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Re: GPL code reuse questions

From: olafBuddenhagen
Subject: Re: GPL code reuse questions
Date: Wed, 4 Aug 2010 21:09:35 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.20 (2009-06-14)


On Tue, Jul 20, 2010 at 10:51:50AM +0200, Svante Signell wrote:

> This mail is based on the recent bug-hurd thread of missing features
> of Hurd: USB, SATA, sound, wireless, modern processors, etc. This
> question comes up every time somebody mention the usability of Hurd
> (except the inherent slowness)
> According to my findings Hurd is licensed as GPL v2 only
> http://www.gnu.org/software/hurd/users-guide/using_gnuhurd.html#GNU-General-Public-License
> same as GNU/Linux even if it is a GNU project.

No, it's v2 or later.

> This means that Linux
> code could in theory be used if the copyright holders of the Linux
> code agrees to transfer copyrights to GNU for the relevant parts.

As long as we stick with v2, there is no need for a transfer of
copyright. The problem is that we'd like to move the Hurd to v3 at some
point, which means we could no longer use the v2-only Linux code :-(

> Alternately, in case Hurd was re-licensed to GPL v2+ or v3+, code from
> other GNU projects could be re-used to speed up  development of the
> Hurd feature-wise.

There are few other GNU projects implementing this kind of

> What are the problems of increasing code reuse between projects,

Part of it is NIH of course -- but often it's actually justified to some
extent: as we are limited in the capacity of things we can learn about,
it's simply not possible to be fully aware about all the potential
sources of code we could reuse.

There are technical problems as well though. To reuse code, it usually
needs to be adapted more or less. Both the glue code in gnumach, and the
new DDE work, are reusing the actual drivers from Linux. Integrating
them into our system is easier than writing all the drivers from scratch
-- but it's still a considerable amount of non-trivial work. And it
requires some extra work for every subsystem in question: sound, USB,


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