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RE: Linkage of GPLed GCC to Closed Source via XML or Perl

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Joe Buck []
> Sent: Thursday, February 28, 2002 6:49 PM
> To:
> Cc: Joe.Buck@synopsys.COM;
> Subject: Re: Linkage of GPLed GCC to Closed Source via XML or Perl
> I wrote:
> > >James Michael DuPont asks lots of questions
> > >indicating that he is attempting to find a legal way
> > >around the GPL, so that he can attach
> > >proprietary back-ends to GCC.
> > >I would urge people not to give him any assistance,
> > >even if he is only asking the questions out of
> > >intellectual curiousity.
> By your own words, you've been working for three years on 
> trying to get
> information out of GCC for use in other tools.  Even if you 
> have no intent
> of trying to attach proprietary back ends to GCC, you are working very
> hard to enable others to do so.

I'm a bit afraid the whole discussion here is quite irrelevant; such an
interface allowing to use gcc with a proprietary back-end already exist (and
ALWAYS existed): You just use GCC to generate assembly language, then
assemble this through a proprietary assembler!... For a long time it was the
ONLY way to use GCC on a lot of machines!

So I don't see ANY interest in limiting the way people can use the result of
running gcc on some input file. In fact IIRC this was explicitely written in
the GCC license. Changing that will change GCC in an unusable tool. 

It seems someone is here advocating a rule like: the output of a GPL program
can only be fed to another GPL program.... 

Be careful: I think YOU had read at least once some assembly code generated
by GCC, so YOU may well be infected by the GPL virus and be now GPLed :-) :)
:) :) LOL

More seriously if someone creates a new GCC back-end to output something
that TODAY is not assembly language, then fine: the back-end is GPLed and
the resulting output can be used freely. In fact nothing proves that someday
one will not see a processor that you will directly program in XML, so that
XML would then be assembly language :-)

As for the extension of the meaning of linking (as used by the GPL) to
communication, even if with CORBA or SOAP this "looks like" effective
linking this is pure non-sense: you often don't even know how the service
you are invoking is implemented (C++, perl, Ada, Java or some exotic
language), and you have NO IDEA of the licensing to be applied to the
program you invoke; or are you sure the stock-quote service you are reading
every day is GPLed code or not? 

Extending the GPL to the whole net would be the dead of either the net or
the GPL; bets are open :-)



Bernard Dautrevaux
Microprocess Ingenierie
97 bis, rue de Colombes
Tel:	+33 (0) 1 47 68 80 80
Fax:	+33 (0) 1 47 88 97 85

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