This is the mail archive of the
mailing list for the GCC project.
Re: Why not gnat Ada in gcc? (really ia64 port and NDAs)
- To: gcc at gcc dot gnu dot org
- Subject: Re: Why not gnat Ada in gcc? (really ia64 port and NDAs)
- From: Jim Wilson <wilson at cygnus dot com>
- Date: Thu, 2 Nov 2000 14:07:57 -0800
- Newsgroups: cygnus.egcs
Technically, there is a conflict between NDAs and the GPL. As a practical
matter, it is a moot issue. This is because all parties involved agree
voluntarily and informally (i.e. a gentlemen's agreement) to respect the terms
of both the NDA and the GPL despite the conflict. This makes it possible to
work on GPL software under NDA.
Because the ia64-linux (formerly Trillian) group was willing to work under an
NDA, GNU/Linux was one of the first OS's to boot on IA-64 hardware over a year
ago. If there had been no GPL work under NDA, then GNU/Linux development would
be about 2 years behind where we are now. I'd prefer to work without NDAs, but
they are useful when they advance the cause of free software.
I disagree with the comment that the ia64 port came out of the blue. If you
search the gcc mailing lists, there are a lot of messages mentioning the ia64
port before the sources were made publicly available. There was no attempt to
hide the fact that we were working on a port. There was (and still are)
publicly available web sites and mailing lists for discussing the ia64-linux
work. There were also public talks and demonstrations at Linux conferences
and Intel/HP trade shows. The only thing hidden was the sources themselves,
and that was done to respect the NDA. We lobbied to have the NDA lifted as
early as possible, and when the NDA was lifted, we immediately made the
sources publicly available.