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SwissMicros can turn releasing the source into a good thing...
04-09-2018, 06:48 AM
Post: #21
RE: SwissMicros can turn releasing the source into a good thing...
(04-09-2018 05:14 AM)Manolo Sobrino Wrote:  And if STMicroelectronics is not willing to change their license for this to happen, then what, Thomas?

The ST license is very permissible in many parts, being the really GPL incompatible subset small. Swissmicros may consider rewriting such parts from scratch. This is a much simpler work than rewriting Free42 from scratch.

I know since me myself needed to rewrite the required parts of the ARM cmsis and Atmel HAL libraries for a project time ago. Even writing them in assembly (originally they are in C) required little time, it is really straightforward code.

In any case, as I stated in another post, I think that the only piece of software in the ST package covered by a problematic licence is the high level USB library.

Regards.

C├ęsar - Information must flow.
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04-09-2018, 11:44 AM (This post was last modified: 04-09-2018 11:44 AM by ijabbott.)
Post: #22
RE: SwissMicros can turn releasing the source into a good thing...
(04-09-2018 06:38 AM)Thomas Okken Wrote:  If, on the other hand, the DM42 OS and Free42 are currently linked into one executable, it would have to be split, since the ST Micro license appears to forbid this kind of thing specifically.

I don't think the ST Micro license forbids it, it just says that their code does not then become GPL (or whatever) licensed. If that was the only thing, the ST Micro and GPL licensed parts could still be combined in a GPL compliant way as long as the source code is released. You'd still be free to modify the source and release the modified source. There is a sticky question of whether modifications to the ST Micros code would then fall under the GPL or not. For example, if a GPL'd project used ST Micros code and modified it, and some other project used the modified ST Micros code but none of the other code from the GPL'd project, would that new project then fall under the GPL? I think that would be one for the lawyers to argue about if it ever came to litigation.

Some clauses in the ST Micros license do make it incompatible with the GPL though, which is why I thought an exemption would be necessary if the executable cannot be split. (And I doubt the existing DM42 firmware releases would have the executable split in a GPL-compliant way.)
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04-09-2018, 12:20 PM
Post: #23
RE: SwissMicros can turn releasing the source into a good thing...
(04-09-2018 06:38 AM)Thomas Okken Wrote:  
(04-09-2018 05:14 AM)Manolo Sobrino Wrote:  And if STMicroelectronics is not willing to change their license for this to happen, then what, Thomas?

I can only speculate, since I don't know how the DM42 firmware is built. With that in mind:

If the DM42 OS, containing the ST Micro drivers, and the SM version of Free42 are separate executables, there is no problem. That would be no different than someone offering an iOS device with Free42 pre-installed.

If, on the other hand, the DM42 OS and Free42 are currently linked into one executable, it would have to be split, since the ST Micro license appears to forbid this kind of thing specifically.

That's as far as I'm willing to speculate with no firm information to go on.

I'm not really a hardware guy, but I think that you are taking for granted the feasibility of getting there with a microcontroller and FreeRTOS. If they could pull off idk, even dynamic linking, that would be anything but trivial (even not caring about overhead and stability). This is not your regular computer as for instance a smartphone is. Who knows, they might need to consider alternatives to FreeRTOS and start over or just give up.

But hey, if they can make it that would allow them to keep the middleware part of the DM42 firmware and just GPLv2 their Free42 mod. Not a chance for a straightforward clone any more, good for them.

Thomas, I think that I might speak for many of us here if I ask you that if the guys want to talk, please listen to what they have to say. This mess is their fault, yes, but now that they want to make it right they happen to be in a hairy situation.
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04-09-2018, 03:56 PM
Post: #24
RE: SwissMicros can turn releasing the source into a good thing...
Of course.
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04-16-2018, 09:46 PM (This post was last modified: 04-16-2018 11:49 PM by BarryMead.)
Post: #25
RE: SwissMicros can turn releasing the source into a good thing...
(04-09-2018 12:20 PM)Manolo Sobrino Wrote:  And if STMicroelectronics is not willing to change their license for this to happen, then what, Thomas?
(04-09-2018 06:38 AM)Thomas Okken Wrote:  I can only speculate, since I don't know how the DM42 firmware is built. With that in mind:

If the DM42 OS, containing the ST Micro drivers, and the SM version of Free42 are separate executables, there is no problem. That would be no different than someone offering an iOS device with Free42 pre-installed.

If, on the other hand, the DM42 OS and Free42 are currently linked into one executable, it would have to be split, since the ST Micro license appears to forbid this kind of thing specifically.

That's as far as I'm willing to speculate with no firm information to go on.

I'm not really a hardware guy, but I think that you are taking for granted the feasibility of getting there with a microcontroller and FreeRTOS. If they could pull off idk, even dynamic linking, that would be anything but trivial (even not caring about overhead and stability). This is not your regular computer as for instance a smartphone is. Who knows, they might need to consider alternatives to FreeRTOS and start over or just give up.

But hey, if they can make it that would allow them to keep the middleware part of the DM42 firmware and just GPLv2 their Free42 mod. Not a chance for a straightforward clone any more, good for them.

Thomas, I think that I might speak for many of us here if I ask you that if the guys want to talk, please listen to what they have to say. This mess is their fault, yes, but now that they want to make it right they happen to be in a hairy situation.
It is my impression that ST Microelectronics license (which even allows for re-distribution of source code) is not the issue. The issue is the GPL license which tends to gobble up all nearby code. So the challenge is for Swiss Micros to organize their source code such that there is no question that the ST Microelectronics software remains separated from the GPL code and does not get captured under the GPL license. There are provisions in GPL that define what "Separate" means and how packages with differing licenses can co-exist. This is what Thomas was talking about when he said that the ST Microelectronics code, compiled into a separate executable OS could call the DM42 version of Free42 as an "Application" program. With this architecture the DM42 program and all of its GPL source would not affect the underlying OS and would not endanger (GPL capture) ST Microelectronics' proprietary code. This is because legal battles involving operating systems and GPL programs that run on top of them have already been litigated and agreed upon. With this architecture the DM42 application would be no different than a GPL cell phone app running on top of Android OS or Apple's iOS which are not captured by GPL.
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