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PathScale Open-Sources The EKOPath 4 Compiler Suite

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  • updte:
    i got this message on twitter from CTOPathScale:
    That's because you're a lazy idiot who can't read a license on the top of the source files. Please go troll elsewhere

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Geri View Post
      updte:
      i got this message on twitter from CTOPathScale:
      That's because you're a lazy idiot who can't read a license on the top of the source files. Please go troll elsewhere
      Wow. Must be a bad day at the office for Mr. Bergstrom.

      It's not like this was completely obvious:
      • Michael didn't mention it in his articles, nor did PathScale mention this fact in their press release.
      • There's no published FAQ or licensing Q&A about the EkoPath open-sourcing. Even Nokia was sane enough to provide a very user-friendly youtube video and "checkbox matrix" for Qt, to help people decide if they need the GPL or proprietary license.
      • Everyone knows GCC is licensed under the GPLv3, and most people assumed that the licensing worked out so that you can compile software with GCC under any license you want. Personally, I thought the reason for this was that the compiled software was not considered a "derivative work" of the compiler, any more than an .odt saved by OpenOffice.org would be considered a derivative work of OpenOffice. But apparently there is a tacit consensus in the industry that compiled programs are a derivative work of the compiler, and GCC works around this by providing a license exception, essentially reducing to the same thing as licensing GCC under the LGPL (as far as I can tell; there may be subtle differences).
      • I had heard that EkoPath would be licensed under a smattering of different licenses, because the sources are pulled from different projects and companies. So my best guess as to how to interpret EkoPath's license was "free software-ish soup", kind of like the Mozilla tri-license situation, where you can pretty much do anything free software-ish with it. But only being allowed to distribute GPL-compatible programs compiled by EkoPath is a much more restrictive clause than I expected.

      I've read Stallman's "Free Software, Free Society" from cover to cover; I read Groklaw voraciously for years; I have read tens of essays and articles by Stallman, Lessig, Moglen, Eric S. Raymond and others, on the topic of free and open source licensing. I would say I'm about as well-versed in the minutiae of software licensing as anyone else, except for the fact that I'm not a lawyer. And this issue still confused me, and took me completely by surprise.

      If it confused me, how many other people do you think it would trip up?

      Geri, you are most definitely not a troll, in my opinion. You asked a valid question and Mr. Bergstrom felt it necessary to belittle you rather than simply answer the question in a civil and satisfactory manner. I feel that PathScale is entitled to make what ever licensing decisions they wish for their project, and I respect their decision; however, I am even more shocked about the way Mr. Bergstrom has handled this issue than about the reality of the license situation itself.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Geri View Post
        updte:
        i got this message on twitter from CTOPathScale:
        That's because you're a lazy idiot who can't read a license on the top of the source files. Please go troll elsewhere
        You are either:

        1. Making this shit up
        2. Being trolled by someone impersonating the pathscale cto.

        Comment


        • CTO - it's not him you should be asking in the first place for clarification. He sounds a little ticked to me because he'd get that sort of question in places where it's really not meant for.
          Two things there are: a) he's right, and understandable why he'd be annoyed, and b) they (pathscale) probably should have realised that it would happen, and be a bit calmer about it.

          Comment


          • The scarry, yes, its him, the cto.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by allquixotic View Post
              Everyone knows GCC is licensed under the GPLv3, and most people assumed that the licensing worked out so that you can compile software with GCC under any license you want. Personally, I thought the reason for this was that the compiled software was not considered a "derivative work" of the compiler, any more than an .odt saved by OpenOffice.org would be considered a derivative work of OpenOffice. But apparently there is a tacit consensus in the industry that compiled programs are a derivative work of the compiler, and GCC works around this by providing a license exception, essentially reducing to the same thing as licensing GCC under the LGPL (as far as I can tell; there may be subtle differences).
              Uhm, nope. The exception applies to the parts of the GCC code that get included in the compiled program (this is what makes it a derivative work). Headers for example get #included in the program. The code of those headers would then infect the program with the GPL. Thus, an exception for those headers is needed.

              Comment


              • from CTOPathScale:
                That's because you're a lazy idiot who can't read a license on the top of the source files. Please go troll elsewhere
                Ha. I'm starting to like the guy already

                I'm not sure why some people here seem shocked by this comment. I totally agree with him here. Better be straight to the point and make your point clear. So hopefully Geri gets the message and stops wasting his time.

                Of course Geri has to make a big fuss about this, on his blog, on twitter, and also here on phoronix. Because that's what trolls do.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Geri View Post
                  The scarry, yes, its him, the cto.
                  [citation needed]

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by bwat47 View Post
                    [citation needed]
                    read back at allquixotic replies


                    ---
                    Btw i not any more interested in this conv., its overdiscussed, overciticated, etc.
                    If somebody want other details, please read back the messages, and if the answer is not there, throw me personal message or email.
                    Last edited by Geri; 06-27-2011, 06:19 PM.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by allquixotic View Post
                      Personally, I thought the reason for this was that the compiled software was not considered a "derivative work" of the compiler, any more than an .odt saved by OpenOffice.org would be considered a derivative work of OpenOffice. But apparently there is a tacit consensus in the industry that compiled programs are a derivative work of the compiler, and GCC works around this by providing a license exception
                      As I understand it, the problem has nothing to do with your own code being compiled by GCC. It's the fact that the C and C++ runtimes are GPL licensed. Therefore, whenever you call a built in function (like malloc() for example) you are calling code that is licensed as GPL, which then extends into your own program code. The GCC exception just allows you to bypass GPL requirements for these runtime functions linked in by the compiler.

                      An .odt file doesn't actually include anything more than xml, it's up to the program running to interpret it. Whereas something compiled with GCC actually patches in code that has been licensed GPL.
                      Last edited by smitty3268; 06-27-2011, 08:44 PM.

                      Comment


                      • <bored>
                        1) If you're concerned about building proprietary software with a recently open sourced compiler - might want to look elsewhere for help. IANAL and IANYL
                        2) If you're brittle - might want to unplug now
                        3) I don't like the guy
                        4) License issues in general waste time - No discussion needed - point them at the license and tell them to go help themselves.

                        It wasn't a bad day, but I'd like to set a precedent for the reaction to licensing questions. (Admittedly a FAQ on this wouldn't hurt) There are numerous pro bono and paid legal services which are the appropriate place to ask. A professional building high quality proprietary software wouldn't ever ask this on irc. If he had said *open source* software I'd have cut him some slack.
                        </bored>

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by codestr0m View Post
                          A professional building high quality proprietary software wouldn't ever ask this on irc. If he had said *open source* software I'd have cut him some slack.
                          Truth be known "a professional" keeps his cool, period. The moment people start branding others it becomes "unprofessional".

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by codestr0m View Post
                            If he had said *open source* software I'd have cut him some slack.
                            Well then maybe you can cut me a little slack? For my part, I have no interest in writing proprietary applications at all, but I do actively contribute to several open source projects -- some of them GPLed, and others licensed under BSD.

                            Me and the other posters here have made an effort to understand the licensing situation around EkoPath, both as it applies to open source projects, as well as others. Compiling all this information (no pun intended) into a clearly written Wiki document or something would be immensely helpful, and reduce the amount of future discussion necessary on the topic of licenses. "Contact your lawyer" is not always a practical or even necessary step when evaluating software; various organizations go to great lengths to reduce the amount of guesswork (or lawyer-work) required for a software developer to somewhat reliably determine the conditions under which he may use a piece of software. Free Software and Open Source licenses are specially qualified to be interpreted in a user-friendly way in a publicly-accessible document, as opposed to EULAs, because FOSS licenses are used so widely. Since each company has their own unique EULA, making a wiki or other public document for each EULA would be incredibly boring and counter-productive. Also, for most EULA software, the distributor does make a genuine attempt to inform users, in clear language, exactly under what conditions they may use, copy and distribute the software.

                            As an open source developer, the discussion we've been having is exactly as relevant as it would be if I were a proprietary developer. Because some of the legitimately open source software I write, is not licensed under a GPL-compatible license. But in practice, the software we write, despite being liberally licensed, has always been open source, and the community built up around it is steadfastly in favor of keeping it open source, as much as possible, just by convention (if, indeed, the BSD license doesn't strictly demand it).

                            Unless you define open source differently than I do, a BSD-licensed project is every bit as open source as EkoPath. But, if the conclusions that I and other posters in this thread have derived are at all true, then we can not distribute our project's compiled binaries if we build them with EkoPath, even if we deliberately include exactly the same source code used to produce the binaries. So it seems that you speak in terms of "open source", and allude to being "open source-friendly", but a project that is above-board and openly willing to remain open source indefinitely, is unable to take full advantage of your software. That's my understanding, though I could be wrong.

                            If this account is (1) accurate, and (2) perfectly acceptable to you, then there is nothing further for us to discuss. But I think that, at least, to more precisely capture which particular subset of open source software that you are supporting under the license terms as I understand them, you should use the term copyleft free software that is compatible with the GPL, or for shorthand, GPL-compatible software.

                            So in the quote above, you might have succinctly cleared up our doubts by saying instead: "If he had said *GPL-compatible software* I'd have cut him some slack."

                            Unless, of course, we have completely misinterpreted the licensing situation of EkoPath, in which case I apologize for my ignorance!

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by codestr0m View Post
                              A professional building high quality proprietary software wouldn't ever ask this on irc.
                              A non-professional can also build proprietary software. Look at the whole "freeware" and "shareware" stuff created by hobbyists.

                              He asked an important question, IMO. I have a few projects too that are "free" but not compatible with the GPL. Asking about it does not constitute license trolling. Though if someone's English totally sucks, as in this case, it might appear so.

                              Comment


                              • Apologies Geri.

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