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Re: Reproducible, precompiled .o files: what say policy+gpl?

John H. Robinson, IV wrote:
> Glenn Maynard wrote:
>>On Mon, Oct 18, 2004 at 10:01:05PM -0700, John H. Robinson, IV wrote:
>>I'm saying that a package built with ecc (or icc or whatever) is not
>>the same package that you'll get if you build the same sources with
>>gcc; it's significantly functionally different.
> The only difference is in *performance*. If there are other differences,
> then there is a bug in one of the two compilers. If you are equating
> performance with functionality, then we are going to have a very hard
> time communicating.

I'm going to ignore for the moment the fact that compilers are *not*
always functionally identical, since Glenn Maynard seems to be covering
that point quite effectively.

Performance is certainly part of functionality, if the program is
incapable of performing sufficiently in order to accomplish its task in
many cases for which people will want to use it.  Quoting from Wesley W.
Terpestra's original message at the beginning of this thread:
> Now, on to the dilemma: icc produces object files which run ~2* faster
> than the object files produced by gcc when SSE2 is used.
> So, when it comes time to release this and include it in a .deb, I ask
> myself: what would happen if I included (with the C source and ocaml
> compiler) some precompiled object files for i386? As long as the build
> target is i386, these object files could be linked in instead of using
> gcc to produce (slower) object files. This would mean a 2* speedup for
> users, which is vital in order to reach line-speed.

So when someone goes to modify the package, either the security team
doing a security update or simply a user exercising their right to
modify the package, and they discover that when they modify the package
it suddenly gets much slower, to the point that it can no longer do the
task that the original non-free-compiled binary did, they would be
severely surprised and disappointed, and rightfully so.  This would be a
loss of functionality.

The correct answer is that on a completely Free system, it never had
that functionality in the first place.

- Josh Triplett

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