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Has Apple Stopped Contributing Code Upstream to GCC?

  • September 10, 2010
  • By Developer.com Staff

It appears that Apple may have decided to stop contributing changes upstream to the Free Software Foundation and the GNU Compiler.

Yesterday there was a discussion on the GCC mailing list between open source developers and Apple about getting the latest changes to the GCC Apple has made, but it doesn't look like it's going to happen any time soon.

Developer Nicola Pero said this to Apple's chief compiler architect Chris Lattner, "Why don't you upload one of the recent Apple GCC tarballs in a branch on the FSF server? It won't change/cost anything for Apple (the code is already distributed to the world under GPL v2+) but it means changes could be merged back into the FSF GCC which could have much better support for Apple platforms. More choice of compilers for Apple users is surely good for Apple. :-)

You don't have to do it, but contributing changes back to the original project seems to be the right, honourable thing to do, particularly when it doesn't cost anything. And most/all improvements you make to GCC are for Apple machines, so certainly you want these improvements back into the FSF GCC to get more software work on Apple machines and sell more of them. :-)"

But Lattner responded that he didn't have the authority to send more code upstream to the Free Software Foundation.

"Apple does not have an internal process to assign code to the FSF anymore. I would focus on the code that is already assigned to the FSF," Lattner said.

"The belief is that Apple is no longer contributing back as they object to the GNU GPLv3 license," wrote Michael Larabel of Phoronix. "So unfortunately unless things change it doesn't look like Apple's Objective-C 2.0 support will land in upstream GCC."


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