Apple GCC?

November 20, 2005 - live article (might change)

Two days ago I've been visiting my cousing. He's always used Apple computers, usually the preferred choice of graphic workers like him.

Having heard about OsX, which is still a nebolous thing for me I've asked him to try building some unix tools, to see what niceness did Apple reach. To try simple things first I tried building my sins videogame. Another reason for the choice is the fact that Luca (my cousin's name) was one of the people inspiring development of the game (we used to play an hacked version of nibbles when we lived togheter).

Ok, so sins downloaded and unpacked fine, but no C compiler was found.

"Let me see how would you do installing a C compiler" - I asked. It was interesting to note that no development tool was provided in the standard packages set. We finally found GCC under the extra packages. Nice! Let's install it.

Apple license for GCC ?!

After a click on the install button a window popped up asking for agreement on a license. "Weird, I never had to explicitly agree on GPL". Anyway, let's read it before clicking.

But... wait a second... it's not the GNU General Public License!

[Snapshot of Apple GCC License Agreement PopUp Window]

The window title is "GCC-3.3 installation" (in italian), but the license is not the GCC license (GPL). What's going on here ? Scrolling down the text we finally found a reference to the GPL, namely under section B of the "Apple Computer, Inc. Software License Agreement For Xcode Tools For Mac OS X" (local copy).

The section basically says that the package contains GPL'ed software.
Doesn't this make the package a derivative work ?
Oh, wait, maybe GCC lib is dynamically linked...
Still, why is the package name "GCC-3.3" ?

Legally speaking Apple is probably doing nothing bad.
Techically speaking Apple is probably doing something good.
Ethically speaking Apple is probably omitting due credits.



Apple GCC