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RE: Licensing of libgcc and libstdc++ as shared libraries

> -----Original Message-----
> From: gcc-owner On Behalf Of Per Bothner
> Sent: 21 June 2004 18:53
> To: Robert Dewar
> Cc: aaronraolete36; gcc
> Subject: Re: Licensing of libgcc and libstdc++ as shared libraries
> Robert Dewar wrote:
> >>However, when you distribute the libraries as DLLs, my reading of
> >>the license in libgcc2.c is that you need to distribute source for
> >>the DLLs, but not source for any application that uses them.
> >>However, that's a gray area: you might argue that an installation
> >>program that installs both the libries and an executable that uses
> >>the libraries is "linked".
> > 
> > I don't see any validity to this argument whatever.
> Which do you disagree with: the first sentence or the second?
> Assuming it's the second:  I agree it's a stretch, but it depends
> on the meaning of "linking".  The intent is to refer to traditional
> linking as we're used to thinking of it, but one might argue that
> just an implemention technique.  However, I would not recommend
> making decisons based on this interpretation.

  I'd very strongly recommend against it, since really there's no ambiguity
in the language at all: static linking is covered by the exception, dynamic
linking isn't.

  Now it's a very interesting question as to *why* this distinction is made
in the GPL, since to programmers the difference between one kind of linking
and another seems quite minimal; we're all very aware that they're
equivalent (perhaps 'homologous' would be a better term here) to each other.
So I assume it must have been one of those political decisions, along the
lines of the don't-emit-useful-intermediate-representations decision.  But
I've never seen a good explanation of it, and if anyone has seen anything
written that discusses why this discrimination was made, I'd be very glad if
you could post a link.

Can't think of a witty .sigline today....

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