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Re: XForms [Re: kicking non-free archive out without a vote]

On Thu, 8 Feb 2001, Peter S Galbraith wrote:

> > Didn't the XForms author deliberately switch from a free to a
> > non-free license a couple years ago?  If you're making headway
> > in convincing the author to release XForms as free software
> > again, that's great to hear -- it's just a little surprising to
> > me, given what I remember of the software's history.

> I've never known it to be free.  It has always been a binary-only
> release, which makes it very difficult to get it for all arches.
> I made four builds for V0.88 and V0.89 uploads to Debian
> yesterday, and I'm getting tired of the hassle (slowly).

It may not have been Free, but I checked with my local software historian to
make sure I wasn't remembering wrong -- the XForms source code was indeed 
available at one point.  It's been about three years now since the license was
changed.  I didn't use XForms very much, so didn't pay much attention to the

> I don't know how much headway _I'm_ making.  I first emailed him
> about it in June 1999 with gentle comments reasoning why it could
> and should be open-source, and he replied that he was thinking
> about it.  So I doubt that I was a significant factor in the
> decision.  However, I have reminded him a few times since then
> and have gotten promises that V1.0 will be Open Source.  I guess
> his real life is slowing this process down quite a lot.  In a way
> it's sad, because years ago there were very few toolkits and had
> XForms been open at the time, it took have taken off in a big
> way.  Now it's being abandoned slowly even by Lyx.

That's great news.  I agree that the lack of freeness is a big reason why
XForms never Made It Big.  I don't think it will ever overtake GTK or QT now,
but it would still be nice to see it in main.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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