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    SubjectRe: GPL only modules [was Re: [GIT PATCH] more Driver core patches for 2.6.19]


    On Thu, 14 Dec 2006, Chris Wedgwood wrote:
    >
    > Calling internal symbols _INTERNAL is confusing?

    Well, I'm not sure the _INTERNAL name is all that much better than the
    _GPL one.

    In many ways, the _GPL one describes the _effects_ better, and also points
    out the reason _why_ something is marked differently. Sure, it's marked
    becasue it's internal, but why is does that have to be pointed out at all?
    Why not use the same EXPORT_SYMBOL? The answer to that is the "GPL" part,
    ie the expectation that internal symbols are so internal that they have
    license effects.

    And if you were an external vendor doing binary only modules, would you
    react to "internal"? It wouldn't have the same "oh, _that_ is what it is
    all about" thing, would it?

    So I do agree that we have probably done a bad job of explaining why that
    _GPL thing makes sense, and what it means on a deeper level (the license
    thing is a very superficial thing, but its worth naming just because the
    superficial thing is also the biggest _impact_ - even if it may not be the
    underlying deeper _reason_ for it).

    So which makes more sense from a naming standpoint: the superficial impact
    that is what _matters_ for people, or the more subtle issue that causes it
    to have that impact?

    I think that question is what it boils down to, and at least personally,
    while I see both things as being worthwhile, I think the superficial thing
    is the one that needs pointing out, because it's the one that may change
    your behaviour (while the deeper _meaning_ is more of just an
    explanation).

    But I don't personally care that deeply. I mostly care about the fact that
    changing the name now would just be inconvenient and unnecessary churn,
    and that's probably my biggest reason to not want to do it ;)

    Linus
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