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Re: [Savannah-users] Re: Hosting of FLOSS project that links against CU

From: Kaz Kylheku
Subject: Re: [Savannah-users] Re: Hosting of FLOSS project that links against CUDA library
Date: Mon, 7 Dec 2009 23:47:35 -0800

On Mon, Dec 7, 2009 at 12:40 AM, Sylvain Beucler <address@hidden> wrote:
> On Mon, Dec 07, 2009 at 03:46:13PM +0900, Miles Bader wrote:
>> Sylvain Beucler <address@hidden> writes:
>> >> Would a FLOSS project using CUDA be accepted on
>> >
>> > Independently of GPL compatibility, Savannah only accepts projects
>> > that work without proprietary dependencies.
>> >
>> > Consequently, as long as you use CUDA to access the GPU, your project
>> > does not fit our hosting requirements.
>> What if CUDA isn't a dependency per-se, but rather one of several
>> backends?
> Free software users mustn't be enticed to use proprietary software.
> If there are multiple backends, the best (or equal-best) backend must
> rely on free software.  If CUDA is a suboptimal (or equal-best)
> backend, that's ok. If CUDA is a better backend than a free software
> alternative, that's not ok.

Free programs that use proprietary back ends encourage the eventual
development of clone replacements for those back ends which are at
least as good. People making freeware clones of the lower level
components need some motivation; there is only so much you can be
motivated if the only programs which call your API are proprietary

The GNU project running on Unix helped the development of Linux,
because the Linux kernel was able to have applications on it right
away, which provided not only functionality but also served as test
cases. What would Linux have done without that? Make the syscall
interface compatible with some SVR4 or whatever and slide under
proprietary user space? Ugh. Good luck debugging through that when it
doesn't boot.

Stallman could have said ``Let's cancel this whole GNU project,
because we are relying on Unix, which is a proprietary back end, and
better than anything we have.'' Or ``Let's put the all other
development on the shelf until we have a satisfactory kernel.''

What if someone suddenly makes a proprietary clone of a free back-end,
and makes it better? If tomorrow, Microsoft publishes a proprietary
replacement for GNU readline, which is better than readline, do you
drop all Savannah projects that use readline? :)

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