[nycbug-talk] Sun News Roundup

Marc Spitzer mspitzer at gmail.com
Mon Apr 6 17:44:14 EDT 2009

2009/4/2 Miles Nordin <carton at ivy.net>:
>>>>>> "c" == Miles Nordin <carton at ivy.net> writes:
>     c> no, that is not the Sun behavior about which I complained.
>     c> Please reread more carefully.
> I just reread myself.  I wasn't specific at all, so snipping at Mark
> to reread was unfair.
> The problem I see when I follow the cooltools link,
>  http://cooltools.sunsource.net/gcc/
> is that Sun has split gcc into two pieces, the front and back ends.
> They've arranged for the two pieces to be connected to each other by
> handing off files in /tmp, to evade the ``linking'' trigger in the GPL
> (they disabled -pipe just to be extra careful).  Then they've replaced
> the back-end with this Dr. Claw piece of unblushingly proprietary
> software: no-source, $0 but no permission to redistribute binaries,
> click-wrap garbage about agreeing not to publish benchmarks, u.s.w.

cool someone finally fixed the deliberate design flaw added into gcc
to maintain ideological purity.  So this is a sauce goose gander
moment.  Now let ten thousand flowers of commercial compilers appear.

> I believe that it *is* legal, and I also like the *function* of the
> tool.  But don't like what Sun's done.  Sun is currently trading on a
> reputation for creating and supporting open source communities, and
> preserving said reputation should require respect for the communities
> that create open source and their intent in choosing the licenses that
> preserve them, and I think this grabby /tmp-linking trick disrespects
> GNU's free software or (for Mark) ``software libre'' licenses, which
> are certainly credible enough to deserve said respect, whether it's the
> license you choose for your own community or not.

Well that is where we will have to agree to disagree.  The thing is
that I do not see how using the courts to compel good behavior
actually creates a virtuous group of people.  In this matter I think
Sun was morally superior to FSF/GNU in the apple objectiveC front end
incident.  Sun just threw money at a problem to manage business risk,
FSF lied about the terms of their license and then sued over those
terms.  Its free, until you read the fine print/have something we


ps yes apple should have run the license through legal first but that
is not the issue.

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