I understand that linking to a program licensed under the GPL requires that you release the source of your program under the GPL as well, while the LGPL does not require this. The terminology of the (L)GPL is very clear about this.
means you'd have to license GPL, because you're linking to GPL licensed code. And
means you're free to license however you want, so that it doesn't explicitly prohibit linking to LGPL source. Now, my question about what isn't clear is:
GCC is GPL licensed, compiling with GCC, does not constitute "integration" into your program, as the GPL puts it; does using builtin functions (which are specific to GCC) constitute "incorporation" even though you haven't explicitly linked to this GPL licensed code? My intuition tells me that this isn't the intention, but legality isn't always intuitive. I'm not actually worried, but I'm curious if this could be considered the case.
The reason for my equivocation is that GCC builtins like
__builtin_expect() are an API technically and could be implemented in another way. For example, many builtins were replicated by LLVM and the argument could be made that it's not implementation specific to GCC. However, many builtins have no parallel and when compiled will link GPL licensed code in GCC and will not compile on other compilers. If you make the argument here that the API could be replicated by another compiler, couldn't you make that identical claim about any program you link to, so long as you don't distribute that source?
I understand that I'm being a legal snake about this, but it strikes me as odd that the GPL isn't more specific. I don't see this as a reasonable ploy for proprietary software creators to bypass the GPL, as they'd have to bundle the GPL software to make it work, removing their plausible deniability. However, isn't it possible that if builtins don't constitute linking, then open source proponents who oppose the GPL could simply write a BSD/MIT/Apache/Apple licensed product that links to a GPL'd program and claim that they intend to write a non-GPL interface that is identical to the GPL one, preserving their BSD license until it's actually compiled?
Sorry for the aside, I didn't think many people would follow why I care about this if I'm not facing any legal trouble or implications. Don't worry too much about the hypotheticals there, I'm just extrapolating what either answer to my actual question could imply.