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Re: LLVM


From: address@hidden
Subject: Re: LLVM
Date: Fri, 29 Feb 2008 08:39:55 -0800 (PST)
User-agent: G2/1.0

On 29 Feb., 16:51, Nicola Pero <address@hidden>
wrote:
>  >One of the design goals for my runtime was to provide a superset of  
> the functionality required
>  > for Objective-C 2.0.  It was also designed with the aim of future  
> integration with LLVM (and has
>  > a compatible license)
>
> (puzzled) :-)
>
> Do you really think that the LLVM license is a good license for our  
> compiler / runtime language library ? ;-)
>
> I mean, IIRC we got our current Objective-C compiler from NeXT  
> *because* of the GNU GPL.
> If GCC had had a license like the LLVM one, we might not even have a  
> free Objective-C compiler
> available! :-)
>
> I understand why Apple wants that kind of license - so that they get  
> our improvements to the compiler,
> but we don't get theirs.  They have no requirement to give anything  
> back to us. :-(
>
> GCC's license is much better for us - and much worse for Apple - if  
> you contribute to GCC, Apple
> can take your improvements for free (ie, they use them in the  
> compiler they ship on their computers),
> but then at least they have to give back *their* improvements for  
> free, because of the GNU GPL (well, there
> might be work required to merge back the improvements into mainline  
> GCC trunk, but you definitely
> get to see them, and you get a GPL license to use them).  That seems  
> fair to me ;-)
>
> With the LLVM license, we might never see any of the Apple code/
> improvements.
>
> I think that's a major disadvantage.  To me, it's a big step  
> backwards from the GNU GPL, and I won't
> be using LLVM or contributing to it - nor to any Objective-C runtime  
> library with a similar license.
>
>  From a technical standpoint, I'd love to see a free software  
> alternative to GCC to compile Objective-C,
> but this is not a convincing alternative - the license seems designed  
> to abuse contributors.
>
> Thanks

I am not a specialist on licenses - but can't gcc absorb some of the
good components of LLVM? With that, gcc 5.0 would be as flexible and
powerful (I understood LLVM has a better intermediate language).

IMHO, changing GNUstep in any way to require LLVM is generally not a
good move. It makes life even more difficult to have GNUstep included
in any Linux distribution because we can't influcence them to provide
a LLVM ObjC compiler. Or we have to maintain our own compilers.

-- hns


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