Thank you to all those who contributed to this thread. While many Go 
programs are written under open source licences, and many Go programmers 
contribute to open source in a professional or personal capability, it is 
now time to bring the discussion to a close as this thread has moved 
outside the scope of this mailing list.

Please feel free to continue this discussion in other forums.



On Friday, 18 May 2018 05:39:59 UTC+10, wrote:
> Thanks for responding Michael.
> "decorative item not to be used off-road, in uneven terrain, or relied 
>> upon as protection in case of vehicle roll."
> The sticker I’ve been looking at says something like “modifying or 
> attaching anything to this ROPS will compromise the structure and may cause 
> injury or death” and I had a relative roll a tractor last year but is 
> luckily ok.
> I understand being conservative for the courts, but GCC and Go can make 
> programs for computers that can do safety applications reliably. People 
> maybe do with GCC derivatives. People do with Ada or C (and Go maybe is 
> less mistake-prone than C at the language level).
> Leveraging the work of an open or free project and contributing back 
> improvements found in testing seems like a good idea to me for liable 
> ventures and for the reliability of minimal liability uses that Google does 
> with Go and maybe GCC. I don’t think these compiler projects should take on 
> unnecessary liability, but one thing that can be done is to be sure there 
> aren’t any intentional mistakes, backdoors, or practical jokes as allowed 
> under the licenses. I'd like to guarantee that to liable ventures and it's 
> a free win for general purpose computing anyway.
> Matt
> On Thursday, May 17, 2018 at 12:18:30 PM UTC-5, Michael Jones wrote:
>> perhaps some context will make this clearer. no reference is being made 
>> to any actual persons or events.
>> 1. It is the observed habit of people (plaintiff's) bring suit in court 
>> when something goes wrong. 
>> Ex: airplane crash, dark spot on potato chip, food is too hot, etc.
>> 2. Plaintiff's attorneys have developed the habit of including everyone 
>> possible in the "bag guy" list; this creates a kind of mutual fund where 
>> everyone can settle for $10,000 and that, multiplied by 100 defendants, is 
>> $1M. The attorney gets 1/3 of that, so attorneys drive nice cars and fly 
>> first class.
>> Ex: car accident with fire.: sue the car company, the airbag company, the 
>> brake pad company, the glass company, the bumper designer, ...., the gas 
>> station, the gas transport truck, the oil refinery,...,the tire company, 
>> the person who designed the tire treads, etc.
>> 3. After 60+ years of this, everyone who is wise to the situation sells 
>> retail products that specifically disclaim every possible dangerous use, 
>> and as many kinds of critical or life-safety misuse as can be foreseen, and 
>> wholesale products where every possible liability passes to the purchaser 
>> as a condition of sale. 
>> Ex: "You agree to not use the APIs for any activities where the use or 
>> failure of the APIs could lead to death, personal injury, or environmental 
>> damage (such as the operation of nuclear facilities, air traffic control, 
>> or life support systems)."
>> 4. After 40+ years of open source having an observable footprint, open 
>> source entities, corporate contributors, and individuals have found that 
>> this style of "universal disclaimer" is an important defensive bulwark. 
>> Most people would not want to lose their house and savings as the result of 
>> contributing code to a matrix library that happens to be used in the 
>> science payload of a space project where the rocket engines explode on 
>> launch and the resulting fires and fumes cause problems for miles around 
>> resulting in a class-action suit for much of Florida. (crazy made-up 
>> example but perhaps it makes clear the idea of minimizing exposure to legal 
>> risks associated in no logical way with individual action.)
>> This is the context in which various excuse-laden, 
>> suitability-disclaiming, crazy-seeming license agreements arise.
>> As a real example, but with the name removed, I once saw in a parking lot 
>> a new pickup truck made by a well-known Japanese car manufacturer. It had a 
>> shiny chrome tubular framework rising up from the bed of the truck just 
>> behind the cab. The framework had lights attached. It have the truck a 
>> tough, off-road character. I said to my wife, "wow, that's quite the 
>> roll-bar for a little truck. Look how thick the tubes are." She said, there 
>> is a sticker on it what does it say. We looked, it read:  "decorative item 
>> not to be used off-road, in uneven terrain, or relied upon as protection in 
>> case of vehicle roll."
>> That is the real world of litigious people, 1/3 hungry attorneys, and 
>> juries that like to "do something" when there is a victim.
>> On Thu, May 17, 2018 at 8:48 AM <> wrote:
>>> I was thinking something like writing an undocumented “Happy New Year!” 
>>> to standard out at the start of the year. An obvious but undocumented ‘rm 
>>> -rf /‘ attempt was mentioned above.
>>> My first program was a practical joke. On the calculator command line I 
>>> said “press enter” then put the program call on the next line. The program 
>>> would scroll some text forever. The command display state was preserved 
>>> through being turned off, so somebody in the next class pressed enter then 
>>> had their calculator lock up and I got in trouble because the teacher had 
>>> to remove the batteries. I had an effect on many people because of the lost 
>>> class time. I explained that there was a key to interrupt any program.
>>> These university licenses allow newcomers to programming to make that 
>>> kind of social mistake and I think it’s right to not punish them for it. I 
>>> might not be a programmer if I had gotten detention for the calculator 
>>> program, and things like GCC might not exist without some wild thinking. I 
>>> don’t think this approach is right for industry, other serious ventures, 
>>> and especially not for safety focused applications though.
>>> It looks like the Intel corporate family thinks Intel, ARM, and Power 
>>> architecture processor implementations are trustworthy enough for safety 
>>> applications. There’s this OS called VxWorks said on the website to be 
>>> intended for safe IoT device applications: 
>>> It appears that WindRiver has worked with the GCC project for the 
>>> VxWorks platform: 
>>> QNX has a C/C++ toolchain for ARM and x86: 
>>> Here’s a 2011 thread about Go and RTOS: 
>>> There there’s a claim that the garbage collector makes Go unusable in 
>>> real-time operating systems, but I think there are cases where real-time is 
>>> less important than the OS being developed with reliability in mind. Maybe 
>>> Go could be very useful on RTOS platforms.
>>> My understanding is the intent for Go is to solve problems at Google. I 
>>> think involving varying outside uses of Go will help Google by making a 
>>> toolchain more robust than just Google applications will do, and I think 
>>> the design of the Go language is ideal for a next generation of general 
>>> purpose software like C was before. And I hope this thread adds value.
>>> “No features contrary to documentation” seems like a mistake since 
>>> documentation is usually not right. “No obfuscated features or obviously 
>>> wrong features” seems too vague and may invite incorrect claims. “This 
>>> software has no effects except for documented or obvious use”? Obviously a 
>>> lawyer would have to translate it to match case results and other lawyer 
>>> things, and those writing software under the license would have to be aware 
>>> of the implications. I plan to email a summary of this discussion to FSF 
>>> and OSI mailing lists.
>>> Thanks,
>>> Matt
>>> On Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at 8:55:09 PM UTC-5, kortschak wrote:
>>>> I hope so. I provide a package ( that I 
>>>> cannot promise will not summon demons. It was written intentionally as 
>>>> a joke. I disclaim all liability should use of the package bring about 
>>>> meetings with demonic presences. 
>>>> On Wed, 2018-05-16 at 07:25 -0700, wrote: 
>>>> > I think practical jokes should be allowed under the GPL, BSD, and 
>>>> > similar  
>>>> > licenses. 
>>> -- 
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>> -- 
>> Michael T. Jones

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