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[DotGNU]The Intended usage of GNU software (was Treecc Ruby support)

From: James Michael DuPont
Subject: [DotGNU]The Intended usage of GNU software (was Treecc Ruby support)
Date: Wed, 6 Nov 2002 08:20:26 -0800 (PST)

This is a late response to the mail from Rhys :

I wrote :
> The usage of the c-trees from perl I think is more interesting.

Rhys Wrote :
>To you perhaps.  Presumably there are existing tools for generating
>Perl modules from .h files and such.  Those tools can be used to wrap
>the C treecc output files in Perl if required by a particular project.

That is the types of tools that I am working on with inline and swig.
They produce wrappers for many languages. The problem is that the
treecc also generates accessor methods, and the swig tool also does. 

This will be a problem, and we need to work on some better interfaces
between swig and treecc to be able to create multiple language bindings
for the treecc program. The usage of swig in general for c# and pnet
will be very interesting and I think that this is worth researching. 

The entire point of the introspector project is to provide an API for
compiler tool writers and Compiler end users to access the needed data.

Rhys then wrote :
>Treecc is a tool for the compiler-writer, not third parties.  If the
>compiler writer had intended to allow their internal representation
>to be accessed to third parties, they would have already done so.

This is what I have a problem with, and the source of our conflict.
The presumed "intend use". The indended use of compiler software is of
very little meaning to the end user. The compiler can do a lot more
that just produce .exe files. 

The entire introspector project is to get rid of this artificial gap
between the compiler writer and the users. We will be breaking down
these barriers.

The GPL has not limitations at all on "intended use", 
the entire GNU project was build to prevent any such false limitations.
see the section "Don't people have a right to control how their
creativity is used?", I think that falls underneath it.

I have copied some snippets here for your reading from the GNU
manifesto and the 4 fundamental freedoms of the GNU projects.

Maybe you want to think about the possible new and creative works that
other people may make based on your tools. Limiting them artificially
for any reason is against the spirit of the GNU manifesto.
>>Complete system sources will be available to everyone. As a result, a
>>user who needs changes in the system will always be free to make them
>>himself, or hire any available programmer or company to make them for
>>him. Users will no longer be at the mercy of one programmer or
>>company which owns the sources and is in sole position to make

>>"Don't people have a right to control how their creativity is used?" 
>>"Control over the use of one's ideas" really constitutes control over
>>other people's lives; and it is usually used to make their lives more

>>You have the freedom to run the program, for any purpose. 
>>You have the freedom to modify the program to suit your needs. (To
>>make this freedom effective in practice, you must have access to the
>>source code, since making changes in a program without having the
>>source code is exceedingly difficult.) 
>>You have the freedom to redistribute copies, either gratis or for a
>>You have the freedom to distribute modified versions of the program,
>>so that the community can benefit from your improvements

I will be consentrating on the GCC interface for the next weeks/months
and drawing my self out of the discussions here on the dotgnu project. 

In fact, the cscc and treecc support will be put on hold untill we can
resolve some fundamental issues. I dont want to get in a constant fight
with you over this Rhys. The dotgnu project is going to have to make
some decisions if they are going to try and artificially limit the
users of thier software, or give them the freedom that they are
promised by the GPL.


James Michael DuPont

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