GPL code in Unixlib

Nick Burrett nick at
Sun Dec 26 03:31:26 PST 2004

Peter Naulls said:
> In message <64ba46234d.Jo at>
>           John Tytgat <John.Tytgat at> wrote:
>> In message <3e27fb224d.peter at>
>>           Peter Naulls <peter at> wrote:
>> > Unixlib currently contains a small amount of GPL code.  I'm keen to
>> > replace this with LGPL or BSD style code.

I thought that having LGPL libraries was the 'disease' so commonly
referred to on other mailing lists in that it spread to all other code
i.e. the license required the LGPL to be applied to all library code,
rather than just one or two source files.  Remaining as GPL libraries
prevented this.  Hence the invention of the Lesser GPL.

Either way, I'm not overly bothered.

> but it's possible that having GPL code in UL
> has been a sufficient barrier against people using what has now become a
> very powerful C library for RISC OS.

Well it makes me wonder.  I though the barrier was code size :)  Even
though sticking a 500Kb module into memory so that we can have smaller
UnixLib binaries would probably cause a greater memory hog.

> Going for just once licence is
> unlikely to be realistic - for example, glibc is subject to about 5 of
> them.

Yes.  The whole math library isn't about to be re-written.

>> Your observation is correct.  It is only a very small part of the
>> _longlong.s
>> code which came from the HAL sources.  Doing a quick look I think it
>> only concerned the routines _ll_ushift_r and _ll_udiv10.  The latter
>> is nothing more than using the same algorithm of _kernel_udiv10 and
>> __rt_udiv10 but on 64 bit instead of 32 bit integers.
> Ok, this sounds pretty easy.  Would you like to take care of this?  If
> the correct response is to simply remove the GPL licence from the file,
> than that is great.

It may be possible to extract the code from lib1funcs.asm in GCC instead. 
I think it is GPL with special exception.  Mind you, isn't there code in
lib1aof.s that performs this job ?  That is certainly GPL with special

>> What about all the code contributed by the people mentioned in the
>> gccsdk/unixlib/Docs/ReadMe3* files ? The code contributions of H. Rogers
>> and Peter Burwood are substantional so should we contact them to clarify
>> the status of their contributions ?
> Oh, you mean "substantial".  Yes; although I think Nick can comment
> further on this. As for the content of the files themselves, some of
> these certainly need to be removed from being distributed - the
> information they contain is desperately out of date.

No need to worry here.  I clarified the issue with Huw Rogers a few years
ago -- he was quite surprised that UnixLib still existed.  Peter and I
were in agreement on copyright issues some years back.


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