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Re: clang vs free software

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: clang vs free software
Date: Sat, 25 Jan 2014 18:02:13 -0500

[[[ To any NSA and FBI agents reading my email: please consider    ]]]
[[[ whether defending the US Constitution against all enemies,     ]]]
[[[ foreign or domestic, requires you to follow Snowden's example. ]]]

We don't want to make a program's entire AST available for parsing
because that would make it easy to extend GCC with proprietary
programs.  If we had allowed this, we would have brought on the same
problem that LLVM is causing: GCC would then change from a free
compiler into a platform for nonfree compilers.

However, making available the symbol table (identifiers and their types)
would not cause this problem.  It just needs someone to write the code.

    Maybe nobody bothers because using clang is easier than to fight with
    FSF policies.

If you mean the policy that we don't let GCC become a platform for
proprietary compilers, what does it mean to think of this as something
to "fight"?

It means that one does not value defending freedom for the users.  It
means considering technical progress more important.

Those are the sort of values that make freedom vulnerable -- that gave
us LLVM, for instance.  The consequences will be seen in the non-free
compilers based on LLVM which, had they been based on GCC instead,
would have been free.

Dr Richard Stallman
President, Free Software Foundation
51 Franklin St
Boston MA 02110
www.fsf.org  www.gnu.org
Skype: No way! That's nonfree (freedom-denying) software.
  Use Ekiga or an ordinary phone call.

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