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Re: [ROFL] GCC's GPLv3 "Updated License Exception"

From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: [ROFL] GCC's GPLv3 "Updated License Exception"
Date: Tue, 3 Feb 2009 17:09:22 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.9i

Hi, Alfred!

On Tue, Feb 03, 2009 at 05:03:18PM +0100, Alfred M. Szmidt wrote:
>    The degree of creativity involved in writing a few comparison and
>    conditional/unconditional jump instructions is too low to merit
>    copyright, just as composing the sentence "This is silly." would
>    be.

> Well, depends... Duff's device is quite a smart way to unroll a loop,
> and loop unrolling is quite trivial.

> Saying out right that making a efficient switch statment is trivial,
> is really not true, if you have a long one, you really wish to do it
> as fast as possible, and might resort to vector tables or other stuff.

Trivial it may or may not be, but what I said was that it's too trivial
TO MERIT COPYRIGHT.  In any case, the machine instructions in a piece of
object code weren't written by the copyright non-owner.  They were
mechanically generated by a program (a compiler) written by him, the
creative input being supplied by the author of the C code.

> So switch statment optimistaions can be very creative, it isn't just a
> bunch of jmps and conds lumped together...

Yeah, playing an F major chord can be equally creative.  It takes a lot
of skill to get all the various components in tune with eachother, and
to get them to sound at the same time, at the right relative
intensities.  That doesn't make it deserving of copyright status.

Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).

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