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June 23, 2010
Re: DMD Backend Long-term
Hello Nick,

> "Robert Jacques" <sandford@jhu.edu> wrote in message
> news:op.vepzxsdx26stm6@sandford...
> 
>> On Tue, 22 Jun 2010 16:47:14 -0400, BCS <none@anon.com> wrote:
>> 
>>> Hello Robert,
>>> 
>>>> On Mon, 21 Jun 2010 23:55:48 -0400, BCS <none@anon.com> wrote:
>>>> 
>>>> The main issue (as I understand it) is adding windows style
>>>> structured exception handling to LLVM.
>>>> 
>>> After a little digging it seems that LLVM legally CAN'T add SEH as
>>> MS has it under patent. I'm still digging to figure out how it could
>>> be patented without making SEH an irrelevant technology.
>>> 
>> The patent seems to be Borlands's:
>> USPTO patent #5,628,016 Patent held by Borland on compiler support
>> for
>> SEH.
>> From a Wine wiki page:
>> http://wiki.winehq.org/CompilerExceptionSupport
>> It does seem to expire on June 15, 2014, though and I assume
>> DigitalMars has a license, so a LLVM fork is not unreasonable.
>> 
> Seems a weak reason. A programmer that's worried about infringing
> software patents can't write anything more useful than "Hello World".
> I'm seriously not convinced at all that it's even possible to write
> useful code that doesn't technically infringe on some software patent.
> As a programmer, either you accept the fact that what you do is
> inevitably going to trample software patents, or you just simply don't
> be a programmer. That's all there is.
> 

Or keep an eye on what people have actually been sued over and don't do that.

In this case I'd be surprised if it could stand up in court. Unless SEH is 
insanely convoluted to implement I can't see how the patent passes the non-obviousness 
criteria.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inventive_step_and_non-obviousness

I wonder if you can get a patent thrown out as invalid without someone infringing 
on it?

-- 
... <IXOYE><
June 23, 2010
Re: DMD Backend Long-term
Hello dsimcha,

> == Quote from Brad Roberts (braddr@slice-2.puremagic.com)'s article
> 
>> On Tue, 22 Jun 2010, Nick Sabalausky wrote:
>> 
>>> Seems a weak reason. A programmer that's worried about infringing
>>> software patents can't write anything more useful than "Hello
>>> World". I'm seriously not convinced at all that it's even possible
>>> to write useful code that doesn't technically infringe on some
>>> software patent. As a programmer, either you accept the fact that
>>> what you do is inevitably going to trample software patents, or you
>>> just simply don't be a programmer. That's all there is.
>>> 
>> The world's not nearly that black and white.  There's a huge
>> difference in
>> infringment in an app you write for yourself vs an app that's very
>> public.
>> LLVM is somewhat closer to the latter end of the spectrum.
>> I agree that excess paranoia isn't warranted, but neither is willful
>> ignorance.
> If we're really lucky, Bilski Vs. Kappos
> (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_re_Bilski) will send all the software
> patent attorneys to the poorhouse next week and we can just start
> trampling freely.

OTOH, based on the wiki, the court seems to support a "Machine-or-transformation 
test" and what is a compiler if not a transformation tool?

-- 
... <IXOYE><
June 23, 2010
Re: DMD Backend Long-term
Hello Leandro,

> Kagamin, el 22 de junio a las 07:01 me escribiste:
> 
>> Robert Jacques Wrote:
>> 
>>> The main issue (as I understand it) is adding windows style
>>> structured  exception handling to LLVM.
>>> 
>> C++ compiles for me. Or are there some other issues?
>> 
> LDC compiles too, but it doesn't support exceptions. I guess is the
> same with C++.
> 

Why doesn't LLVM support other forms of exceptions? GCC does.

-- 
... <IXOYE><
June 23, 2010
Re: DMD Backend Long-term
Hello bearophile,

> Robert Jacques:
> 
>> The patent seems to be Borlands's:
>> USPTO patent #5,628,016 Patent held by Borland on compiler support
>> for SEH.
>> From a Wine wiki page:
>> http://wiki.winehq.org/CompilerExceptionSupport
>> It does seem to expire on June 15, 2014, though and I assume
>> DigitalMars  has a license, so a LLVM fork is not unreasonable.
>> 
> On Windows G++ supports exceptions. I have two questions:
> 
> 1) Do you know how they do this? Do they have a license? If they have
> a licence why don't LLVM people too have it?
> 

The patent holder has refused licenses to all OSS projects. What GCC does 
is use a different system (something to do with tables). The patent is strictly 
for SEH.

-- 
... <IXOYE><
June 23, 2010
Re: DMD Backend Long-term
Hello Brad,


> I agree that excess paranoia isn't warranted, but neither is willful
> ignorance.

Willful ignorance is the recommendation in some shops as it avoids triple 
damages.

-- 
... <IXOYE><
June 23, 2010
Re: DMD Backend Long-term
Hello bearophile,

> Leandro Lucarella:
> 
>> but about 2), one of the main goals of LLVM was
>> to have a less restrictive license than GPL, so copying GPL code is
>> not
>> an option for them.
> Can't you copy it by something like 90%, enough to be able to call it
> different code (that's what I was referring with 'cosmetic changes')?
> 

IIRC the only way to escape a GNU license is to do a cleanroom. If the file 
started under GNU, it will forever be GNU.

-- 
... <IXOYE><
June 23, 2010
Re: DMD Backend Long-term
"BCS" <none@anon.com> wrote in message 
news:a6268ff157f28cce05385dcf99a@news.digitalmars.com...
> Hello Nick,
>
>> Seems a weak reason. A programmer that's worried about infringing
>> software patents can't write anything more useful than "Hello World".
>> I'm seriously not convinced at all that it's even possible to write
>> useful code that doesn't technically infringe on some software patent.
>> As a programmer, either you accept the fact that what you do is
>> inevitably going to trample software patents, or you just simply don't
>> be a programmer. That's all there is.
>>
>
> Or keep an eye on what people have actually been sued over and don't do 
> that.
>
> In this case I'd be surprised if it could stand up in court.

Especially since the Plaintiff would apperently be the modern-day Borland. 
Do they even exist anymore? If they do, would they even be able to afford a 
lawyer?

> Unless SEH is insanely convoluted to implement I can't see how the patent 
> passes the non-obviousness criteria.
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inventive_step_and_non-obviousness
>
> I wonder if you can get a patent thrown out as invalid without someone 
> infringing on it?
>

I've wondered that, too. Actually, I've wondered that about US laws in 
general. Being a US citizen (and having passed the manditory "American 
Government" class in high school) I probably *should* know... :/
June 23, 2010
Re: DMD Backend Long-term
"BCS" <none@anon.com> wrote in message 
news:a6268ff1581a8cce05541b41e04@news.digitalmars.com...
> Hello bearophile,
>
>> Robert Jacques:
>>
>>> The patent seems to be Borlands's:
>>> USPTO patent #5,628,016 Patent held by Borland on compiler support
>>> for SEH.
>>> From a Wine wiki page:
>>> http://wiki.winehq.org/CompilerExceptionSupport
>>> It does seem to expire on June 15, 2014, though and I assume
>>> DigitalMars  has a license, so a LLVM fork is not unreasonable.
>>>
>> On Windows G++ supports exceptions. I have two questions:
>>
>> 1) Do you know how they do this? Do they have a license? If they have
>> a licence why don't LLVM people too have it?
>>
>
> The patent holder has refused licenses to all OSS projects. What GCC does 
> is use a different system (something to do with tables). The patent is 
> strictly for SEH.
>

So can't LLVM just take the same approach?

Also, accoroding to 
http://www.microsoft.com/msj/0197/Exception/Exception.aspx (One of the links 
on the page from Robert above), SEH is a service provided by Windows. So 
wouldn't MS be the only one that would need a license? (I'm probably just 
misunderstanding something here.)

Plus, do we even know that this is what's holding up LLVM exceptions on 
Windows?
June 23, 2010
Re: DMD Backend Long-term
== Quote from BCS (none@anon.com)'s article
> Hello dsimcha,
> > == Quote from Brad Roberts (braddr@slice-2.puremagic.com)'s article
> >
> >> On Tue, 22 Jun 2010, Nick Sabalausky wrote:
> >>
> >>> Seems a weak reason. A programmer that's worried about infringing
> >>> software patents can't write anything more useful than "Hello
> >>> World". I'm seriously not convinced at all that it's even possible
> >>> to write useful code that doesn't technically infringe on some
> >>> software patent. As a programmer, either you accept the fact that
> >>> what you do is inevitably going to trample software patents, or you
> >>> just simply don't be a programmer. That's all there is.
> >>>
> >> The world's not nearly that black and white.  There's a huge
> >> difference in
> >> infringment in an app you write for yourself vs an app that's very
> >> public.
> >> LLVM is somewhat closer to the latter end of the spectrum.
> >> I agree that excess paranoia isn't warranted, but neither is willful
> >> ignorance.
> > If we're really lucky, Bilski Vs. Kappos
> > (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_re_Bilski) will send all the software
> > patent attorneys to the poorhouse next week and we can just start
> > trampling freely.
> OTOH, based on the wiki, the court seems to support a "Machine-or-transformation
> test" and what is a compiler if not a transformation tool?

Bits are not a "particular article".
June 23, 2010
Re: DMD Backend Long-term
BCS, el 23 de junio a las 02:09 me escribiste:
> Hello bearophile,
> 
> >Leandro Lucarella:
> >
> >>but about 2), one of the main goals of LLVM was
> >>to have a less restrictive license than GPL, so copying GPL code is
> >>not
> >>an option for them.
> >Can't you copy it by something like 90%, enough to be able to call it
> >different code (that's what I was referring with 'cosmetic changes')?
> >
> 
> IIRC the only way to escape a GNU license is to do a cleanroom. If
> the file started under GNU, it will forever be GNU.

Yes, I don't think "copying with 'cosmetic changes'" works, legally
speaking. Otherwise everybody would be doing it.

-- 
Leandro Lucarella (AKA luca)                     http://llucax.com.ar/
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