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[tlug] Apple vs. FSF and gcc 4.2.1

Darren Cook writes:

 > I've heard in a few places that Apple did not like GPL v3,

Allegedly GPLv3 is more friendly to enforcement in non-US
jurisdictions than is GPLv2, but that's hearsay.  IMO the optional
Affero clause is a plausible addition (but some people will use it
and others won't).  Other than that, there's little to like in GPLv3
compared to GPLv2.

 > and that this is why later versions than gcc 4.2.1 are not
 > supported on the Mac.

Very unlikely.  While GPLv3 is not as good a license as GPLv2 IMHO,
GCC is not embeddable or extendable, so who cares about the license?
GCC is just a tool in the chain, and the license is free.  Get a life!

The issue is GCC itself.  Apple has bet on extendability and
embeddability (LLVM).  See JC's post.  Why?  Well, in general, Apple
has always had "improvements" (such as fat binaries) to the toolchain
in their versions, but GCC is a real dog to keep up with its
development[1], and it's hardly a developer's friend.  Even gdb 7 is
reduced to throwing up its hands when debugging recent-GCC-optimized

 > I just have this image of two stubborn stags who have locked horns
 > and are refusing to give in. Meanwhile the other stags are going
 > round them and getting on with the mating...

You mean like Microsoft and Samsung?  I have a funny feeling that
little encounter may produce a next generation, but it will be a
mule.  Sorry, that was OT but I couldn't resist the image!

 > It is bad for Apple as more and more open source is moving on and
 > not working on Macs any more.

I suspect it's more accurate to say that Mac-oriented open source
developers are leaving/being chased out of projects.  Cf. RMS's most
gracious elegy for Steve Jobs: "I'm not glad he's dead, but I'm glad
he's gone."

I'm-heavier-than-the-average-FLOSS-advocate-how-far-do-you-trust-me?-ly y'rs

[1]  Designed by Stallman, and never fully refactored in one go.

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