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X is not dead (was Re: X is dead.)

On Thu, Apr 02, 1998 at 01:49:54AM -0300, Nicolás Lichtmaier wrote:
> X has become non-free software
> (http://www.camb.opengroup.org/tech/desktop/x/xlicensefaq.htm) and because
> of that unuseable for the Linux community.

Let's be a little more precise about this. X11R6.4 as released by the Open
Group is non-free.

XFree86 (currently based on X11R6.3, which is free) is and will remain free
(see http://slashdot.org/articles/9841102444.shtml). The XFree86 project
has enough resources to fork of their own X to do so, should the Open Group
not reconsider.

The result of the Open Group's decision is that freeware developers will no
longer work on their version of X. Freeware development will continue on
XFree86. Due to the current licensing terms of XFree86, the Open Group could
still take advantage of that. That's because the current licensing terms of
XFree86 are BSD-like and X development until now was done to the advantage
of both freeware and commercial software developers. The Open Group has
decided to end the existing mutual coorporation. 

One of the possible outcomes of this situation (note: I'm not saying it's
desirable or not; I'm merely pointing out a likely scenario) is that the
XFree86 developers will decide to change the licensing terms of their X to
prevent the Open Group from taking from them without giving back, e.g. by
making XFree86 GPLed.

I think the Open Group's decision is highly regrettable. However, as XFree86
is and will remain free, I don't think that there is a great reason for
concern for Debian developers and users.

I suggest we don't panic about this, and wait to hear from the XFree86 folks
on what their plans are.
PATRIOTISM  A great British writer once said that if he had to choose 
between betraying his country and betraying a friend he hoped he would
have the decency to betray his country.                                      
- The Hipcrime Vocab by Chad C. Mulligan 

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