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PathScale Open-Sources The EKOPath 4 Compiler Suite

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  • phoronix
    started a topic PathScale Open-Sources The EKOPath 4 Compiler Suite

    PathScale Open-Sources The EKOPath 4 Compiler Suite

    Phoronix: PathScale Open-Sources The EKOPath 4 Compiler Suite

    Within the free software world, GCC has long been the dominant compiler with it being backed by the Free Software Foundation, it being the most well developed free compiler suite, and is a feature rich offering that is put out under the GNU GPLv3. As of late, LLVM has also been hitting the nail on the head. The Low-Level Virtual Machine with its C/C++ Clang compiler front-end offers great performance, is successful in building code-bases like the Linux kernel, its modular design allows the compiler infrastructure to be used in areas like graphics drivers, is under a BSD-style license, and carries numerous other advantages. Other open-source compilers have advanced too, including the release of PCC 1.0. Now there is a new and extremely interesting option to shake the open-source compiler world: PathScale is freely releasing the source to the EKOPath 4 Compiler Suite. EKOPath 4 is a high-performance compiler that up until now has been proprietary and costs nearly $2000 USD per license, but now it's open-source and can sharply outperform GCC in many computationally-intense workloads.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=16135

  • ninez
    replied
    Originally posted by allquixotic View Post
    OK, I sent them an email with a directed set of questions and a link to the repository and the press release. Hopefully they'll release an opinion on the SFLC Blog. Check frequently at http://softwarefreedom.org for the result. I will contact Michael at his email address as soon as I hear back from the SFLC.
    awesome stuff, I love your pro-active nature - it's sweet

    i'll keep an eye out for tan update.

    thanks again, and cheerz!
    Last edited by ninez; 07-09-2011, 02:20 PM.

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  • allquixotic
    replied
    Originally posted by ninez View Post
    that's a really great idea, you should totally do that if it pans out, post a link so everyone else can find out what the deal really is.
    OK, I sent them an email with a directed set of questions and a link to the repository and the press release. Hopefully they'll release an opinion on the SFLC Blog. Check frequently at http://softwarefreedom.org for the result. I will contact Michael at his email address as soon as I hear back from the SFLC.

    Leave a comment:


  • ninez
    replied
    Originally posted by allquixotic View Post
    More useful than codestr0m or anyone from PathScale would be to get the Free Software Foundation to evaluate the license landscape around EKOPath and provide an opinion to the general public. The FSF has real lawyers (or more accurately, the Software Freedom Law Center) who can make a reliable determination. Any public opinion they release won't constitute personal legal advice, of course, but generally their findings are reliable enough that the free/open source community developers can take their word for it without needing to pay for a personal lawyer. Just look at the number of people who take their advice regarding projects that are less ambiguously licensed under the licenses in the FSF's license directory. I'm not saying they are incapable of error, just that their opinion gives me about the same level of confidence as I'd get from hiring a lawyer for personal legal advice. And since this subject matter pertains to software licensed under one or more free software licenses, they have an intrinsic reason to be interested.

    codestr0m already said that (1) he's not a lawyer and doesn't like to talk about licenses and (2) the information he *can* provide is extremely standoffish, and from what I can tell it boils down to "release your software under the GPLv3 or else contact your lawyer and/or buy a commercial license". This may, in fact, be what the decision boils down to, but I'd rather hear it from the SFLC than from him.

    I'll send them an email and inquire about it.
    that's a really great idea, you should totally do that if it pans out, post a link so everyone else can find out what the deal really is.

    Leave a comment:


  • allquixotic
    replied
    Originally posted by ninez View Post
    erm, no... From what i can tell, the real problem here is potentially not being able to redistribute (opensource) binaries compiled with EKOPath's compiler. making this compiler pretty much useless to most distributions (not source-based distro's or Arch though), and also useless 4 FLOSS developers. Which is very similar to Intel XE compiler restrictions... Intel's compiler is free for personal/non-commercial use, but needs to be licensed for commercial use (or even redistribution of compiled code any kind). it would seem EKOPath is almost the same thing, except (most) of the code is licensed under free licenses, it's opensource and the compiler itself is re-distributable. (unlike XE/icc).

    on top of that if you do require a license for commercial use - to be able to redistribute code compiled with it - you're probably looking at paying the license fee listed on the PathSCale website for the suite a whopping $1750 US, that may be cheap for a decent size company, but not for an individual developer in free software, it's not by any stretch of the imagination...

    so far, XE compiler seems to be way more compatible with GCC than EXOPath, as in i can't get all sorts of crap to compile with EKOPath than i can easily compile with XE and judging by benchmarks of binaries produced with both, it would seem that for most stuff ICC gets similar performance... a commercial license from Intel also costs much less than what 'potentially' a PathScale license would cost.

    are you willing to pay almost $2000 Us for a compiler?!?!?

    im not.

    codestrom might be able to verify, whether this is true or not - but it sounds like i might not be too far off-target on what i think the potential problems with EKOPath might be.
    More useful than codestr0m or anyone from PathScale would be to get the Free Software Foundation to evaluate the license landscape around EKOPath and provide an opinion to the general public. The FSF has real lawyers (or more accurately, the Software Freedom Law Center) who can make a reliable determination. Any public opinion they release won't constitute personal legal advice, of course, but generally their findings are reliable enough that the free/open source community developers can take their word for it without needing to pay for a personal lawyer. Just look at the number of people who take their advice regarding projects that are less ambiguously licensed under the licenses in the FSF's license directory. I'm not saying they are incapable of error, just that their opinion gives me about the same level of confidence as I'd get from hiring a lawyer for personal legal advice. And since this subject matter pertains to software licensed under one or more free software licenses, they have an intrinsic reason to be interested.

    codestr0m already said that (1) he's not a lawyer and doesn't like to talk about licenses and (2) the information he *can* provide is extremely standoffish, and from what I can tell it boils down to "release your software under the GPLv3 or else contact your lawyer and/or buy a commercial license". This may, in fact, be what the decision boils down to, but I'd rather hear it from the SFLC than from him.

    I'll send them an email and inquire about it.

    Leave a comment:


  • ninez
    replied
    Originally posted by energyman View Post
    only if you want to compile closed source software while being too cheap to buy a licence.
    erm, no... From what i can tell, the real problem here is potentially not being able to redistribute (opensource) binaries compiled with EKOPath's compiler. making this compiler pretty much useless to most distributions (not source-based distro's or Arch though), and also useless 4 FLOSS developers. Which is very similar to Intel XE compiler restrictions... Intel's compiler is free for personal/non-commercial use, but needs to be licensed for commercial use (or even redistribution of compiled code any kind). it would seem EKOPath is almost the same thing, except (most) of the code is licensed under free licenses, it's opensource and the compiler itself is re-distributable. (unlike XE/icc).

    on top of that if you do require a license for commercial use - to be able to redistribute code compiled with it - you're probably looking at paying the license fee listed on the PathSCale website for the suite a whopping $1750 US, that may be cheap for a decent size company, but not for an individual developer in free software, it's not by any stretch of the imagination...

    so far, XE compiler seems to be way more compatible with GCC than EXOPath, as in i can't get all sorts of crap to compile with EKOPath than i can easily compile with XE and judging by benchmarks of binaries produced with both, it would seem that for most stuff ICC gets similar performance... a commercial license from Intel also costs much less than what 'potentially' a PathScale license would cost.

    are you willing to pay almost $2000 Us for a compiler?!?!?

    im not.

    codestrom might be able to verify, whether this is true or not - but it sounds like i might not be too far off-target on what i think the potential problems with EKOPath might be.

    Leave a comment:


  • energyman
    replied
    Originally posted by bug! View Post
    That's seriously flawed.
    only if you want to compile closed source software while being too cheap to buy a licence.

    Leave a comment:


  • ninez
    replied
    Originally posted by bug! View Post
    That's seriously flawed.
    the real question is - if it isn't GPL or LGPL, technically what are those bits code licensed under??

    ..and if it turns out to be totally proprietary, then this compiler suite isn't going to be used much i dont think. maybe phoronix should do some investigative reporting on the subject...?

    Leave a comment:


  • bug!
    replied
    Originally posted by codestr0m View Post
    To help clarify the license question

    1) GCC injects small pieces of code in your application which are GPLv3 licensed (Our crt* code, which is *very* small, isn't GPL)

    2) GCC runtimes are GPLv3 in part (I assume some (all?) may be LGPL. In any event ours are not)

    Once again I am not a lawyer and don't take this as legal advice.


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    That's seriously flawed.

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  • codestr0m
    replied
    To help clarify the license question

    1) GCC injects small pieces of code in your application which are GPLv3 licensed (Our crt* code, which is *very* small, isn't GPL)

    2) GCC runtimes are GPLv3 in part (I assume some (all?) may be LGPL. In any event ours are not)

    Once again I am not a lawyer and don't take this as legal advice.


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