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Re: [fluid-dev] Another application using FluidSynth announced

From: David Henningsson
Subject: Re: [fluid-dev] Another application using FluidSynth announced
Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2011 09:30:50 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:7.0) Gecko/20110906 Thunderbird/7.0

On 09/11/2011 09:49 PM, Andrew Suffield wrote:
On Sun, Sep 11, 2011 at 09:28:31PM +0200, Pedro Lopez-Cabanillas wrote:
But as I've said, if the compiler and developer tools are "freeware"
or not is irrelevant from the license point of view, in my
opinion. These are the same tools used to build all Mac OSX
applications; any legal restriction because a GPL interpretation
would mean that developing GPL applications for Mac OSX would be
forbidden as well.

Uh, no. They are so not-irrelevant that the GPL contains an explicit
clause to handle this case, without which it would be very hard to
write GPL applications on non-free platforms.

Maybe the section you quoted below is what makes the free-compiler question irrelevant then?

Btw, for some reason this discussion suddenly is about GPL, whereas FluidSynth is released under LGPL. Could we stay on topic by restricting us to discussing LGPL instead of GPL?

(This section also exists in LGPL, so the question is still relevant.)

In GPLv2 it's this:

"However, as a
  special exception, the source code distributed need not include
  anything that is normally distributed (in either source or binary
  form) with the major components (compiler, kernel, and so on) of the
  operating system on which the executable runs, unless that component
  itself accompanies the executable."
An application which relied on some proprietary compiler that was not
covered by this clause would not be distributable under the GPL (which
is fairly obvious, because otherwise it would be very easy to work
around the GPL by putting all your proprietary changes into the

There is a problem with the section in itself, as it indicates that a compiler is a major component of an operating system. For the Windows platform in particular, a lot of different compilers exist.

For iOS, I think we can count XCode as being such a major component. The problem for me is with the input to the code signing tool, with requires an Apple subscription fee.

// David

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