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From: Nicola Pero
Subject: Re: LLVM
Date: Fri, 29 Feb 2008 15:51:23 +0000

>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.


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