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FSF's Richard Stallman Calls LLVM a 'Terrible Setback'

Soulskill posted about 6 months ago | from the they-can-compile-our-source-but-they'll-never-compile-our-freedom dept.

Open Source 1098

An anonymous reader writes "Richard Stallman has called LLVM a terrible setback in a new mailing list exchange over GCC vs. Clang. LLVM continues to be widely used and grow in popularity for different uses, but it's under a BSD-style license rather than the GPL. RMS wrote, 'For GCC to be replaced by another technically superior compiler that defended freedom equally well would cause me some personal regret, but I would rejoice for the community's advance. The existence of LLVM is a terrible setback for our community precisely because it is not copylefted and can be used as the basis for nonfree compilers — so that all contribution to LLVM directly helps proprietary software as much as it helps us.'"

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Lincense wars in... (2)

Mdk754 (3014249) | about 6 months ago | (#46059061)

How long until the battle of GPL vs BSD?

*Grabs popcorn*

Re:Lincense wars in... (5, Informative)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 6 months ago | (#46059283)

Many people started moving away from the GPL with version 3.

Re:Lincense wars in... (5, Insightful)

Mdk754 (3014249) | about 6 months ago | (#46059367)

Absolutely the case. I just find it entertaining that everyone gets so caught up in the how we make our software free that they forget it's still open source either way. Let the dev choose how they want others to use their code and don't worry about it. Do we have to have one license without the other? Can't they coexist peacefully?

Re:Lincense wars in... (4, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | about 6 months ago | (#46059569)

The part of Software freedom, is using software to do things with it that the original author may not agree with.
The GPL 2 had enough loopholes in it to allow for companies to make money off of it, where they will normally contribute back. The GPL 3 put screws on the company, because in RMS land the only way you can make money off of software is the following...
1. Redistribution - this is a dying market as the need to ship and package distributions is reduced.
2. Consulting/Training services - this work just as long as your application is complex enough to need such. If you have an easy to use app who needs to hire a consultant to use it.
3. Maintenance/Support - This assumes your software is so mission critical that it will need maintenance and support.
4. Fame - Your project is so popular you are famous for making it.
5. Cross License - You have an other license for your benefit.

Now there are projects that are free for just being free, built as a hobby, or a side affect of an other project you are working on. Those are all fine and good, however those are difficult to keep up to date.

Now the BSD is even more open initially, you as the developer just kinda puts it out there. And yes companies and take and profit from your work... However they become dependent on it and it is their best interests to keep the project running, and will work with the main group to keep it things up to date.

It's about tactics: GPL helps free software (5, Informative)

ciaran_o_riordan (662132) | about 6 months ago | (#46059681)

Background reading:

BSD, LGPL, and GPL are all free software licences. The user gets the same four freedoms in each case (use, study, modify, redistribute). But, using the BSD licence (or the LGPL) takes away an incentive to contribute to the free software project.

GCC's technical advances create a big incentive for developers who are interested in compilers, and for companies with a commercial interest in a good compiler existing for their platform, to contribut to GCC - helping free software whether that's their priority or not. With a BSD-licence project, developers can choose to ignore GCC and fork LLVM instead, so neither GCC nor LLVM benefits.

LLVM weakens GCC's ability to attract free software contributors. That's why Apple funds LLVM.

It's not difficult to see which approach works best: Which OS has more contributors, *BSD or GNU/Linux?

More than one type of "freedom" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059081)

Not just my way or the highway!!

short pier, long walk, hope you can swim RMS

Re:More than one type of "freedom" (0, Troll)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 6 months ago | (#46059293)

This is kind of why I give him the nickname Richard Marx Stalin. Basically his idea is that nothing can be free unless it fits his idea of freedom, which in itself kind of negates the meaning of the word free (liberty.) Much like the historical figures depicted, their ideas of freedom required sacrificing other areas of your life in order to meet their definition, which is just paradoxical.

In general I'm supportive of the idea that releasing the source changes is required, but in the end the code belongs to whoever the original author is, and if they don't want to add that caveat, then they shouldn't be required to. Why RMS is so against that yet claims to be pro freedom, I'll never understand.

Re:More than one type of "freedom" (5, Funny)

rujasu (3450319) | about 6 months ago | (#46059433)

Dude, RMS has his issues, but comparing him to Richard Marx? Harsh.

Re:More than one type of "freedom" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059609)

Hey, it could have been Michael Bolton.

Re:More than one type of "freedom" (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059571)

Stallman should want to help everyone. His statement shows that he only wants to help GPL hippies.

Re:More than one type of "freedom" (4, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | about 6 months ago | (#46059597)

Why RMS is so against that yet claims to be pro freedom, I'll never understand.

Because his goal is to ensure that no one finds themselves in a position where they're using a binary without sources. Someone in that position is not free, and the GPL is his tool to ensure that doesn't happen.

Re:More than one type of "freedom" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059665)

What I've always wondered is what does any of this mean for the 99%+ of humanity that couldn't do anything with source code if their life depended on it?

RMS is a 1%er. Occupy that motherfucker!

Re:More than one type of "freedom" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059693)

(Shrug) I use a "binary without sources" every time I start my car or heat up a donut in the microwave. This is just another case of Stallman's ideological purity doing more harm to his cause than good. It's not enough that he wins, somebody else has to lose.

Maybe if GCC wasn't such a pain in the ass (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059087)

If the gcc codebase was a bit more reasonable and it didn't require an entire legal team to get permission to contribute to their code, maybe this wouldn't have happened.

Proprietary Software built on Open Standards (3, Insightful)

Kremmy (793693) | about 6 months ago | (#46059105)

is preferable to Proprietary Software constructed within obscurity.

Sorry man, but not everyone agrees with you (5, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 6 months ago | (#46059107)

In particular, not everyone agrees with his rather narrow definition of "freedom". Some developers like the whole BSD thing, which gives more freedom to the person who uses and implements the software, rather than the original developer. It is akin to the CC-BY license, where you want to have your stuff acknowledged as a source, but you welcome people to do with it as they please.

I have no problem with the GPL, but the zealots that seem to think it is the only way EVAR that is ok and that people who want a less restrictive license like BSD are bad get on my nerves.

Re:Sorry man, but not everyone agrees with you (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059253)

It isn't about giving freedom to the developer. It's about giving freedom to the code.

Re:Sorry man, but not everyone agrees with you (4, Insightful)

Aaden42 (198257) | about 6 months ago | (#46059617)

It’s about giving freedom to the code.

I dunno about you, but I’ve never had any code I’ve written pass a Turing test then demand emancipation. Ultimately, the person who spent the time to create something is the one who should get to choose what “free” means to them and release their work with the appropriate terms.

Some developers prefer to favor the freedom of the people who get code from them, over the freedoms of people who might (or might not) get the code from someone else, second hand. That’s BSD licensing. I give you my code, you do what you want with it, including telling other people they can’t do the same.

Other developers prefer to make commercial exploitation of their work difficult. They say you can use their code, but you have to give both the original code and your changes to everyone else. That’s GPL.

Both are valid options, and there’s no reason the developers shouldn’t be “free” to release their code under whichever terms are most attractive to them. RMS’ claim that LLVM is somehow a “setback” because its developers choose to favor their immediate users’ freedoms is offensive. Stallman is in effect saying that developers *shouldn’t* have the freedom to decide how other people can use their code.

Based on what I’ve read of RMS’ writings, I don’t buy his assertion that it’s about freedom of the code. It’s about undermining proprietary commercial software and moving towards a communism of software. I also think he’s a little bit jealous that LLVM really is a technically superior compiler suite and much more clearly written to boot.

I really don’t have very much tolerance left for people claiming you can only be free if you do it their way. You keep using that word, but I don’t think it means what you think it means.

Precisely (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059265)

This is exactly the problem with the GPL. Its advocates want everything to be free, and are giddy about the possibility of bringing suit against people who so much as linked to a GPL'd library and forcing their work to be GPL.

It's viral, and not in a good way. Comments like "all contribution to LLVM directly helps proprietary software as much as it helps us" show your cards. Stallman not only is an advocate for free software; he would rather harm or hamstring free software in order to damage proprietary software.

I'm not about to defend the practices of certain large corporations. But in education and medicine, institutional rules over IP forbid many people I know of from even linking to a GPL'd library. For us, if it's GPL'd then it is off limits.

Also, having a friendly non-adversarial relationship with industry is useful and will result in much broader use of your software. For most FOSS projects, exposure and reaching a critical mass of contributors is crucial. The BSD is inherently helpful in this case. The GPL just scares people off, because it asserts control over code you haven't even written just because you decided to use something that happened to have a GPL license.

So, no, Stallman, I disagree and furthermore I condemn your argument as unproductive, wrong, and unhelpful. You might have ground to stand on if LLVM were closed source but it's open - in fact, it's under a more permissive license than the GPL.

Re:Precisely (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059379)

"But in education and medicine, institutional rules over IP forbid many people I know of from even linking to a GPL'd library. For us, if it's GPL'd then it is off limits."

That's completely asinine. And why calling the GPL "viral" is similarly asinine. As a _user_ of GPL software, you can link it to whatever you want, including your butt, without having to care about the license one iota.

If what you say is true, the _real_ reason you can't do it is because the Dean has his eye on your software, and might want to sell it off to a commercial entity to make a few bucks. And if it's a GPL-derived work, that's much harder to do.

Re:Precisely (2)

hubie (108345) | about 6 months ago | (#46059441)

But in education and medicine, institutional rules over IP forbid many people I know of from even linking to a GPL'd library. For us, if it's GPL'd then it is off limits.

But isn't that why libraries are (or should) be licensed under the LGPL, so that there are no "viral" issues? You're not even allowed to link to an LGPL library?

Re:Sorry man, but not everyone agrees with you (3, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | about 6 months ago | (#46059447)

I don't think he's asking you to agree with him. I think he's expressing his opinion of LLVM within the context of his goals. Given it happened on the GCC mailing list, I hardly see this as shocking or surprising.

Re:Sorry man, but not everyone agrees with you (2)

Daniel Hoffmann (2902427) | about 6 months ago | (#46059449)

Hey he is free to have his own opinion of "freedom".

GPL and BSD give uses the same freedoms (0)

ciaran_o_riordan (662132) | about 6 months ago | (#46059479)

> more freedom to the person who uses and implements the software

Users have the same freedoms with GPL and BSD.

The BSD licence provides building blocks for non-free projects that compete against free software. The GPL provides building blocks only for free software projects.

GCC's technical value encourages developers with technical goals to contribute to the free software GCC project, regardless of whether helping free software is their priority or not. LLVM weakens this by providing an alternative project where people can work on technical progress without the need to contribute to the free software LLVM project.

So LLVM makes people less likely to help advance the state of free software.

(LLVM attracts some investment, such as that of Apple, up to a certain point, because Apple's goal is to undermine GCC.)

So it's not about user freedom. There's no difference there. It's about what's the smartest way to help our friends and each other, without helping the companies that are competing against us and trying to replace free software with their proprietary software.

Re:GPL and BSD give uses the same freedoms (1)

EvanED (569694) | about 6 months ago | (#46059655)

The BSD licence provides building blocks for non-free projects that compete against free software. The GPL provides building blocks only for free software projects.

That's only true if you define "free" to be "GPL-compatible." The GPL provides building blocks only for GPL software products. Software licensed under the CDDL is also free software, but GPL doesn't provide you building blocks for combining with that.

Re:Sorry man, but not everyone agrees with you (3, Interesting)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about 6 months ago | (#46059511)

Agreed.

It sounds like RMS is butthurt that GCC is losing popularity ?

Choice for the consumer is good.

In an ideal world we would all have the source for every program so we can diagnose it.
In an ideal world we would only _need_ 1 compiler instead of everyone wasting man-years re-inventing yet another "wheel".

I deeply admire anyone who can remain committed to taking their ideology to an extreme by living it. However, such ideology is not appreciated, or understand by the majority. There are more "practical" and "pragmatic" sacrifices that sometimes must be made. Not everyone values Freedom the same way. :-( I'm sure Richard understands that some are willing to trade Freedom for Convenience. And his warning will probably be hauntingly true years down the road. Having someone who is able to look at the "bigger" picture must seem like a lonely, and unpopular job, but I am glad we have someone who does that.

However, taking a step back, what are _all_ the reasons that people are switching over to LLVM in the first place?

- Is part of the bigger picture is that GCC doesn't make it easy to embed into an IDE?
- If LLVM is "cleaner" under the hood so you don't need to be a compiler expert to modify / fix it, shouldn't that be a wake up call for GCC to clean up the code + architecture ?
- If I want to just make a front-end for a new (programming) language why is it easier with LLVM then with GCC ?

What are the fundamental reasons (aside from licensing issues) that Apple switched from GCC to LLVM, and others?

Re:Sorry man, but not everyone agrees with you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059517)

I'm amused at how his definition of "freedom" explicitly means "restricting certain people who don't agree with us from doing things". Just like all the great freedom-loving fascist states and fundamentalist societies throughout history!

I'm also amused at how quickly his philosophy goes from "freedom will help the world accomplish things we couldn't before" straight to "them versus us: my very very specific brand of freedom versus everything else invented or created, ever".

Re:Sorry man, but not everyone agrees with you (5, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | about 6 months ago | (#46059519)

Understand.

One of the most ambigious words out there is "freedom." We can usually focus on some areas of broad agreement, but for the most part it's a word used more for its positive overtones than its accuracy.

The Southern States, zealously supporting slavery, described themselves on the side of freedom. John Wilkes Booth wrote about glowingly. Why? Because the Feds letting the power holders in the South own slaves was, clearly, not interfering with their freedom to do so.

I'm using the South as an great example, but there's an even better one, except the conversation would degenerate from here if I used it. Let's just say "You know who also said he was fighting for freedom?"

I'm inclined to avoid using the word these days. In the mean time, using the term objectively, I think Stallman is probably on a better track than the BSD people. The BSD people would be better if it weren't for the existance of copyright. That changes everything, Stallman understands that, I don't think the BSD people do.

Re:Sorry man, but not everyone agrees with you (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059529)

To be fair, GPL way IS the only way, because, basically, any such community effort can work only if people give back according to their abilities and don't hoard/freeload, which is what BSD licenses theoretically permit. I say theoretically, because how it works in reality is largely indistinguishable from GPL - people give back and only in few insignificant cases there are freeloaders (yes people freeload even in GPL land, the difference is that what they do is illegal, but it's rarely enforced).

However, the second someone, for example Apple, tries to take BSD literally and profit from the code the way BSD license allows, you can be pretty sure the whole thing will break down. People aren't going to work for free just that some guy with pile of cash can have even bigger pile of cash. It's evolutionary hardwired into humans (and other animals).

Sorry man, but not everyone agrees with you (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059567)

What a strange post.

You start by asserting a trusim that not everyone agrees with RMS. So? Not everyone agrees with any particular person on any topic.

You then give a rehash of the difference between strong and weak copyleft, as if we needed that.

Up to this point you're not wrong, just rehashing.

But you then say that RMS gets on your nerves for sticking to his belief that strong copyleft is best. Gets on your nerves for standing up for his life's work? Gets on your nerves for standing behind what he believes to be true?

In a way you are like those people who say DS9 is better than TOS/TNG, because it abandoned Roddenberry's principles and defaced the Federation with selfishness and corruption. You _applaud_ when principled belief in good breaks down and moral-less expediency wins.

To hell with your weak, unprincipled expediency.

Admitting LLVM's technical superiority? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059123)

So... is RMS admitting that LLVM is technically superior? Or not?

Re: Admitting LLVM's technical superiority? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059301)

Yes and no. LLVM is not as good at most things but RMS and everyone else can see that LLVM has a superior overall design, ala structure, extensibility, readabiliy, etc. He sees the writing on the wall.

Folks here demonize RMS as being blinded by ideology, but the man is briliant and sees what is real.

Response (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059129)

Humanity calls Stallman a terrible setback.

Copyleft isn't free. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059133)

I don't consider something with copyleft to be truly free. Stallman's definition of freedom is forcing everyone to be free. True freedom is the ability to use free software in non-free circumstances.

Re:Copyleft isn't free. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059195)

True freedom is the ability to use free software in non-free circumstances.

Which, in all likelihood, just makes users and programmers have less freedom when some developer decides to hide and copyright the code. Stallman's version of freedom just provides freedom for a different (larger) group of people.

Not helping vs harming (5, Insightful)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 6 months ago | (#46059147)

so that all contribution to LLVM directly helps proprietary software as much as it helps us.'"

And that is a problem why? THIS is the problem I have with RMS, is that anything that helps OTHER people is considered "bad" even if it helps you, equally.

At some point, actively trying to NOT help others, even if it helps you, is counter Productive to your own cause. BSD license, doesn't harm ANYONE and is "more free" license, compared to GPL.

Re:Not helping vs harming (5, Interesting)

fredprado (2569351) | about 6 months ago | (#46059221)

This comes from his belief that proprietary closed source software is dangerous and should be fought. So he is just being consistent. You may disagree with his assumption (I disagree at least with part of his ideas as well), but you can't say that his posture is inconsistent with his beliefs.

Re:Not helping vs harming (2)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 6 months ago | (#46059485)

No, He isn't against "closed source" he is against anything that might be able to make closed source, even if it is completely free AND free (BSD). This is why he opposes BSD licensed material, not because it is free and free, but because it MIGHT be used in closed source.

Be opposed to closed source all you want, but if if tool is free and free why would you oppose it?

Re:Not helping vs harming (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059285)

Yeah, he's starting to sound like the [very unreliably narrated] old war from the Matrix backstory.

"The AI guided machine army is using the sun, block it out!"
"But sir, our plants need the sun, if we do that, we'll all die."
"Absolutely, but maybe we can kill them first and have a final victory dance over their fallen husks before we resort to cannibalization."

Why do free contracting work? (2, Insightful)

mx+b (2078162) | about 6 months ago | (#46059377)

I like to think of it as, why are you doing FREE work for a proprietary company that has no obligation to you other than to possibly hide your name at the bottom of a long list of credits buried in the help menu? This is what the BSD license allows.

If they aren't going to pay me, then I want them to have to contribute back anything they do with my software, which is what GPL requires. THAT is their way of paying me for my time -- that down the road I can save some time by getting help back from them. And not just me, but the entire community gets that help.

If you are ok with that, then who am I to judge? But I don't think it is as simple as "anything other than his way is bad" -- it is more of a question of, does it bother you to do free work for people, or do you not care just because you think its cool? RMS's concern is that it bothers him to put effort in to let lazy people take it with absolutely no acknowledgement and pay, and even worse, prevent you from doing what you want with THEIR copy of your work! It needs to be a 2-way street.

Re:Why do free contracting work? (4, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 6 months ago | (#46059469)

I like to think of it as, why are you doing FREE work for a proprietary company that has no obligation to you

Because it makes everyone's life better. If that's not reason enough, I don't know what else to tell you.

What's wrong with doing work that you expect ZERO acknowledgement from anyone? I learned something doing the work, and something else somewhere I might use one day works better as a result. That's a win no matter how jaded a filter you chose to apply.

Re:Why do free contracting work? (1)

Microlith (54737) | about 6 months ago | (#46059697)

What's wrong with doing work that you expect ZERO acknowledgement from anyone?

Nothing, so long as you explicitly acknowledge that as a possibility. Some would argue that it's a fool's errand, but in the end it's your choice. Some accept it and release under the BSD, some realize it and release under the GPL. Others play a game with dual licensing. All depends on what their goals are.

Re:Why do free contracting work? (5, Insightful)

Freedom Bug (86180) | about 6 months ago | (#46059473)

RMS couldn't care less if other companies profit off of his work.

What he cares about is some company taking his work, making it better, selling it back to him and then not letting him hack on it, fix it, port it to unapproved hardware, use it for unapproved uses, et cetera.

Re:Why do free contracting work? (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 6 months ago | (#46059555)

why are you doing FREE work for a proprietary company that has no obligation to you other than to possibly hide your name

How does this HARM anyone? In any particular case, it is because I gain some benefit from my efforts, either directly (result) or indirectly (learning). And this helping other people has no bearing on me at all.

Re:Why do free contracting work? (1)

bws111 (1216812) | about 6 months ago | (#46059675)

But it IS as simple as "anything other than his way is bad". The rise of LLVM in no ways impacts Stallmans work. He can release his work however he wants, and nobody can do anything about it. His complaint (here) is entirely about what OTHER people are doing. It is strictly 'any way but my way it bad'.

Yeah that was dumb. FOSS helps others as much (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 6 months ago | (#46059417)

Yeah that was a toe-picking dumb statement.
FOSS helps "directly helps [others as] much as it helps us."
That's kind of the point - cooperation, helping others as well as yourself.

For fifteen years I haven't bought any proprietary software, except once. I contribute to several open source projects, and my name is in the kernel changelog, so I think I qualify as a FOSS advocate. This FOSS advocate thinks Stallman was smoking something when he said that, unless the quote was taken out of context.

Re:Not helping vs harming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059439)

I'd add to that; the whole point of 'free' software is that we're not constantly reinventing the wheel. The BSD license lives up to that definition, and actually helps standards develop organically as a result (if your software can easily interoperate with standards, it makes to take advantage of that for marketing if nothing else).

The GPL limits the growth of any 'organic' standards to the hobbiests and powerusers as it becomes much more expensive (in terms of both devloper time and legal processing) for those proprietary (but often more mainstream) applications to incorporate them. Instead of a wide standard built on re-use of an existing codebase, you end up with technically great, but forgotten formats and protocols.

Stallman himself must understand this - he himself endorsed the Vorbis libraries being re-licensed under the BSD license to try and get it some much needed traction. Too late, unfortunately.

Re:Not helping vs harming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059443)

But it is "more free" in a direct sense, not in a sum total sense.

Those are different, because giving people the opportunity to make others less free may is an additional kid of immediate freedom for everyone. But the sum total effect a while later is less freedom for everyone.

Re:Not helping vs harming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059471)

That's right.

FUCK GPL!

Re:Not helping vs harming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059641)

Because RMS has seen proprietary entities take naively open code, sell it, and even turn around and pursue legal action against the original authors. He has seen his vision of a computing environment destroyed (in a somewhat literal manner) by proprietary software.

That's what a lot of people don't get about RMS: they think he's campaigning for a pointlessly stringent definition of Freedom, and for computing that meets that definition, simply because he thinks it would be nice if it were that way. He's actually campaigning for definitions, practices, and legal entities that would have protected what he grew up with and which no longer exists.

Re:Not helping vs harming (1)

rtkluttz (244325) | about 6 months ago | (#46059669)

I have to disagree with that. I agree with Stallmans take that end users are where freedom is defined. Someone shouldn't be able to leach off the free community and not give back... such as Tivo and others. Software that limits what the END USER can do with it is simply not in the spirit of free software.

FrosGt pist (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059155)

of reality. Keep 4 BSD box (a PIII IS DYING LIKE THE Shouts To the Is also a miserable Am protesting Fact came into

He'd have a valid point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059159)

Except for the multiple paid versions of GCC compilers out there:

http://www.mentor.com/embedded-software/sourcery-tools/sourcery-codebench/editions/lite-edition/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SN_Systems

just off of the top of my head

GCC isn't an IDE, Codebench source is free (5, Insightful)

raymorris (2726007) | about 6 months ago | (#46059349)

> Except for the multiple paid versions of GCC compilers out there:
> http://www.mentor.com/embedded... [mentor.com]

The product you linked to, Codebench lite, is neither proprietary, nor paid.
It's simply NOT a "paid version of GCC compiler", because it's not something you pay for - it's free and you can download the source.

That same company ALSO sells support services and an IDE. They don't sell a compiler.

> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S... [wikipedia.org]

Are you claiming that SNC is a GCC derivative? Citation? The wikipedia article mentions that they ship their compiler, which can be used INSTEAD OF the gcc-dereived compiler provided by the hardware manufacturer.

RMS Right, Again (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059173)

RMS is right, again. This does erode the GPL advantages.

But, the answer is fairly straight forward and I don't understand why it wasn't done in the first place. LLVM's BSD license lends itself well to being forked into a GPLed fork LLVM(BSD) -> LLVM-NG(GPL) -> -> ->

BSD helps proprietary software AND GPL. QED.

Re:RMS Right, Again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059383)

GPL advantages aren't really advantages when companies have already learned the lesson GPL was meant to teach. Which is working together helps everyone, Customers, Users, Competition, and ourselves. Once a company is contributing & has learned this lesson the GPL offers more restrictions than sharing.

Re:RMS Right, Again (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 6 months ago | (#46059515)

Exactly, give the BSD crowd a taste of their own medicine and solve the problem. Why haven't they done this yet?

GPL fork (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059185)

I would support a project that forks LLVM but accepts GPL patches.
Sometimes RMS is right, a compiler is a core technology that would actually encourage openness when GPLed instead of BSD.

Linux keeps the GPL alive. (1)

Animats (122034) | about 6 months ago | (#46059211)

At least Linux is still under the GPL.

I'm sort of sad to see GCC in decline, but it's a very old compiler.

Re:Linux keeps the GPL alive. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059309)

The GPL is no longer required to keep Linux alive. Companies have learned very well that forking away from OpenSource projects (Even GPL/BSD projects) harms themselves. The ones that haven't learned fail have products that are hard to maintain and costly, and so they should fail.

Re:Linux keeps the GPL alive. (1)

MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) | about 6 months ago | (#46059637)

You mean like Google?

Re:Linux keeps the GPL alive. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059397)

No it is not a very old compiler and it does not seem to be in decline: 4.8.2 was release last october. http://gcc.gnu.org/gcc-4.8/ [gnu.org]

Freedom? (0, Flamebait)

ArbitraryName (3391191) | about 6 months ago | (#46059213)

Richard Stallman is a terrible setback to freedom.

Is LLVM a threat to GCC ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059217)

I don't think so because many companies are involved which profit from shared development activities. Addionally, I don't see any profit potential selling improved versions of free compilers.

This is stupid (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059225)

Copyleft is an outdated concept that was designed to teach companies they should share. LLVM is a direct child of that lesson, companies have learned that sharing is best & have began to share. The very "Proprietary" companies accused of using it to make proprietary compilers are the same ones that helped create LLVM to begin with.

GPL is dated for a time when companies were reluctant to share. It made its point and now it is nothing but a way for FSF/RMS to impose rules on others who would rather be free. Long live the new world where OpenSource is actual Freedom!

Re:This is stupid (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059267)

I agree. My problem with copyleft is that it does not signify freedom at all - it simply forces me to make other choices. Anything that forces me into particular course of action s by definition nothing *like* freedom.

Let the downvotes begin...

Re:This is stupid (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059533)

Let the downvotes begin...

Pfft. Standard karma whoring statement.

Re:This is stupid (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059287)

Yea, like Sony sharing their PS4 FreeBSD code!

Re:This is stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059461)

They don't need to share it. You already have it its FreeBSD 9.2

Re:This is stupid (1)

Mdk754 (3014249) | about 6 months ago | (#46059325)

I fear companies may begin to stop sharing if you remove the precedent. I'm not saying there's no use for bsd style licenses, but there's room for both.

Where RMS is wrong is that any bsd code enhancements can be brought into the gpl project but not the other way around. I don't see how this is a loss for him...

Precedent meas nothing (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 6 months ago | (#46059573)

I fear companies may begin to stop sharing if you remove the precedent.

This is not at all the case. Companies share not because of any precedent, but because it encourages more people to work on the project they are using. Sharing reaps benefits in active developers.

Sharing for companies can be justified on purely selfish reasons alone, which is why it still flourishes without the mandatory compulsion factor of the GPL.

Also companies are fine with doing something because it is right or benefits them, but the legal departments of many companies HATE HATE HATE being told they MUST do something, even if they already are doing that and have no plans to stop. It introduces an unpleasant future obligation they want to part of, even if it's meaningless in practice.

Re:This is stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059527)

GPL: Billy, sharing your toys is a good thing and makes people happy; and if you don't share your toys with Tommy, I will beat you into an inch of your life. BSD: Billy, sharing your toys if a good thing and makes people happy; and you share, others will share back and become your friend.

I don't see how any comment on this story... (0, Offtopic)

genghisjahn (1344927) | about 6 months ago | (#46059229)

...can get a +5 interesting.

Oh, Stallman. You so crazy. (2, Interesting)

wanderfowl (2534492) | about 6 months ago | (#46059233)

This is like the US saying "A cure for cancer would be a major setback to the US, as it would also enable our enemies to be cancer-free".

New, FOSS software which is awesome is a Good Thing, for the community as a whole. Sure, its license allows people who don't care for FOSS to use it, but surely a net improvement in the community's state of the art can't be a bad thing. If nothing else, this licensure allows people with bigger wallets to pay for improvements which they need, and to have those available to the community too, allowing copylefties more time to work on other things.

Re:Oh, Stallman. You so crazy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059393)

Except that it is not FOSS. It is just open source.

Without the four essential freedoms, software will not be free. At least that is the argument RMS makes.

Most people use a different definition of freedom, but this response is the only response you could expect him to give if you know his principles.

Foot Eater! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059273)

I saw a video of RMS eating something off his foot!!!!

Us versus Them (2)

TheloniousToady (3343045) | about 6 months ago | (#46059275)

The existence of LLVM is a terrible setback for our community precisely because it is not copylefted and can be used as the basis for nonfree compilers — so that all contribution to LLVM directly helps proprietary software as much as it helps us.

Isn't it sad the way he sees this as a loss in the war of "Us versus Them" rather than as a "technically superior compiler" resulting in a bigger pie for everybody?

You're not helping, RMS (2, Insightful)

wanderfowl (2534492) | about 6 months ago | (#46059307)

I'm starting to think that Richard Stallman is to free software what PETA and the NRA are to vegetarians and gun owners, respectively: Usually there's a kernel of a valid point buried in there somewhere, but the rhetoric is so shrill and overblown that nobody ends up listening for long. All the worse, people start associating all lovers of free software with his level of rhetoric, and zealotry is assumed where none exists.

GPL/BSD (4, Insightful)

znanue (2782675) | about 6 months ago | (#46059317)

I'll bite. I do think that RMS has a point about the open source compiler of record being under the GPL, as well as the operating system and other essential build tools and core platform elements. Many people will rightly point out, yet again, that GPL is a pretty aggressive license for most userland software, but when it comes to the platform itself, this aggression seems to be quite desirable. Also, these value statements seem temporally bound to the moment. Maybe in the future we will live in a set of legal and intellectual circumstances where RMS has basically won and that maybe a good thing.

So I wonder he isn't right about it being sad that LLVM is not under copyleft.

Re:GPL/BSD (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059353)

Because true freedom means having only one person define what true freedom means.

I see (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059319)

"so that all contribution to LLVM directly helps proprietary software as much as it helps us."

So now it's not enough to help the free software movement. One must also actively work to sabotage all other software development. Thanks, Richard!

Developers need to eat (1, Interesting)

labreuer (950633) | about 6 months ago | (#46059327)

Does RMS have plans for how developers will eat if e.g. steals their code and makes it cheaper? Does he have plans for companies which wish to contribute some of their developer time to open source, and some to heavily-invested-in trade secrets? I've been in situations where I wanted to use and contribute to OSS for part of what I did, but couldn't because of copyleft. I wonder if this is why the embedded systems space has such terrible OSS support: the lack of sufficient 'boundaries' between modules in embedded code forces one to be fully infected by the virus or clear of it entirely.

Re:Developers need to eat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059581)

You're forgetting that RMS is a big ole' commie. "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need."

He thinks the fact that you can develop software means you should do it for free.
And he thinks you should only receive enough pay to scrape by selling consulting services for the software that you wrote for free.

Freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059345)

RMS is big on "Freedom", but he wants to deny others the freedom to profit from their intellectual property efforts. He is entitled to his opinions, but I do wish he would explain why others should be denied that freedom.

Re:Freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059627)

He explains it damn near every time he opens his mouth. The trouble is, to him, it's axiomatic, so simply stating his belief is equivalent to pronouncing a universal truth.

Sadly, reality disagrees with him.

It's really simple... (4, Informative)

dbc (135354) | about 6 months ago | (#46059431)

People are focusing on BSD versus GPL, but really, the thing to see here is Stallman's definition of "community". If you would ever let your software be used by for-profit interests, you are not part of the community he is speaking of, and claims to speak for. It's just that simple, no flamage or politics implied by saying that.

I've long said that people should chose a license the way they choose a screwdriver, not the way they would chose a religion. What are you trying to achieve? Want total world domination for a new protocol? Go BSD. Want to keep for-profit entities from rent-seeking based on your work? Go GPL.

It's OK to be part of Stallman's community. It's also OK to not be part of Stallman's community. It's OK for RMS to be dissapointed with people who are not part of his community. It's OK for people not part of Stallman's community to not give a rat's ass what RMS thinks.

I'll say this though, the number times I've originally dismissed one of RMS's ideas a crack-pot loony assertion, and then five years later come to see the point he was trying to make, is non-zero.

Re:It's really simple... (2)

Mdk754 (3014249) | about 6 months ago | (#46059645)

This, a thousand times, this! You couldn't separate the ideologies behind the two licenses any better than that.

Could his issue be genetic? (2)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about 6 months ago | (#46059457)

Stallman is an ethnic Jew and I think we all know that sometimes Jewish folks are given to exaggeration and hyperbole. Listening to Stallman complain about software freedom reminds me of listening to my uncle complain about air travel. Sure, they are right, but oy vey!

In other news.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059491)

RMS is also a 'terrible setback' for the OSS community in their attempts to be taken seriously.

Hey Richard (0)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 6 months ago | (#46059495)

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. However, I don't actually care about your opinion in this matter.

Re:Hey Richard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059643)

Meta: Thank you for sharing your thoughts. However, I don't actually care about your opinion in this matter.

That accomplished a lot.

And? (5, Interesting)

ledow (319597) | about 6 months ago | (#46059501)

Which is only a problem if you actively do NOT want to help proprietary software.

I don't want to hinder proprietary software. I want to boost open software. There's a difference.

Proprietary software has it's place and, in a free market, people will choose whatever is best for them.

As in many things (feminism, sexism, racism, etc.) there are always some people who will champion the cause right through equality and out the other side.

You know what? I don't mind that proprietary software could take something like LLVM, do stuff with it, and sell it. So long as they can't stop ***ME*** taking LLVM, and doing what I want with it.

Historically "Free" software was hard to find and so proprietary was your only choice. From there, I would prefer to have open software which proprietary people can take and use too if they want. Pretty much, nowadays, you can find an open equivalent of just about anything but the most locked-in of protocols/programs.

But what I don't want is to tell everyone in the world they are an idiot if they don't open-source everything. All that does is make people hate you, and think you're an idiot. Instead, let's lead the way and **IGNORE** proprietary software, and put the lobbying efforts towards the choice of freedom, and writing good code.

When their customers realise that there's better software out there, for free, they will have to up their game, or start rolling up their sleeves to help.

We don't have to go around actively attacking them for daring to be proprietary. And we certainly don't have to get all snotty because a piece of software can be used by anyone.

No offence... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059509)

I like Stallman, but it must get a lot more crazy than that to surpass my love about Warren. :)

Death to the GPL (0)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | about 6 months ago | (#46059589)

Frankly, the GPS is a contract of indentured servitude to the ideals of RMS. When someone breaks the terms, does RMS go after them? No -- you do at your own peril and expense. And what monetary compensations are you entitled to? At most, you can force them to open source their product and sue for attorney's fees.

So unless you want to force other people to serve RMS' goals and want to litigate out of pocket on behalf of RMS, why should you use the GPL?
Why should a compiler be under GPL? Is there money to be made off the compiler? Are compilers used as internal workings of released software?
Will the author(s) be harmed if someone forks LLVM and uses it in a commercial non-OSS OS Distro?

While the GPL might make sense if you want to release commercially useful code while forcing corporate interests to make their code GPL compatible, for tools and utilities it makes no sense at all in this day of truly social coding where entire companies are founded around the basis of social coding and put their software repos on Github for the world to access, use and fork off of.

And considering the current prevalence of the BSD/MIT Licenses, I think the greater community agrees with this.

I'm not a stallman fan but (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059595)

he's right. Haven't you populist techno wankers seen enough what corporations will eventually do to you?

LLVM was offered for GCC-Next (4, Insightful)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | about 6 months ago | (#46059613)

It would behove Stallman to admit that his/GCCs insistence on obfuscated/incomplete intermediary representations was never tenable in the long term. If they had just adopted LLVM for GCC-Next when it was offered this wouldn't have been a problem ... in the end GCC had no choice to follow their lead any way with LTO, proving that the argument that it made proprietary backends too easy should have never been used.

An eloquent argument but... (5, Interesting)

DRJlaw (946416) | about 6 months ago | (#46059633)

From the post:

They object to the measures we have taken to defend freedom because they see the
inconvenience of them and do not recognize (or don't care about) the need for them.

Or they believe that the "inconvenience" outweighs the need for those measures -- e.g., the inconvenience is very large or the need is not as great as Stallman believes.

Most of Stallman's post is quite balanced and reasonable. However, suggesting that another group's thought process is defective ("do not recognize" or "do not care") merely because they consider other factors and reach different conclusions than yours is a bit of a cheap shot.

zero-sum? (3, Insightful)

mugnyte (203225) | about 6 months ago | (#46059679)

RMS's philosophy assumes a zero-sum combative environment for software: "free and uncapitalizable" vs "open-source and capitlistic". He's consistent and clear, but this zero-sum assumption is false. Closed-source innovations have cross-bred with open many times, either via concept or actual code contributions. The ecosystem mingles every time any coder merges their closed-source ideas with open or vice-versa. Freedom in this case lives at the meta level that allows individuals AND a market to thrive. We're not going back to an age where all the drawers of tapes are unlocked for everyone at all times, but where the concepts embedded in the tapes' content crossbreed and multiply. Freedom has thus encompassed RMS's idea (after all, GPLv3 is not prohibited) and that of a market-based economy. His stance that assumes zero-sum reveals a clear dislike for the existance of the market, which perhaps arose from a time when digital commerce could not be envisioned. However, digital-goods are indeed a very large market and that work to create such goods will come from anywhere, free, paid, donated and even (regrettably) stolen. It mirrors the real world, as it should.

freedom vs freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059683)

Can't help but feel RMS is way off base.

If he truly cared about freedom that he would protest that scripting in /bin/bash is not as free as scripting in /bin/sh simply because it reduces the code's portability by requiring that one has to have the bourne again shell installed.
He would also argue that applications like systemd are not truly free because they put constraints on other parts of an OS and thus limit their portability.
He would argue that changes to various desktop managers that limit their portability makes them not truly free.

However, as all the things mentioned above do not affect GPL software he doesn't say a word.

Only freedom that is enforced stays freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46059695)

I strongly agree with RMS on this one.

I also think that the GPLv3 is per se a step up - it might need some detail work, but the general direction is needed due to people circumventing the "user has access and can do what he likes and reproduce the software and install it" idea too much these days.

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