naucse! (John Campbell)
Tue, 15 Aug 89 10:49:55 MST

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bison/yacc naucse! (1989-08-15)
Re: bison/yacc chasm@attctc.Dallas.TX.US (1989-08-19)
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Date: Tue, 15 Aug 89 10:49:55 MST
From: naucse! (John Campbell)

>Many people are mentioning useful changes to Yacc that they can't
>distribute because of AT&T copyrights. Why not just make the changes
>to Bison, the Free Software Foundation copylefted Yacc clone (which
>generates slightly better parsers besides) and allow your improvements
>to be generally distributed? I am sure that Stallman & Co. at FSF will
>be happy to distribute any usefull contributions that people have
>[From (Perry E. Metzger)]

Ah, but have you read bison.simple--there is a nasty copyleft there that
precludes putting this code into anything that isn't freely distributed.
Last time I asked the Gnu people told me this wasn't an oversight, it was

I want to hear more about the DECUS yacc. Is this a PD yacc that we
have source code to that is not so restrictive? (Note that the latest
flex made a point in saying that you could do what you would with the
output of flex--even recoup development costs!)
John Campbell ...!arizona!naucse!jdc

[Decus yacc was a pirate version of AT&T yacc that Decus (the DEC users'
group) distributed for a while until they realized what it was. I know of
no PD version of yacc and would be surprised to hear of one considering how
much work is involved; every allegedly PD yacc I've ever seen has turned out
to be a pirate copy of AT&T yacc. Bison isn't yacc and doesn't claim to be,
but as noted above its parser is subject to Gnu copyleft. AT&T has given
permission to redistribute the yacc parser and the C libraries as part of
application programs, but yacc itself remains very much AT&T's own.
Followups somewhere else, please, this is getting too far afield of compiler
issues. -John]

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