long double support in cygwin

Christopher Faylor cgf@redhat.com
Sun Nov 12 10:57:00 GMT 2000

On Sun, Nov 12, 2000 at 09:28:14AM -0500, Stephen L Moshier wrote:
>>>Why aren't you using any of these six or seven codes that various
>>>people have indeed implemented?  What is the policy?
>>We can't use glibc based code.  There are licensing considerations
>>which prevent us from taking code from LGPLed sources
>Fascinating.  Well, the code I could supply that is not glibc was
>formally placed in the public domain so that the FSF could adopt it and
>install it into gcc.  The gcc changes are owned by FSF but I would
>guess what was in the public domain is still in the public domain.
>Does that sound like something that would satisfy the legal

If the code has been assigned to the FSF and is now owned by the FSF, we
can't use it.  IANAL.

>>That is undoubtedly why no one suggested folding his changes back into
>I wonder if Bowman, the author of inline-math, knew that the LGPL would
>*prevent* people from using his code! It should be up to him to decide
>whether you have permission.

Red Hat has special licensing considerations which I mentioned in the
URL that I provided.  The LGPL still requires that source code be
distributed if you are *providing the library* does it not?  If I try to
sell you a copy of glibc, I will have to provide you with the sources.
If I sell you a copy of a program linked with glibc, I don't have to
give you the sources for glibc.  It's a subtle distinction, but this is
why we can't use it.

We occasionally sell copies of the cygwin license for proprietary use.
You can scream or be offended by this fact but it is a fact of life.
That means that we have to own what goes into newlib/cygwin or the
licenses of the source has to allow distribution of binaries without
source code so that cygwin1.dll is encumbered.

IMO, the LGPL does not allow this.  IANAL.

At any rate, cygwin is about six years old now.  This issue has been
endlessly hashed and rehashed, as you may imagine.

As to whether the author of the code can reassign the code for use
in cygwin, that is another issue.  I don't know if John's statement
(quoted from another message) is adequate or not:

>In any case, I hereby give my permission to
>Christopher Faylor <cgf@redhat.com>
>to make unrestricted use of the source code found at
> ftp://sunsite.unc.edu/pub/Linux/libs/inline-math-2.7.tar.gz ,
>provided that he respects my right to distribute this code freely to the
>programming community.

IANAL.  And, more importantly, I don't control what goes into newlib.  So,
assigning the rights to me will not be useful.

I again suggest that you take this discussion to the newlib mailing


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