[fpc-devel] Delphi XE2 uses FPC for iOS target

Marco van de Voort marcov at stack.nl
Sun Aug 7 22:00:55 CEST 2011

In our previous episode, Dimitri Smits said:
> > Florian, has anybody from Embarcadero approached you on this?  I
> > wonder if they know that any modifications they make to the FPC
> > compiler must be made available as open-source? The compiler is
> > GPL'ed
> > after all.
> contrary to popular belief, it is not so that if you GPL something,
> everyone gets your source (ie: the community; by way of "give back").  If
> you take a open source project ((L)GPL that is, not talking about
> MPL/MIT/BSD/...), and you modify it, then sell it, the licence does not
> require you to give away the source to everyone!  Only to your
> customers(/competitors) who bought the program!

As Jonas said, those can pass it on freely. And due to the scale of an
Embarcadero launch (it is not 3 or 4 private customers Embarcadero sells
too) that is nearly the same.

> Likewise, when you take such a project with such a licence, maybe even
> straight GPL, and modify it, but only use it in-house, then you owe nobody
> anything.  (since the source is handed over to the client, ie: yourself)

> btw, I even believe that you can devise a licence that is GPL compatible
> (copyleft), but that disallows redistribution/resell.  Like a bit of an
> NDA.

And what is that belief founded on? :-)

Anyway, there are more gotchas. They could e.g. have stuff like
linkerscripts in a external files, and since they are not GPLed, not deliver
them.  (as in the case of Microchip gcc, where all linker scripts and all
headers for the (many) individual parts were not included).

All being said, I wouldn't get my hope up. Most changes will probably be
interoperability with their own toolchain. (e.g. I can imagine they change
the cmdline module to be (more) dcc compat).  And it is only a stopgap
solution for an year. A handful of minor bugfixes is the best we can hope

Personally I think bugreports from users themselves will be a bigger
treasure than what the GPL will deliver.

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