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Re: SmallEiffel license



In message <m0x3ee8-001NJaC@night>, writes:
  >I'm afraid that SmallEiffel violates its own license.
  >
  >Background: SmallEiffel is an Eiffel compiler written in Eiffel.
  >It can compile Eiffel code to C or to Java bytecode.  It is
  >distributed under the GPL, but all that is distributed is the
  >generated C code.
  >
  >>From the SmallEiffel FAQ:
  >
  >  A03: Is it possible to have the complete Eiffel source of SmallEiffel?
  >   No. The SmallEiffel distribution already includes, in the library, a
  >   lot of the Eiffel source files used to write the SmallEiffel compiler
  >   itself. For example, the class DICTIONARY is the one used by the
  >   SmallEiffel compiler to store features and all kinds of symbolic
  >   information. Classes FILE_TOOLS, STD_FILE_READ and STD_FILE_WRITE are
  >   also used by the compiler to read Eiffel source code and to write and
  >   compare C files. The full C source code of the compiler is free.
  >   SmallEiffel may one day become a commercial product (if someone wants
  >   to buy it :-). Even if SmallEiffel becomes a commercial product, the C
  >   source file will remain under the GNU licence and its new owner will
  >   have to give the C code of further releases.
  >
  >However, the GPL defines "source code" as "the preferred form of the
  >work for making modifications to it".

On the other hand:

  "1. You may copy and distribute verbatim copies of the Program's
      source code as you receive it..."
                  ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
might be said to cover this case?

  >                                       This is certainly the Eiffel
  >code, and not the C code.  To illustrate, here is a small function
  >from the generated C code:
  >
  >T36 X631storage(void *C){
  >int id=((T0*)C)->id;
  >if (id <= 247) {
  >return ((T36)((((T247*)((T247*)C)))->_storage/*W4*/));
  >} else {
  >return ((T36)((((T263*)((T263*)C)))->_storage/*W4*/));
  >}}
  >
  >(Yes, it's all like this.)
  >
  >Of course, the author is free to release the program under any terms
  >he or she pleases.  But I'm afraid that it is not possible to for any
  >redistributor to meet the terms of the GPL, since the source code as
  >defined by the GPL is not available.  Thus, we cannot legally put
  >it on the Debian ftp site at all.

But see above.

The SmallEiffel FAQ also refers to three mirror sites, which by the same
logic should not be permitted to mirror SmallEiffel.  I suppose all this
shows that non-lawyers should stay away from the whole area!

I'll forward Richard Braakman's message to Dominique Colnet, and see what
he says.

-- 
Oliver Elphick                                Oliver.Elphick@lfix.co.uk
Isle of Wight                                  http://lfix.co.uk/oliver

     Make it idiot-proof, and someone will breed a better idiot.



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