[Aboriginal] Possibly winding down the project.

Paul Sherwood paul.sherwood at codethink.co.uk
Wed May 4 07:35:13 PDT 2016

Hi Rob,
On 2016-05-04 10:27, Rob Landley wrote:
> The last-gplv2 toolchains have broken on 3 different architectures
> recently, all due to kernel changes that didn't regression test on 
> them.



> There's been a GPLv3 toolchain submission here, which I admit is half 
> of
> what's discouraging me from working on aboriginal linux anymore. 
> Putting
> effort into my old toolchain... people don't want to use it so what's
> the point?

For better or worse, Codethink sponsored the GPLv3 toolchain work.

Please do not be discouraged. Note that:

- we are very interested in Aboriginal - it's great work!
- we (as well as some of our customers) recognise the need to maintain 
permissively licensed, boot-strappable toolchain software over the long 
- we would have preferred to build on your established GPLv2 approach, 
but as you say, various upstreams are now breaking... which will 
ultimately close that path.

> Rich is doing a new GPLv3 toolchain at
> https://github.com/richfelker/musl-cross make and good luck with that 
> too.
> But I will never distribute a binary GPLv3 program in a hobbyist
> context. If a corporation wants to stand up and take the legal 
> liability
> and pay me to do it on their behalf as an employee so THEY are the 
> one
> getting sued, fine. But I'm not doing it as me ever. (Keep in mind I
> outwaited AOL and Windows, and am in the process of outwaiting 
> facebook.
> The sun only has so much hydrogen, I am waiting for GPLv3 to go away 
> and
> working to build public domain alternatives to it.)
> Defending GPLv2 against GPLv3 was always a stopgap measure, the 
> proper
> fix is for GPL to go away entirely and be replaced by licensing 
> closer
> to the public domain. (I.E. the FSF probably outlive Richard 
> Stallman,
> and the best thing I can do is work towards obsoleting them.)
> I've been playing a little with LLVM, maybe I should do more of that,
> but it's a giant hairball nightmare written in C++  and I don't 
> really
> WANT to have anything to do with it. The only advantage is it's not
> FSF-maintained GPLv3 crap.
> I still need to use this to test toybox, but to be honest I can stay 
> on
> linux 4.3 for years doing that. Nobody makes binary native 
> toolchains,
> but maybe I can make puppy eyes at Rich about that, and if not... 
> I've
> got my old ones building under my old kernel and when I'm ready to 
> open
> the AOSP can of worms they build under LLVM anyway.
> Bootstrapping debian would be nice, but I'm not sure anybody under 
> the
> age of 40 still cares about non-Android Linux? Heck, even most of the
> android developers are using windows and mac hosts. No seriously,
> there's numbers:
>   http://stackoverflow.com/research/developer-survey-2015#tech-os

I'm not sure winning the popularity contests matters much, really :)

In any case, let's avoid monoculture and encourage diversity.

> Sigh. I _can_ fix everything that's currently wrong with the old
> toolchains (although it's probably a couple weeks of debugging, 
> that's
> just what I _know_ about). Or I could ask Rich to do native 
> toolchains,
> make a really small shell script to build and paclage a toybox
> userspace, and move on with my life. I'm sticking on Ubuntu 14.04 
> (last
> non-systemd LTS version) until it's end of lifed, which gives me a
> deadline to get a working self-hosting android workstation working...
> Anybody else care to venture an opinion?

For gcc+binutils, the tide seems to be against us.

While android is fine for various scenarios, we'd prefer to support a 
route with a broader sponsor base.

Would you be interested in collaboration to move forward with 
Aboriginal on all possible architectures using clang + musl?


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