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Re: Question regarding g++ and GPL in my own project (2nd try)

From: Lewis Collard
Subject: Re: Question regarding g++ and GPL in my own project (2nd try)
Date: Thu, 4 Mar 2004 05:50:17 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.4i

Michael Stather <> writed:
> Hi, (sorry if I post this twice, but my first message didn?t seem to get
> posted)

It did. Here's a nice delayed response, since nobody else took the
> I?ve a little question concerning the license of gcc:

I?ll answer, but I?ll ask that you will turn off "smart quotes" in
your micros~1 mailer before posting any follow-ups.
> I plan to develop a game-making system consisting of an IDE and gcc.
> I?ll develop an engine which translates the source from a BASIC-style
> language into c++ and then compiles them using g++.
> GCC resides in an extra dir in the distribution and only called through the
> IDE via commandline and it?s results are read (mainly because I don?t want
> to dig into the
> g++ source) by the IDE. So I simply use a regular distribution or a CVS
> version of g++.
> My question is, does the GPL permit to sell the final product without
> releasing the source for my Basic<->C++ engine or the IDE, assuming that
> they aren?t linked via the source to each other and theoretically it?s
> possible to use any other compiler?

Yes, if you're simply executing the compiler you are not creating a
derivative work of it, as you would be if you placed the compiler and
your IDE into the same linkage unit. Thus saith the GPL FAQ:

# By contrast, pipes, sockets and command-line arguments are
# communication mechanisms normally used between two separate
# programs. So when they are used for communication, the modules
# normally are separate programs. But if the semantics of the
# communication are intimate enough, exchanging complex internal
# data structures, that too could be a basis to consider the two
# parts as combined into a larger program.


In your case, if you are distributing GCC with your program, you will
simply have to offer the source code of GCC to anyone who wants it,
as per section 3 of the GPL.

> <chomp>
> I respect the idea of open source and want to clarify this before starting
> (perhaps the product will be open-source, too)

Releasing it as free software would be the nice thing to do, whether
the GPL mandated it or not.

> regards and thanks for developing gcc
> Michael    

Lewis Collard                                    <>

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