GPL under MacOS and NewtonOS

Chris Gehlker gehlker at
Mon Nov 12 15:21:56 UTC 2001

On 11/12/01 4:19 AM, "Paul Guyot" <pguyot at> wrote:

>> This analogy doesn't fit. Everyone who has Mac CodeWarrior has PowerPlant.
> Well, I'd admit that, although each version of CW comes with a new
> incompatible version of PowerPlant but the compilers remain
> compatible (if not identical for the 68K one) within versions.
> So I guess you agree with these points:
> (1) Metrowerks CodeWarrior is a major component of the operating
> system as the GPL defines it (since the GPL gives the example of the
> compiler and the kernel as major components of the operating system).
> (2) Therefore, anything that comes with CW in binary form can be
> included in a GPL software (provided that Metrowerks EULA accepts it).
> Let me give you an example showing that the interpretation in point 1
> is contrary to section 2 of the OSD.
> I wrote a compiler which I ship with a framework (F) as a commercial
> product. The EULA is exactly MW's (you cannot ship the framework
> except in binary form in an application in which you brought
> significant code of your own).
> Then I take some GPL software (G), link it with some code of mine (A)
> plus this framework (F) (which binary is 1 MB big, BTW) and release
> the final product under GPL because it includes G, but I only give
> the source for A + G.
> You cannot compile the software without the framework or the
> compiler. However, there is another compiler for the same language on
> the market which can compile (with or without little modifications)
> A, G and F.
> Is it open source?

If, like Metrowerks, you include the source for F with every copy of your
compiler, then yes it is.
> What's the difference in the GPL between this solution and developing
> a software linked with PowerPlant and using MetroWerks compilers?

None that I can see.
> Can I also do the same with Metrowerks PowerPlant and Apple's MrCpp or gcc?
Technically or legally? I think the answer is yes to both for MrCpp and I
don't know for gcc.
>> You found an inconsistency in the wording of
>> the GPL. It doesn't really deal well in cases where the complier is not
>> provided with the OS.
> This issue is the subject of this thread, isn't it?

It's the point of the thread that concerns me. It's still unclear whether
you are actually contemplating releasing some GPLed software or just
wanking. I'm not interested in this discussion in the abstract.

>> This includes pretty much every non-Unix OS and some versions of
>> Unix. I found the same issue. I emailed them and was told that it
>> was not a problem. Why would you want to make it one?
> Because they have strictly no additional authority for the
> interpretation than anyone else here. The GPL is a contract between
> authors of the original code and the developers who wish to use
> (modify, redistribute) it.
> If you say, heh, the FSF says so, so it's that's way, then you'll be
> surprised if someone comes and say: well, there's a misunderstanding
> here, what I meant in this license is this interpretation, and no
> matter how the FSF would interpret it then, the only reference will
> be the text itself.

I don't think I'm missing the point at all. The original question that you
asked, and the only one that's on topic here, is "can I release GPLed code
for CodeWarrior with PowerPlant or VC++ with MFC or any analogous point.

I wouldn't worry about the case were I use someone else's GPLed code and
then she tries to make  me buy a license to some library. She would clearly
be guilty of fraud. How the FSF and the community interprets the GPL could
well be relevant to demonstrating the fraud, but the burden would not be

>> What's the issue here?
> Can I include TEC 68K libraries (UnicodeConverterExtrasLib.o,
> UnicodeConverterLib.far.o, UnicodeConverterCoreLib.o) which aren't on
> CW 6 Tools CD, BTW, in a GPL software?
> What is a major component of the operating system? Can it be (a)
> downloadable (b) shipped with a compiler (c) shipped with the
> operating system?

Can you link against them? Sure.

>> It was called gcc. I have no interest in violating the GPL. I am sure that
>> Cygnus never did. You seem to want to punish the FSF for not enforcing the
>> GPL to your liking. Why don't you take it up with them?
> I don't want to punish anyone, I'm discussing issues here, that's all.
> And if ever Cygnus violated the GPL with gcc mpw port, it's not my
> problem at all, I'm not bound with them with the GPL agreement. It's
> the authors of gcc who could mind, not me.

For the record, you didn't need to buy MPW to use Mac gcc. It came with a
shell sufficient for it's own purposes.

Cogito Ergo Spud. - I think therefore I yam.

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