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Re: Bug#470622: ITP: qtnx -- NX client for QT


On Montag, 17. März 2008, Fathi Boudra wrote:
> > Description: NX client for QT
> >  NX is a differential X compression protocol for X11.
> >  .
> >  This package provides the QT client.
> Have you sync'ed with sidux people ?

I am aware of these uploads and welcome them a lot.</sidux>

So far there hasn't been any serious FOSS client to access NX servers 
available. While 2X software's 2X nxclient 1.6 has been released under the 
GPL v2 about 2 years ago [1], it is not really packageable for Debian due 
the amount of code duplication (openssh, esound, tightvnc) and would have 
required further extensive changes to accept the NX 3.x protocol or to 
obey the FHS.

While qtnx suffered partly from the same code duplication issues so far,  
Matthew has been able to convince qtnx/ freenx upstream (George Wright and 
Fabian Franz) to provide a patch [2] (which is used for these uploads) to 
nxproxy that allows using the system's openssh packages instead of the 
forked nxssh.

This means the current set of ITPs required for NX client functionality
	- nxcomp (NoMachine, GPL v2)
	- nxproxy (NoMachine, GPL v2)
	- nxcl (FreeNX, GPL)
	- qtnx (FreeNX, GPL)
is original code of the mentioned upstreams and doesn't duplicate other 
packages already i the Debian archive and is released under the GPL v2 as 
a whole.

Packaging the server components still remains to be a problem though, as 
that would require
	- FreeNX (FreeNX, GPL v2)
	- nxcompext (NoMachine, GPL v2)
	- nx-X11 (X.org 6.6 fork, GPL v2 only)
	- nxagent (NoMachine, built as part of nx-X11, GPL v2 only)
	- nxcompshad (NoMachine, GPL v2)
and optionally (for printing support)
	- nxspool (samba 3.0.0 fork, GPL v2)
in addition.

> AFAIK, someone from their team work on NX related stuff.
> It could be a good idea to not duplicate effort with them.

While it is possible to provide "working" packages for the server 
components, to beat them into the FHS constraints (which isn't prepared or 
even intended upstream) and to link (after some patching) against Debian's 
variants of 
instead of ancient private copies of these libraries, the nx-X11 fork,
whose license (GPL v2 only as a whole) prevents merging the patches into 
X.org upstream, remains the major blocker for Debian inclusion (or any 
reasonable distribution).

These issues, combined with the missing security awareness/ support for the
forked X.org 6.6 copy [3], [4] and personal time constraints (it is simply
not possible to fix these long standing issues alone in reasonable time, it 
requires deeper knowledge of X11 internals, Imake, a lot of endianess and 
64 bit safety awareness and a lot of time/ patience (compile times rival
kernel building)), forced me to cease distribution for NX/ FreeNX about a 
year ago.

As a whole, the situation looks better than it did in 2004 (or the NX 1.x 
era for that matter), as there are less forks involved than back then (and 
finally a decent FOSS client), but it would still require a lot of manpower
and dedication to package it in a way that would stand a chance for Debian 
inclusion. If there is a chance for this (namely a plan to get rid off 
nx-X11 and a few more code contributors), I am very interested in 
participating in that endeavour, but as it stands, chances for that don't 
seem to be very encouraging.

> cheers,
> Fathi

	Stefan Lippers-Hollmann (with his sidux hat on)

[1]	http://code.2x.com/linuxterminalserver/browser/trunk/client
[2]	http://mail.kde.org/pipermail/freenx-knx/2008-March/006793.html
[3]	http://lists.alioth.debian.org/pipermail/pkg-nx-group/2008-January/000209.html
[4]	http://lists.alioth.debian.org/pipermail/pkg-nx-group/2008-January/000193.html

	I do not claim accuracy for "GPL v2 only" versus "GPL v2 or later" 
	for all involved packages in their most recent (development-) 
	versions, traditionally all sources provided by NoMachine are only
	available under the "GPL v2 only" and a quick sample reconfirms 

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