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Re: gcc-4.1-20080303 is now available

On Sat, 15 Mar 2008, Eric Botcazou wrote:

> > I think we agreed to _not_ move the 4.1 branch to GPLv3.
> FWIW that was my understanding as well.
> > So, if the FSF says we may not release as GPLv2 then we should not do
> > a 4.1.3 release.  The branch is simply open as 4.1 is widely adopted
> > and distributors ship from the top of the branch and not from
> > point-releases anyway.
> Seconded.

I understand and can support (up to a point) the desire of distributors to
continue working within GPLv2 and I know that's why the 4.1 branch is in
this situation.  However IMHO this position is in tension with the
interests of users who don't get gcc from distributors (think
non-linux-gnu platforms) and therefore leaving the 4.1 branch in this
situation forever eventually is against the interests of the FSF.  Free
platforms are most important to us, but users of free software (gcc) on
other platforms should eventually be considered too.

So *at some point* we have to consider what to do about 4.1.x.  Right now
it's been about a year since it's last release and so none of the bugfixes
made on the branch are benefitting users who don't get their 4.1 compiler
from a distributor.  Also there is the maintenance burden of having four
active branches.  I don't think leaving the current situation indefinitely
is an option.

So we're left several choices:

1.  Close 4.1 immediately, without a release.

2.  Convert 4.1 to GPLv3 for one last release and then close it.

3.  Postpone the decision, but let's decide how long we're going to keep
    the 4.1 branch around.  Then we still have to pick from 1 or 2.

I suggest we do 2, or if necessary we do 3+2.  For those that support #3,
I'd like to hear how long they feel keeping 4.1 open is necessary.

Kaveh R. Ghazi

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