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    Truly absurd to sit on GCC 4.2.1 for years just to avoid GPLv3. Nobody was ever going to move away from FreeBSD just because they were using a GPLv3-licensed compiler.

    And then switching to clang, the slowest and most overengineered toolchain of all time. The BSDs, if they really want to avoid GPL (and why they would want to do that is totally beyond me) really need a new, simple C compiler that doesn’t take 10 years to compile anything because it’s based on LLVM.

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      Clang is approximately equivalent to gcc at this point. Some benchmarks show it compiling code faster than gcc.

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        If you’re going to replace GCC, you presumably want to replace it with something that isn’t ‘approximately equivalent’ to it.

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          Clang has more permissive licensing than gcc and is otherwise equivalent. Thus, it seems appropriate to switch to it, when you’re an operating system who explitly chooses permissive licensing over viral licensing.

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            Please do not use the term ‘viral licensing’. It’s a pejorative term that makes no sense. The GPL does not ‘infect’ software or compel anyone to do anything. If you choose to derive software from GPL-licensed software under the GPL, you are making a conscious choice to do so. If you choose to release that software under an incompatible license then you’re breaching the license of your own free will. It’s not something that sneaks up on you. ‘Viral’ has a highly pejorative connotation that could lead people to think that copyleft licensing is accepted widely as a bad thing. You can debate forever whether the GPL is good or bad and trying to prejudice people into one viewpoint through your use of language is harmful to clear thinking and quality of discourse.

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              ‘Viral’ is not at all a pejorative. Religion; or, more broadly, memes, have been called viral. All it means is that it grows and reproduces, existing as a distinct entity despite requiring a host to exist. This describes the GPL perfectly.

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                Different definition of the same word. And besides, what’s important here are the connotations.

                Calling a meme viral refers to the speed in which it spreads (fast like a virus), which has a neutral connotation.

                Calling GPL viral refers to it’s ability to ‘contaminate’/‘infect’ the code bases which it touches, which is without a doubt a negative connotation.

                The issue with the latter description is that it’s a straw man, as GPL does not ‘infect’ or ‘contaminate’ anything. It’s voluntary (unlike a virus).

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                  Calling a meme viral refers to the speed in which it spreads (fast like a virus)

                  No.

                  The issue with the latter description is that it’s a straw man, as GPL does not ‘infect’ or ‘contaminate’ anything. It’s voluntary

                  As with memes.

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                If I write code that statically links a gpl licensed piece of code, I now have no real choice in my license. Even if that piece of GPL code is the only way to do what I want to do. It has, in effect, infected my codebase with strict license requirements.

                Just because I understand what I’m getting into doesn’t mean every junior dev does, and for most, licenses are obscure black magic. Using the term “viral” helps ensure people know what they get into and not break license terms.

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                  If I write code that statically links a gpl licensed piece of code, I now have no real choice in my license. It has, in effect, infected my codebase with strict license requirements.

                  This is objectively and factually incorrect. If you write code that links to GPL licensed code you’ve chosen to produce a derivative work of a GPL licensed work. You cannot say ‘you have no real choice of license’. You produced the derivative work under the license. Doing so was when you made your choice!

                  Even if that piece of GPL code is the only way to do what I want to do.

                  Nobody is forcing you to derive your works from their software! As I said, it does not sneak up on you. Nobody accidentally depends on GPL-licensed software. It’s something that you choose to do.

                  There’s no code out there that is ‘the only way to do what [you] want to do’. Ideas aren’t subject to copyright, only works. The work might be the only work that does what you want to do but it’s not the only possible work that could do what you want to do. If an algorithm’s only implementations are GPL-licensed and for some bizarre reason you refuse to license your software under the GPL and thus cannot derive your software from those implementations if you want to redistribute it, then you need to implement the algorithm yourself. There’s nothing stopping you from doing so.

                  It has, in effect, infected my codebase with strict license requirements.

                  No, it has not. The GPL cannot ‘infect’ your codebase. You choose to depend on it. Libraries don’t jump out of the shadows and surprise you by suddenly being your dependency. You don’t update your compiler and suddenly find all the code you’re writing magically depends on GPL-licensed libraries. That’s not how the world works. When you add a dependency you do so knowingly.

                  Grow up and stop pathetically blaming others for the consequences of your choices.

                  Just because I understand what I’m getting into doesn’t mean every junior dev does, and for most, licenses are obscure black magic.

                  Oh come on. I went to a talk by Richard Stallman when I was 12 years old. If a 12-year-old kid can understand how copyleft works then a fucking adult programmer certainly can. How can you expect someone to write code if you can’t even trust them to understand basic shit like ‘what is the GPL?’

                  Using the term “viral” helps ensure people know what they get into and not break license terms.

                  No, using the term ‘viral’ misleads people into thinking that the GPL is something that happens to them. Nobody chooses to get a virus. Viruses happen to people. The GPL does not happen to you. It is entirely opt-in. It doesn’t even apply if you never redistribute the software that you’re building anyway! Given that most software that’s written is for private/internal usage within a company or by an individual, that’s a pretty big deal! You can depend on GPL software as much as you like for private, not-publicly-distributed software you only deploy internally or on company servers, for example.

                  When you call the GPL a viral license, it makes it sound like some scary business-unfriendly licensing scheme that has got out of hand and is going around infecting software. It makes the GPL sound like a ransomware license, like people wake up one day and find that a computer virus has locked their source code away and will only give it back to them if they release it publicly. It’s just a fucking license for some software that treats end-users with a modicum of respect and expects people that redistribute derived works to do the same. It’s not difficult to understand and it’s not scary.

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                    Choosing to call it a derivative work is a perfect example of the viral nature. If I have a clock on my webapp, in the corner, and that clock is GPL licensed, my entire app must be. This is viral: I am not writing a clock, and my arbitrary example is definitely not a derivative work, but the license infects my code and defines the relationships without concern for the bigger picture.

                    A lot of people are not as aware of licensing as your twelve year old self. I commend you, more people should be aware of licensing than actually are.

                    The GPL may treat end users with respect, but it does not treat its users, developers, with respect. Removing my liberty is not respectful.

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                      Don’t comment on licences if you don’t actually understand what they say and mean.

                      The GPL’s requirement that a derivative work is licensed under a compatible license applies ONLY IF the resulting work is a derivative work. The GPL does not define derivative work. Copyright law does.

                      This is why it’s so disgusting that you are promoting this derogatory language: it is misleading. You yourself have obviously been wildly mislead by it into thinking a lot of crazy things about the GPL.

                      Again, YOU CHOOSE to integrate other software into your software. Nobody is taking away you fucking liberty by requiring you to give end users your source code as a condition of using their own source code. It’s basic bloody manners that if I give away something for you to use that you don’t then turn around and build something closed source on top of my work if I’ve explicitly asked you not to.

                      You are so unbelievably entitled that you think it’s disrespectful to you that you should be expected to DO UNTO OTHERS as they have done unto you! How deluded can you get?

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                        Please chill.

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                          I can be well mannered without you pointing the gun of law at my head. I don’t mind adhering to the terms of the GPL, I mind being told “or else.” Leaves me with a sour taste.

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                            Redistributing the works of others is a privilege, one that you get only on the condition that you allow others the same privilege. Nobody is holding a gun to your head or forcing you to do anything. It is, for the last time (and this is the last comment I will make here) entirely your choice. Stop blaming others for your choices and acting like you are being forced into anything, because it makes you look incredibly entitled.