GMP license problem, anyone?

Torbjorn Granlund tg at
Thu May 29 23:02:18 CEST 2008

"Bill Hart" <goodwillhart at> writes:

  Firstly, Linus Torvalds and other linux kernel hackers didn't want v3.
  Linus said the kernel would remain v2 and I quote: "Conversion isn't
  going to happen."
Is that relevant here?  Don't let Torvalds be your brain.

  Secondly, Microsoft Research are one of SAGE's customers. Microsoft
  has a policy of not even running software with v3.

I heard such a rumour, but I refused to believe it; Microsoft's money
has dictated what license a project previously known to be free (as in
freedom) will use.

There is a contract between Microsoft and SAGE stipulating that SAGE
stay GPL 2.  Do you deny this?

It is certainly in Microsoft's monopolistic interest to sabotage Free
Software projects, and to cause forks to be created.  A Judas kiss
from Microsoft.

  From my point of view, where I sit, I would need a reason to change to
  v3+. No one has given me a specific reason why I should.

The v3 adds several important clauses that help protect the freedom of

  The principle objection that I have to v3 is that it's not v2.

Thanks for clarifying that.

  I like version 2 and license my code under v2+. I didn't need all
  the extra stuff in version 3, there was no pressing need for it, I
  didn't care for it when it came along. It just adds a whole load of
  extra stuff which I don't care about. In other words I feel v3 is
  overreaching for a general purpose software license.

You're still not very specific.  Hand on heart: Have you read the v3
license text?
  That's about 65000 USD short of the amount I was told someone was
  requested for merging of a patch by yourself into GMP.

Sorry, but what does "merge a patch by myself" mean?

  Well apparently they didn't pay you. Again, good to have
  misconceptions dealt with.  There are some widespread misconceptions
  out there, and one of them is that you ask very high fees for
  merging patches.

I think this sort of insinuations is what spread them.

I think it's rather well-know that I am not making money of GMP.  On
the contrary, I have volunteered about 5 years on it, instead of
working for a salary.

  >The FSF, that's us Free Software hackers.
  You make it sound like you own your copyright. You didn't answer my
  question. Could you change the license back, even if you wanted to?

I certainly cannot veto any such change.  But if you this "the FSF"
forces its ideas upon project maintainers, you are deluded.

  My question to you is, why did GMP change to v3+ and not remain with
  v2+. What extra freedoms does it give users of your code or what extra
  protections does it give you and how is that relevant specifically to

I will not reiterate known aspects of the v3.  But please read e.g.:

  What reason would I have for wanting to switch to v3+ on any of my
  code or any code I include.
If you're fundamentally sympathetic with the goals of the Free
Software Movement, I think you should consider a switch.

  1) GMP has a slow release cycle. Patches are only considered for
  inclusion in the next major release of GMP, and that next major
  release is 5, which numerous places on your website you say is years
  off. This means we won't see decent assembly support for Core 2 or AMD
  64 for years.
You will find out.

  2) So far the GMP project has refused to accept patches which will
  allow GMP to build under [insert proprietry OS and compiler here].

This is X fork propaganda.  Your statement (made elsewhere) to "Make
GMP build under Foo OS" doesn't perhaps say the "official" GMP doesn't
build there, but it surely tries to gove the reader such an

I have rejected "project" files for Microsoft's IDE, but that doesn't
mean GMP doesn't build under Windoze.

  3) The development process for GMP is not transparent. What gets in is
  solely the maintainers decision.
Very true.  GMP is not everyone's dump.  But now there is a fork that
will fill that role.  :-)


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