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Is Apple Now Blocking Contributions To GCC?

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  • #21
    Originally posted by ssam View Post
    someone could make a go-gcc project, that picks up patches that dont have FSF copyright assignment. not sure if there is much point though. i dont think there is much use of objective-C outside apple.
    True but there's a considerable market share with smartphones that uses objc as native language now and Apple seems to be very clearly wanting to keep that as their own private sandbox. I doubt this bit of news affects really anyone else but a handful of language enthusiasts and people who want produce programs for Apple operating systems without owning Apple hardware. (GNUstep is pretty much a replacement for Cocoa and a huge leap to people being able to develop OSX and iOS software on other *nixes which Apple clearly doesn't want)

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    • #22
      GPL 3 is closer to non-free (proprietary) software, while GPL 2 is closer to public domain software.

      With GPL 2 you have more freedom, with BSD style license you have even more freedom.

      Copyleft license are bad if there are to many in use.

      Some day, people will not care about others that 'steal' their code.
      How can you know who was the first that got an specific idea?

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      • #23
        Originally posted by KDesk View Post
        GPL 3 is closer to non-free (proprietary) software, while GPL 2 is closer to public domain software.
        GPL3 is pretty much the same thing as GPL2, except with patent grants. Which are, overall, a very good thing.

        That said, I prefer the BSD/MIT/X/zlib licenses over GPL in general because I don't really care who uses the code or for what purpose; I'm giving it away for free no matter what, and restricting use in any way just seems childish and petty.

        That said, if someone used my BSD-licensed code and then sued me for a patent infringement in it, I'd probably become a GPL3 advocate pretty damn quick. ; )

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        • #24
          It's the other way round... you can sue *them* for a patent infringement

          The patent grant in GPLv3 doesn't protect the author against being sued by the patent owner... it targets the case where the patent owner is also the author. Obviously if you are a company which owns a bunch of patents *and* contributes to open source projects this introduces a whole new set of exciting things to worry about.

          There are separate provisions in v3 which relate to the licensing of patents.

          EDIT - I *really* *really* hate this one minute edit rule.

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          • #25
            FSF is partly to blame

            In part, this is happening because of the FSF's insistence on copyright assignment; everybody else in the world needs to use and contribute to GPL code simply by relying on the GPL license, but for the FSF, that's not good enough. To me, this has always indicated a lack of confidence in the GPL on the part of the FSF itself.

            Of course, Apple is taking advantage of this by refusing to sign over copyright. However, Apple still is legally bound to release all GPL-derived source code, whether they sign over the copyright or not.

            Note that this is reminiscent of the troubles NeXT was making originally with Objective-C; Jobs thought he could circumvent the GPL by making their changes to gcc in the form of a dynamic library.

            Also, gcc was essential for NeXT and Apple when they were down; now they are flying high and they can basically say "screw you" to free software.

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            • #26
              Originally posted by KDesk View Post
              With GPL 2 you have more freedom, with BSD style license you have even more freedom.
              You seem to conveniently forget that the GPL was written with the USERS freedom in mind, just like the constitution was written with the (white) citizens in mind.

              The GPLv3 does a great job protecting the USERS freedom.
              BSD does little for the USER.

              And do we have to do this 'mine is bigger than yours' every time?
              Use the license that is best suited to you.
              Whether something is freer or not is irrelevant if the license suits you.

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              • #27
                Originally posted by colo View Post
                What you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.
                Lolz, that was a good movie. It had penguins in it, too. :P

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                • #28
                  Standard clause for gplv2 is that derived code needs to be gplv2 'or later'. Linus removed the 'or later' for linux, which may be source of confusion here. GPLV2 and GPLV3 differs in:

                  A) if someone releases source code under gplv3 that contains their patented software methods they CAN'T turn around and sue people for using those software methods in other gplv3 projects.

                  B) GPLV3 closes the 'Tivolization' hole where tivo wouldn't let end users modify and run the gpl software on their machines, thus circumventing the end user rights.

                  Either way this seems like a pointless discussion since pretty much only Apple is using Objc and Apple is developing it in their own direction and the documentation of that development is internal. Apple are moving to be non-dependant of gcc through clang, which is a better fit for them since with clang/llvm's more liberal licence they can pick and choose what they will contribute back to the software ecosystem and keep anything they feel is an competitive edge to themselves.

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                  • #29
                    There's A Reason For That

                    Originally posted by ssam View Post
                    someone could make a go-gcc project, that picks up patches that dont have FSF copyright assignment. not sure if there is much point though. i dont think there is much use of objective-C outside apple.
                    That is because the only *current* Objective-C compilers worth anything are on the Mac side of things. However, an FSF-licensed (or even licensable) Objective-C (whether part of C++ or not) changes all that. Also, to put it bluntly, the only current reason to write in Objective-C at all is for Mac/IOS development. If you want to write truly cross-platform/multiplatform, you won't write in Objective-C (which also means that you won't write on a Mac, for the most part).

                    Right now, Apple pretty much has a lock on IOS/MacOS development because of that Objective-C requirement - the end result is that Objective-C has become a closed-source fork. If Apple were to allow for FSF licensing of any of Objective-C, they see serious *disadvantages* in the medium and long term (mainly because the Mac hardware requirement for developers would go away). Yes; this sounds familiar (and should); that is the Oracle/Larry Ellison approach.

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                    • #30
                      From what I can tell, Apple does not disallow anything actually. They just won't assign the copyright. Otherwise, everyone is perfectly free to use the GPLv2 "or any later version" licensed code. It looks more like the FSF doesn't want to take the code rather than Apple not wanting to give it (Apple already gave it, since they've put it under the GPL.)

                      So unless I got the above wrong, could someone provide some enlightenment about how Apple is disallowing use of their Objective-C code?

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