[rescue] Re: Being jobless

Shannon shannon at widomaker.com
Thu Jul 31 19:58:12 CDT 2003

On Wed, Jul 30, 2003 at 10:12:05PM -0700, Francisco Javier Mesa-Martinez wrote:

> You are assuming a single possible outcome 

It sounds to me like *you* are the one doing this.

> -which is why I am going on and
> on on this thread :)- which is not the case. The GPL does not negate other
> free development environments from happening. 

Yes, it does.

The fact is in a limited programmer population, projects steal people
from each other.  With gcc there and popular, a lot of companies made
a simple economic decision to drop their own projects to put code
into gcc. 

gcc was popular with some embedded shops who had no interest in
maintaining or releasing a compiler, so they used gcc. I know because
I talked to quite a few of them. Many of them did not like the GPL,
but it wasn't a big deal to them. They did compiler work simply as a
side-effect of their normal job.

In fact, it is here that the GPL actually hurt gcc. Worries and even
real problems with the GPL prevented some things from being released, so
it was kept internal.

> Since none of those parallel
> outcomes has happened, there is a clear case to be made about the fact
> that maybe the GPL had something to do with GNU's longetivity and
> pervasivity. 


First, there *are* other compilers.

Second, you are ignoring the other reasons to use gcc that have
nothing to do with the GPL:

* it was already targeted to very popular embedded CPUs (embedded
  shops have contributed a lot of work to gcc)
* it was already targeted to several popular systems
* the source was available, and it didn't matter to many what the
  license was as they often never released their changes
* it allowed shops drop their own compiler projects to save money,

Once gcc was "good enough" (even when it really wasn't), a lot of
projects died because of a lack of interest and warm bodies.

Just look at work on GUI toolkits outside of KDE and Gnome. They are
nearly dead. Not because of licensing, but simply logistics.

UNIX/Perl/C/Pizza__________________________________shannon at widomaker.com

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