FPC clean room project

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FPC clean room project

Mr Bee
Hi all,

There's someone accusing that Free Pascal (and some parts of Lazarus) is just a reverse engineering of Delphi. Even he said some codes of FPC/Laz are taken from Delphi (and Kylix). This is a serious allegation.

I know that isn't true. Or is it? ;)

Can anybody elaborate on this? I'd like to debunk the allegation but I don't know where to start and the evidence for it.

Thank you.

Regards,
 

–Mr Bee


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Re: FPC clean room project

Jürgen Hestermann
Am 2017-01-02 um 06:23 schrieb Mr Bee:
 > There's someone accusing that Free Pascal (and some parts of Lazarus) is just a reverse engineering of Delphi. Even he said some codes of FPC/Laz are taken from Delphi (and Kylix). This is a serious allegation.
 > I know that isn't true. Or is it? ;)
 > Can anybody elaborate on this? I'd like to debunk the allegation but I don't know where to start and the evidence for it.

I think the first "evidence" would be that Borland/Embarcadero did not initate any legal proceedings against FPC.
They would surely have done this in case it is true.
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Re: FPC clean room project

Mattias Gaertner
In reply to this post by Mr Bee
On Mon, 2 Jan 2017 05:23:06 +0000 (UTC)
Mr Bee <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi all,
> There's someone accusing that Free Pascal (and some parts of Lazarus) is just a reverse engineering of Delphi.

FPC runs on 80 platforms. Delphi only runs on MS Windows 32/64 and can
cross compile to a few more.
FPC supports Delphi syntax and several more, including two of its own.


> Even he said some codes of FPC/Laz are taken from Delphi (and Kylix).
> This is a serious allegation.

Yes, and the FPC and Lazarus team treat them seriously.
I don't know of such code, but if you find such code in FPC/Laz please
report it, so it can be removed/replaced.


> I know that isn't true. Or is it? ;)
> Can anybody elaborate on this? I'd like to debunk the allegation but I don't know where to start and the evidence for it.

Ask the accusers what part is taken, then look at the code and the
commit history.

Just for your interest:
FPC/Lazarus is a volunteer project, which get a lot of patches from the
community. Sometimes patches look like (altered) Delphi code and they
get rejected. But nobody is perfect, and so some years ago some
doubtful procedures were found. They had been replaced.

Many such allegations were not about FPC/Laz, but about projects
using FPC/Laz. Some accusers don't know the difference or don't care.


Mattias
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Re: FPC clean room project

Marco van de Voort
In reply to this post by Mr Bee
In our previous episode, Mr Bee said:
> There's someone accusing that Free Pascal (and some parts of Lazarus) is just a reverse engineering of Delphi. Even he said some codes of FPC/Laz are taken from Delphi (and Kylix). This is a serious allegation.
> I know that isn't true. Or is it? ;)

Yes, so study the evidence closely.

> Can anybody elaborate on this?

Other than that it is patently wrong, no, since we don't have his accusations.

> I'd like to debunk the allegation but I don't know where to start and the
> evidence for it.  

Debunk is evidence to the contrary. If he hasn't provide evidence, challenge
him to do so.
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Re: FPC clean room project

geneb
In reply to this post by Mr Bee
On Mon, 2 Jan 2017, Mr Bee wrote:

> Hi all,
> There's someone accusing that Free Pascal (and some parts of Lazarus) is just a reverse engineering of Delphi. Even he said some codes of FPC/Laz are taken from Delphi (and Kylix). This is a serious allegation.
> I know that isn't true. Or is it? ;)
> Can anybody elaborate on this? I'd like to debunk the allegation but I don't know where to start and the evidence for it.

Tell the person to either prove it, or shut up about it.

g.

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Re: FPC clean room project

Snorkl e
In reply to this post by Mr Bee
My question is why does this person even care to make such accusations? For one some of the routines in the run time are extremely generic and could easily be written exactly the same way and only way to prove it is if comments made by original coder are still in place.  Sounds like a waste of time witch hunt to even entertain such thoughts without definitive proof and if said person holds back on such information that means they are interested in bottom feeder litigation..... Shameful if you ask me.

On Jan 1, 2017 11:23 PM, "Mr Bee" <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi all,

There's someone accusing that Free Pascal (and some parts of Lazarus) is just a reverse engineering of Delphi. Even he said some codes of FPC/Laz are taken from Delphi (and Kylix). This is a serious allegation.

I know that isn't true. Or is it? ;)

Can anybody elaborate on this? I'd like to debunk the allegation but I don't know where to start and the evidence for it.

Thank you.

Regards,
 

–Mr Bee


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Re: FPC clean room project

Santiago A.
In reply to this post by Mr Bee
El 02/01/2017 a las 6:23, Mr Bee escribió:
Hi all,

There's someone accusing that Free Pascal (and some parts of Lazarus) is just a reverse engineering of Delphi. Even he said some codes of FPC/Laz are taken from Delphi (and Kylix). This is a serious allegation.

I know that isn't true. Or is it? ;)

Can anybody elaborate on this? I'd like to debunk the allegation but I don't know where to start and the evidence for it.

Well, I think it's evident  that Freepascal and lazarus tries to be delphi compatible, and that means that must look close to delphi to imitate it's behavior and syntax.

Is that reverse engineering? Well, I'm not a lawyer, I don't know where "finding a similar solution for the same problem" ends and "Reverse engineering" starts.
Nowadays it looks like painting a line is patented.

Nevertheless, as someone has pointed, Embarcadero hasn't make any legal movement. Maybe because it thinks there is no legal base; or maybe because it doesn't care that much and thinks it's not worth the bad publicity.


-- 
Saludos
Santiago A.

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Re: FPC clean room project

Karoly Balogh (Charlie/SGR)
Hi,

On Mon, 2 Jan 2017, Santiago A. wrote:

> Well, I think it's evident  that Freepascal and lazarus tries to be
> delphi compatible, and that means that must look close to delphi to
> imitate it's behavior and syntax.
>
> Is that reverse engineering? Well, I'm not a lawyer, I don't know where
> "finding a similar solution for the same problem" ends and "Reverse
> engineering" starts. Nowadays it looks like painting a line is patented.

I'd like to point out, that reverse engineering is not illegal, in most
countries. As in, investigate the workings of some software or computer
system in general, then document how it works, and then write a
replacement based on that. Neither is implementing a documented and well
defined API.

Heavily regulated it can be, and there are cases where it has to be done
with great care, but just the fact that some information was obtained by
some reverse engineering process doesn't make it immediately illegal. For
example, writing unit tests to an API and then reimplement the API pass
the same unit tests is a form of reverse engineering, but still it's an
everyday practice in software engineering. And it has to be, otherwise
most software would be illegal, really, especially in OOP where your class
just extends the functionality of an object it inherits, and in overriden
methods it has to reproduce some functionality... And so on.

Looking at Delphi source code (or it's RTL's source code) and then
implement similar feature *by the same person* in FPC would be illegal.
But looking at the source cose is not reverse engineering, is it?

So such accusations without any evidence is spreading FUD at best.

Charlie
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Re: FPC clean room project

Sven Barth-2
In reply to this post by Santiago A.

Am 02.01.2017 19:15 schrieb "Santiago A." <[hidden email]>:
> Nevertheless, as someone has pointed, Embarcadero hasn't make any legal movement. Maybe because it thinks there is no legal base; or maybe because it doesn't care that much and thinks it's not worth the bad publicity.

Not to mention that for a little while Embarcadero even used Free Pascal for their iOS support before they had their own compiler.

Regards,
Sven


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Re: FPC clean room project

Snorkl e
Maybe it's  Niklaus Wirth, could be he's broke and decided it's time to collect license fees like Microsoft does with Android LOL just kidding.

On Jan 2, 2017 4:07 PM, "Sven Barth" <[hidden email]> wrote:

Am 02.01.2017 19:15 schrieb "Santiago A." <[hidden email]>:
> Nevertheless, as someone has pointed, Embarcadero hasn't make any legal movement. Maybe because it thinks there is no legal base; or maybe because it doesn't care that much and thinks it's not worth the bad publicity.

Not to mention that for a little while Embarcadero even used Free Pascal for their iOS support before they had their own compiler.

Regards,
Sven


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Re: FPC clean room project

Дмитрий Померанцев
In reply to this post by Sven Barth-2
Doesn't matter since FPC license allowing that.

Dmitriy Pomerantsev.

03.01.2017, 01:07, "Sven Barth" <[hidden email]>:
>
> Not to mention that for a little while Embarcadero even used Free Pascal for their iOS support before they had their own compiler.
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Re: FPC clean room project

Sven Barth-2

Am 03.01.2017 19:02 schrieb "Dmitriy Pomerantsev" <[hidden email]>:
>
> Doesn't matter since FPC license allowing that.

You don't get the point, do you? I don't think they'd use FPC themselves if they'd sue it the next time around.

Regards,
Sven


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Re: FPC clean room project

Snorkl e
They might with a change of ownership, who knows these days,  but the fact they did use it in the past would not look good for any litigation from some bottom feeder.

On Jan 3, 2017 4:36 PM, "Sven Barth" <[hidden email]> wrote:

Am 03.01.2017 19:02 schrieb "Dmitriy Pomerantsev" <[hidden email]>:
>
> Doesn't matter since FPC license allowing that.

You don't get the point, do you? I don't think they'd use FPC themselves if they'd sue it the next time around.

Regards,
Sven


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Re: FPC clean room project

geneb
On Tue, 3 Jan 2017, Snorkl e wrote:

> They might with a change of ownership, who knows these days,  but the fact
> they did use it in the past would not look good for any litigation from
> some bottom feeder.
>
It's called "estoppel".

g.

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Re: FPC clean room project

Graeme Geldenhuys-6
In reply to this post by Sven Barth-2
On 2017-01-02 22:07, Sven Barth wrote:
> Not to mention that for a little while Embarcadero even used Free Pascal
> for their iOS support before they had their own compiler.

Exactly, and that probably makes all arguments moot in a court of law.

Nevertheless, we all know FPC and Lazarus take copyrighted code very
serious, and prevents using it when found. The FPC project even includes
a utility to make such code comparisons and reports the results. Years
ago that utility was used to find and clean room implement a few
copyrighted functions (or function implementations that was too close
for comfort).

I also know from first hand experience that Embarcadero has been made
aware of CodeTyphon's copying and distribution of FireMonkey (called
Orca or something in CodeTyphon). But then again, FPC and Lazarus has
nothing to do with CodeTyphon - so no need to discuss that further here.

Regards,
  Graeme

--
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http://fpgui.sourceforge.net/

My public PGP key:  http://tinyurl.com/graeme-pgp
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Re: FPC clean room project

noreply
In reply to this post by Mr Bee
On Sun, January 1, 2017 10:23 pm, Mr Bee wrote:
> Hi all,
> There's someone accusing that Free Pascal (and some parts of Lazarus) is
> just a reverse engineering of Delphi. Even he said some codes of FPC/Laz
> are taken from Delphi (and Kylix). This is a serious allegation. I know
> that isn't true. Or is it? ;) Can anybody elaborate on this? I'd like to
> debunk the allegation but I don't know where to start and the evidence
> for it. Thank you.

Well considering the Borland/Codegear/Embarcadero has actually used FPC in
one of their products they likely have the same allegations, just no one
makes a fuss about it the other way around...
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Re: FPC clean room project

noreply
In reply to this post by Дмитрий Померанцев
On Tue, January 3, 2017 5:47 am, Dmitriy Pomerantsev wrote:
> Doesn't matter since FPC license allowing that.
>
>
> Dmitriy Pomerantsev.


Well, Kylix, AFAIR was actually released under GPL at one time too, so in
a way delphi already allowed it too (although, more a LGPL would have
really helped)...

I think it was brought up in the Steve Trefethen fiasco years ago
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Re: FPC clean room project

noreply
In reply to this post by Snorkl e
On Tue, January 3, 2017 6:10 pm, Snorkl e wrote:
> They might with a change of ownership, who knows these days,  but the
> fact they did use it in the past would not look good for any litigation
> from some bottom feeder.

The fact that they use FPC, means they likely reverse engineer FPC and
apply their own hacks to their own compiler for multiple targets based on
FPC engineering..

i.e. they don't even need to reverse engineer FPC, they just have to dip
their eyes into the source code... And woops, there comes the problem:
Delphi is likely stealing from FPC too as their eyes have seen what cannot
be undone... they've peered into the FPC source code guaranteed.. I bet.

i.e. when they decide to target multiple platforms they have a nice demo
to look into which already does it: fpc.

Now I am not trying to insinuate anything here, but "it goes both ways"

As Michael Van C. once said, why isn't Borland also practicing clean room?
who is to say, since their development model is closed source, that their
compiler has no violations in it, that rip from FPC?  With FPC the code is
open so you can tell. With delphi, it's closed development, so you cannot
peer into their compiler sources and check to see if there are violations.
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Re: FPC clean room project

noreply
In reply to this post by Graeme Geldenhuys-6
On Thu, January 5, 2017 2:46 am, Graeme Geldenhuys wrote:
> I also know from first hand experience that Embarcadero has been made
> aware of CodeTyphon's copying and distribution of FireMonkey (called Orca
> or something in CodeTyphon).


What does this product allow? Compilation of firemonkey apps using fpc
compiler instead of delphi?
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Re: FPC clean room project

Graeme Geldenhuys-6
On 2017-01-06 15:49, Lars wrote:
> What does this product allow?

CodeTyphon distributes the source code of Embarcadero's FireMonkey
predecessor (previously known as VG-Scene or something), but rebranded
as "Orca". Neither FireMonkey or its predecessor is/was open source.

Regards,
  Graeme

--
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