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Re: X statement

shaleh@livenet.net (Shaleh)  wrote on 02.04.98 in <35241753.E3B41F26@livenet.net>:
> This was posted to another mailing list I am on.
> See http://www.camb.opengroup.org/tech/desktop/onlineorder/xdownload.htm
> for The Open Group's *free* download page and the license.  It is no
> more onerous, IMO, than Netscape's or Qt's licenses for source code.

Well, Netscape's source is free software, even according to rms - just  
like Linux or Emacs, or X11R6.3.

Qt and X11R6.4 aren't, just like Windows.

It's a completely different ball game.

Read the Debian Free Software Guidelines if you don't understand why.

> The cash haemorrhage is made worse by the non-fee paying XFree86.

Of course, all the XFree86 members have been *working* for free.

> Although it may be able to claim several million users, the net
> contribution to the development of the X Window System, as embodied by
> specs, protocols or cash is a flat zero.  No contributed specs, no
> contributed standards and no cash...

... but lots of contributed server code, which, IMO, is far more  
important, and is work that was previously only done inside commercial  

> but a lot of individuals and
> companies undoubtedly benefit.

And if they aren't stupid, the system vendors profit as well from the  
XFree86 work. Their market includes the same hardware XFree86 is writing  
servers for.

>  The reason for the system vendors to
> fund X was so that each of them increased their own chances of being
> involved in a networked graphical environment, and the source code was
> made freely available as a way to foster the interoperability and
> because the project came from an academic background, which requires the
> free flow of information.  However, the model breaks down if one member
> has a lot of customers and makes no contribution.  At that point, the
> other members are funding the freeloader.

Of course, in this case, XFree86 *has* made large contributions - and in  
an area where all the others haven't done any contributions.

IMO, it's the others who are the freeloaders.

> Research use (non-commercial use) of X11R6.4 is also free.  The folk
> affected are us, MetroLink, RedHat, Caldera, SlackWare, Walnut Creek
> CD-ROM, Delix, SuSE, and so on.  XFree86 should remain unaffected.
> Enlightenment will be unaffected.  KDE will be unaffected.  GNOME will
> be unaffected.
> Under the terms of the license, nothing prevents XFree86 from continuing
> to port X11R6.4 and to add Servers.  Fee-based distributions will need
> to license X11R6.4 or buy already licensed binaries.  Pretty simple.
> Should be non-threatening.  Those who paid for their Linux before, will
> now include a proportion for the X fees.  Those who didn't, probably
> won't have to pay anything now, either.

I'm no license expert, but from what I've heard so far, their license has  
some fairly ugly provisions that, for example, threaten _any_ X source  

> BUT... There is a large and vocal fraction of the Linux community who
> equate open access to source and zero cost pricing.  Had their been a

That, however, is not the problem with the new X license. It's just a  
straw man.

> significant contribution to X Window System technologies, I'd have more
> sympathy with this view.

I'd say that's a pretty clueless sentence.

> The measurable, practical effect of XFree86 on
> X is zero... I'm not referring to the *uses* of X, but to the technology
> basis.

That's wrong, of course. Hardware support is part of the technology basis,  
and from what I can see, XFree86 contributions in that area are far larger  
than those of everybody else taken together.

> Given the comprehensive failure of XFree86 to do anything at all (in
> developing new technology, not in implementing Servers and some trivial
> support programs using the technology) in the last seven years, I'm not

Come back when you understand what you are writing about. You clearly  

MfG Kai

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