[linux-audio-dev] New form of GPL licence that protects Linux from proprietary world [was: New powermacs?]

Ivica Bukvic ico at fuse.net
Mon Jun 23 14:13:01 UTC 2003

> It is important to note some of Apple's contributions to the open
> source community besides darwin.

Darwin was not developed by Apple. It's originally a project that was
developed on Intel machines. Apple took it on since it had an acceptable
license (BSD).

> Several compiler and debugger
> engineers that I worked with at Cygnus Solutions before it was bought
> by Red Hat now work at Apple. These people work full time on gcc and
> gdb and all contributions go back to these projects. Optimizations and
> improvements for the PPC architecture in gcc and gdb benefits Linux on
> that platform as much as Apple. The html rendering engine of Apple's
> Safari browser is based on Konquerer, and the improvements Apple made
> are being contributed back to the project.

Those contributions are in my personal experience, yet to be noticed.
Konqueror was a formidable browser before Safari, and so it is now. As
it stands right now, Apple has gained a lot more from the community than
it has given back.

Granted giving something instead of nothing is certainly better, but in
my opinion not good enough. After all, you have to consider the impetus
behind these moves on Apple's part. They did not choose to do this
because they like oss, but because they have no alternative. Msft has
held them in check with the crappy version of IE for years and they
simply waited until Konqueror engine became good enough so that they
could implement it without investing too much dev time. Same goes for
the gcc and gdb. They took on a project that has been quite optimized
for the PPC platform. For instance, it was Redhat who added the altivec
optimizations to gnu compiler, not Apple. Hence, Apple's contributions
are marginal at best.

> So where do you draw the line? Companies that don't contribute to open
> source? Companies that sell anything proprietary (which would
> Red Hat, check the licensing on some of their high end products). And
> if you want to punish M$, nothing is more powerful than the GPL. That
> license terrifies them.

This truly is a pickle. But as it stands right now, I'd say any OS that
has one impenetrable closed-source layer that is essential for the
workings of the OS is in my eyes closed-source. Redhat's closed source
products are not essential for the functioning of Linux, they are a
mered add-on software, as opposed to the Apple's Quartz (and other
underlying closed-source elements, such as Finder etc.), or Msft's
entire OS.

>   The beauty of the GPL is that it is blind like justice. Free means
> always and forever free.

Very true.

As it is right now, I've received a lot of convincing rebuttals of my
idea, which certainly is a good thing, and I thank you all for that.
However, no one has yet managed to propose an alternative that would
resolve the dilemma that started the whole discussion -- ensuring that
Linux-developed audio software primarily benefits Linux, not a
non-related third-party OS that makes money off of our sweat.

Any takers? ;-)


More information about the Linux-audio-dev mailing list