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Re: RFH: GPLv3

On Wed, Jul 11, 2007 at 09:58:51PM -0700, Mark Mitchell wrote:
> The GCC SC is still discussing a few of the finer points of the
> transition to GPLv3.
> However, here are the things that have now been decided:
> 1. The compiler proper (e.g., files used only in cc1, cc1plus, the
> driver, etc.) should all be converted to GPLv3 ASAP.
> Will someone (or someones) please volunteer to change the various files
> that mention GPLv2 to mention GPLv3 instead, to change the COPYING file
> in the gcc/ directory, and to look for other things that need to change?
> 2. GCC 4.2.1 will be the last GPLv2 release.  The FSF will permit
> backports from mainline to GCC 4.2.1, if necessary, to be downlicensed
> to GPLv2, as part of that release.
> 3. After GCC 4.2.1 is released, we will renumber the branch to GCC 4.3.
>   What would have been GCC 4.2.2 will instead be GCC 4.3.3, to try to
> emphasize the GPLv3 switch.  The GCC mainline will then be GCC 4.4.
> It has not yet been decided what to do about files that are part of
> run-time libraries and are covered by GPL/LGPL + exception.  Therefore,
> no changes to
> It has also not yet been decided whether backports of bug-fixes from
> GPLv3 versions of GCC to older GPLv2 versions of GCC (e.g., GCC 4.1)
> will result in the patched compilers being GPLv3.  If you have thoughts
> about that, you might wish to contact the FSF.

As a user, I would prefer not to have GCC's version change from 4.2 to 4.3.
But assuming the copyright owner (FSF) does want us to change the version
number, why not go to 5.2.2 instead of 4.2.2.  What would have been 4.3 will
now be 5.3 or 6.  To accomidate code that checks __GNUC_MAJOR_VERSION__ for
feature tests, I would suggest that the historical branches (what is 4.2 and
4.1 right now) keep the major version to 4, but that the new releases (ie what
is currently 4.3) would change the major version to 5.

To the people that argue changing the major version number should only be
reserved for major things, I would respond that changing the license terms *IS
A MAJOR THING*, and it furthers the political goals of the FSF.

Note, while disclaimers are generally implied, I must stress that in this
particular case, it is my opinion, and not necessarily the view of my

Michael Meissner, AMD
90 Central Street, MS 83-29, Boxborough, MA, 01719, USA

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