintain marketshare and utilise crowdsourced bugfixing.
                              Several organizations have the resources to take on MySQL and MariaDB as a fork is already very popular. Fedora and openSUSE is switching from MySQL to MariaDB as well as Wikipedia.

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