October 1991

NeXT prepares to ship GNU source code

by Simson L. Garfinkel

Redwood City, CA: After dragging its feet for nearly a year, NeXT plans to release the source code to its Objective C compiler and debugger in October, according to Kevin Wells, software product manager.

The NeXT compiler and debugger are modified versions of the GNU C Compiler and GNU Debugger, written by the Free Software Foundation (FSF) of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Under the terms of its license agreement with the FSF, NeXT must provide the source code for the compilers "without charge except for the cost of media, shipping, and handling."

But NeXT has failed to fill users' orders for the source code since the release of NeXTstep 2.0, according to users. "We take very seriously the requirement for all redistributors of our software to make source code available," said Richard M. Stallman, president of the FSF.

"If users don't get source code, they don't have the freedom that we are working to bring them."

Wells said that a variety of technical difficulties kept cropping up in getting out the source code.

"As far as I can tell, NeXT has had distribution problems with the GNU software no worse than the rest of its product line," said David V. Henkel-Wallace, director of support at Cygnus Support, which supports the GNU compilers. "I know there is a definite commitment among the technical folks, and supposedly from Steve Jobs, to honor the GNU Public License."

Created by Stone Design's Create(tm) at 2005-08-20 23:26:56 -0500