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Two GCC stories

Jul 08, 2010, 23:37 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jonathan Corbet)

"The GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) project occupies a unique niche in the free software community. As Richard Stallman is fond of reminding us, much of what we run on our systems comes from the GNU project; much of that code, in turn, is owned by the Free Software Foundation. But most of the GNU code is relatively static; your editor wisely allowed himself to be talked out of the notion of adding an LWN weekly page dedicated to the ongoing development of GNU cat. GCC, though, is FSF-owned, is crucial infrastructure, and is under heavy ongoing development. As a result, it will show pressures that are only seen in a few places. This article will look at a couple of recent episodes, related to licensing and online identity, from the GCC community.

"Documentation licensing

"Back in May, GCC developer Mark Mitchell started a discussion on the topic of documentation. As the GCC folks look at documenting new infrastructure - plugin hooks, for example - they would like to be able to incorporate material from the GCC source directly into the manuals. It seems like an obvious idea; many projects use tools like Doxygen to just that end. In the GCC world, though, there is a problem: the GCC code carries the GPLv3 license, while the documents are released under the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL). The GFDL is unpopular in many quarters, but the only thing that matters with regard to this discussion is that the GFDL and the GPL are not compatible with each other. So incorporating GPLv3-licensed code into a GFDL-licensed document and distributing the result would be a violation of the GPL."

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