XFree86 4.4 licensing - Xwindows

This is a discussion on XFree86 4.4 licensing - Xwindows ; OK, color me confused: [1] Gentoo, among other distros, is refusing to include XFree86 4.4 because what was supposed to be a trivial (?) licensing change. While I generally support this effort (as it appears said change is incompatible with ...

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Thread: XFree86 4.4 licensing

  1. XFree86 4.4 licensing

    OK, color me confused:

    [1] Gentoo, among other distros, is refusing to include
    XFree86 4.4 because what was supposed to be a trivial
    (?) licensing change. While I generally support this
    effort (as it appears said change is incompatible with
    the GPL, at least according to other posters on such
    venues as Slashdot), I'll admit to some confusion
    on the issue, and am wondering whether alternative
    windowing systems are readily available. Someone has
    suggested y-windows, for example -- but that's barely
    able to compile, let alone display anything, at the
    time of this posting, AFAICT. Other suggestions may
    include such things as Berlin.

    [2] X from www.x.org is now at version 6.6. Why the
    lag regarding XFree86? Also, what options should be
    placed in xc/config/cf/site.def to compile this beast?
    The instructions are somewhat less than clear. I have
    identified one problem: 'fds_bits' is apparently
    required by the X server, as an extension to the venerable
    fd_set / FD_* select() macros.. I am using Gentoo on an
    Athlon. If there is a walkthrough for this Google is
    having minor problems finding it. (www.x.org doesn't
    have a search facility, which doesn't help. Google is
    including such things as Final Fantasy X and Windows XP,
    which isn't helping either.)

    There are of course issues regarding card drivers, so
    there may be heavy resistance here.

    Thoughts? Or has this been beaten to death?

    --
    #191, ewill3@earthlink.net
    It's still legal to go .sigless.

  2. Re: XFree86 4.4 licensing

    The Ghost In The Machine wrote:

    > [2] X from www.x.org is now at version 6.6. Why the
    > lag regarding XFree86? Also, what options should be


    XFree86(1):
    | The current XFree86 release [4.4] is compatible with X11R6.6

    Regards,
    Daniel





  3. Re: XFree86 4.4 licensing


    On Fri, 5 Mar 2004, The Ghost In The Machine wrote:

    > [1] Gentoo, among other distros, is refusing to include
    > XFree86 4.4 because what was supposed to be a trivial
    > (?) licensing change. While I generally support this
    > effort (as it appears said change is incompatible with
    > the GPL, at least according to other posters on such
    > venues as Slashdot),


    Maybe the advertising-part is incompatible but hey, they wrote it, they
    can choose whatever they like as their license. I strongly believe that
    the one who wrote the code is the one who owns the code.

    Obviously Gentoo has to decide at one point to include XFree86 4.4 again
    if XFree86 don't change the license.

    > I'll admit to some confusion
    > on the issue, and am wondering whether alternative
    > windowing systems are readily available.


    The is no working alternative to XFree86.

    Karsten

    --
    Homepage, Mac68k, A/UX-Links und Shorties: www.tecneeq.de
    () Linux/NetBSD-Anleitungen, Forum und Chat: www.newbie-net.de
    <\/>
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  4. Re: XFree86 4.4 licensing

    %% Karsten Kruse writes:

    kk> On Fri, 5 Mar 2004, The Ghost In The Machine wrote:

    >> [1] Gentoo, among other distros, is refusing to include XFree86 4.4
    >> because what was supposed to be a trivial (?) licensing change.
    >> While I generally support this effort (as it appears said change is
    >> incompatible with the GPL, at least according to other posters on
    >> such venues as Slashdot),


    kk> Maybe the advertising-part is incompatible but hey, they wrote it,
    kk> they can choose whatever they like as their license. I strongly
    kk> believe that the one who wrote the code is the one who owns the
    kk> code.

    No one has suggested they don't have the right to change the license.

    But that doesn't mean that people have to accept the license, either.

    kk> Obviously Gentoo has to decide at one point to include XFree86 4.4
    kk> again if XFree86 don't change the license.

    I doubt _VERY_ much that that's going to happen. Most of the major
    Linux distributions, including Debian, Red Hat, and Mandrake have also
    decided to not distribute XFree86 under the new license. And in the BSD
    camp OpenBSD, at least, has also rejected the new license.

    >> I'll admit to some confusion on the issue, and am wondering whether
    >> alternative windowing systems are readily available.


    kk> The is no working alternative to XFree86.

    But there _is_ a working alternative to XFree86 4.4: XFree86 4.3.

    No one suggesting rewriting XFree86 from scratch. But there are serious
    plans afoot to manage this situation; my understanding is that, if the
    license issue cannot be resolved, there are people ready and willing to
    take the last version of XFree86 licensed under the previous license
    (which was 4.4rc3 IIRC) and fork a new development effort from there.

    If that happens it would be a shame, but it would only be a repeat of
    history. How do you think XFree86 itself came into being?

    --
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Paul D. Smith HASMAT--HA Software Mthds & Tools
    "Please remain calm...I may be mad, but I am a professional." --Mad Scientist
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    These are my opinions---Nortel Networks takes no responsibility for them.

  5. Re: XFree86 4.4 licensing

    Paul D. Smith wrote:

    > No one suggesting rewriting XFree86 from scratch. But there are serious
    > plans afoot to manage this situation; my understanding is that, if the
    > license issue cannot be resolved, there are people ready and willing to
    > take the last version of XFree86 licensed under the previous license
    > (which was 4.4rc3 IIRC) and fork a new development effort from there.


    what will probably happen is a cut-down version of that - wholesale
    incorporation of the content, with scattered changes to "maintain"
    it. And presto - new "ownership".

    It's been done before.

    --
    Thomas E. Dickey
    http://invisible-island.net
    ftp://invisible-island.net

  6. Re: XFree86 4.4 licensing

    Paul D. Smith wrote:

    > If that happens it would be a shame, but it would only be a repeat of
    > history. How do you think XFree86 itself came into being?


    You may as well repeat the gossip you've heard, so we'll all know.

    --
    Thomas E. Dickey
    http://invisible-island.net
    ftp://invisible-island.net

  7. Re: XFree86 4.4 licensing

    The Ghost In The Machine wrote:
    > OK, color me confused:


    > [1] Gentoo, among other distros, is refusing to include
    > XFree86 4.4 because what was supposed to be a trivial
    > (?) licensing change. While I generally support this


    actually it is trivial - but the free-lunch crowd opposes it.

    --
    Thomas E. Dickey
    http://invisible-island.net
    ftp://invisible-island.net

  8. Re: XFree86 4.4 licensing


    On Fri, 5 Mar 2004, Paul D. Smith wrote:

    > > Maybe the advertising-part is incompatible but hey, they wrote it,
    > > they can choose whatever they like as their license. I strongly
    > > believe that the one who wrote the code is the one who owns the code.


    > No one has suggested they don't have the right to change the license.
    > But that doesn't mean that people have to accept the license, either.


    That's the point, they _have_ to accept and respect that license. What if
    some Corp. would say we don't accept the GPL? Phew .

    > > Obviously Gentoo has to decide at one point to include XFree86 4.4
    > > again if XFree86 don't change the license.


    > I doubt _VERY_ much that that's going to happen.


    Time will tell. Wanna bet?

    > Most of the major Linux distributions, including Debian, Red Hat, and
    > Mandrake have also decided to not distribute XFree86 under the new
    > license.


    Which gives an advantage to the distributions shipping with 4.4 .

    > And in the BSD camp OpenBSD, at least, has also rejected the new
    > license.


    That's funny because they had the advertising part since the beginning
    for a long time.

    > > There is no working alternative to XFree86.


    > But there _is_ a working alternative to XFree86 4.4: XFree86 4.3.


    > No one suggesting rewriting XFree86 from scratch. But there are serious
    > plans afoot to manage this situation; my understanding is that, if the
    > license issue cannot be resolved, there are people ready and willing to
    > take the last version of XFree86 licensed under the previous license
    > (which was 4.4rc3 IIRC) and fork a new development effort from there.


    4.4rc2 was it. Let's see what happens. If you ask me, the
    advertising-stuff does not hurt. But what do i know .

    > If that happens it would be a shame, but it would only be a repeat of
    > history. How do you think XFree86 itself came into being?


    http://www.linux-mag.com/2001-12/xfree86_01.html [The History of XFree86]

    It would be indeed a shame because there is a lot stuff in CVS that is
    really useful. That will be lost.

    To EOD that, i hope you are not right, we don't see a fork and everyone
    gets happy again . With or without advertising.

    Karsten

    --
    Homepage, Mac68k, A/UX-Links und Shorties: www.tecneeq.de
    () Linux/NetBSD-Anleitungen, Forum und Chat: www.newbie-net.de
    <\/>
    _/\_ Sign the Tabs in XFCE Petition: http://www.tecneeq.de/tabs/

  9. Re: XFree86 4.4 licensing

    In article ,
    Karsten Kruse wrote:
    >
    >On Fri, 5 Mar 2004, Paul D. Smith wrote:
    >
    >> And in the BSD camp OpenBSD, at least, has also rejected the new
    >> license.

    >
    >That's funny because they had the advertising part since the beginning
    >for a long time.


    What???

    Version 1.0 of the license required the copyright notice to appear in the
    source code, but it also said,

    | Except as contained in this notice, the name of the XFree86 Project shall
    | not be used in advertising or otherwise to promote the sale, use or other
    | dealings in this Software without prior written authorization from the
    | XFree86 Project.

    So it seemed to *prohibit* advertising.

    --Paul Vojta, vojta@math.berkeley.edu

  10. Re: XFree86 4.4 licensing

    In article <104hi7iiafeco3b@corp.supernews.com>,
    Thomas Dickey wrote:
    >
    >actually it is trivial - but the free-lunch crowd opposes it.


    Maybe you could say *why* it's trivial.

    --Paul Vojta, vojta@math.berkeley.edu

  11. Re: XFree86 4.4 licensing

    Paul Vojta wrote:
    > In article <104hi7iiafeco3b@corp.supernews.com>,
    > Thomas Dickey wrote:
    >>
    >>actually it is trivial - but the free-lunch crowd opposes it.


    > Maybe you could say *why* it's trivial.


    there's no point in arguing politics.
    it's an election year - people are dumber than usual.

    --
    Thomas E. Dickey
    http://invisible-island.net
    ftp://invisible-island.net

  12. Re: XFree86 4.4 licensing

    %% Karsten Kruse writes:

    >> No one has suggested they don't have the right to change the license.
    >> But that doesn't mean that people have to accept the license, either.


    kk> That's the point, they _have_ to accept and respect that license.

    Of course they don't.

    kk> What if some Corp. would say we don't accept the GPL? Phew .

    Then they are perfectly free to do that, and as a result they won't be
    able to modify/redistribute/etc. GPL'd software. Just as those
    distributions I've mentioned are not including the newly licensed
    XFree86 code.

    >> > Obviously Gentoo has to decide at one point to include XFree86 4.4
    >> > again if XFree86 don't change the license.


    >> I doubt _VERY_ much that that's going to happen.


    kk> Time will tell. Wanna bet?

    Sure. I'll bet that Gentoo and Debian (at least) won't include, as part
    of their standard distributions, the entirety of XFree 4.4 licensed as
    it is today. I'm sure that there will be unofficial builds/packages of
    4.4 made available for both.

    >> Most of the major Linux distributions, including Debian, Red Hat,
    >> and Mandrake have also decided to not distribute XFree86 under the
    >> new license.


    kk> Which gives an advantage to the distributions shipping with 4.4 .

    Perhaps... but which distributions would that be? I just read that SuSE
    is also saying they won't ship XFree86 licensed under the new terms.
    That's just about _ALL_ the major distros at this point.

    Anyway, I doubt the advantage will last that long, if the split really
    happens. And I doubt many people will change their distribution because
    of it.

    kk> To EOD that, i hope you are not right, we don't see a fork and
    kk> everyone gets happy again . With or without advertising.

    Don't get me wrong, I also very much hope that we don't see a fork and
    the licensing is worked out: it would be an unfortunate waste. But, I
    think if you are banking on the problem being solved by the Linux
    distributors suddenly changing their minds and agreeing to start
    shipping the newly-licensed X as-is, you will be very poor indeed .

    --
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Paul D. Smith HASMAT--HA Software Mthds & Tools
    "Please remain calm...I may be mad, but I am a professional." --Mad Scientist
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    These are my opinions---Nortel Networks takes no responsibility for them.

  13. Re: XFree86 4.4 licensing


    On Fri, 5 Mar 2004, Paul Vojta wrote:

    > > > And in the BSD camp OpenBSD, at least, has also rejected the new
    > > > license.


    > > That's funny because they had the advertising part since the beginning
    > > for a long time.


    > What???


    I meant the BSD-License . There is a short explanation what the
    advertising clause was/is.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BSD_License

    Karsten Kruse

    --
    Homepage, Mac68k, A/UX-Links und Shorties: www.tecneeq.de
    () Linux/NetBSD-Anleitungen, Forum und Chat: www.newbie-net.de
    <\/>
    _/\_ Sign the Tabs in XFCE Petition: http://www.tecneeq.de/tabs/

  14. Re: XFree86 4.4 licensing

    Clinging to sanity, "Paul D. Smith" mumbled into her beard:
    > Don't get me wrong, I also very much hope that we don't see a fork and
    > the licensing is worked out: it would be an unfortunate waste. But, I
    > think if you are banking on the problem being solved by the Linux
    > distributors suddenly changing their minds and agreeing to start
    > shipping the newly-licensed X as-is, you will be very poor indeed .


    To _not_ fork, if there is good reason, would also be a big mistake.

    There has been a considerable change in "governance" within the
    XFree86 project, and the fact that they have chosen to change the
    license shows that _something_ is going on.

    Evidently, the project means to change the intent of the license,
    otherwise they would not have bothered changing the wording. If they
    actually considered the change to be trivial, there would be little
    point in arousing suspicion by doing so.

    Also keep in mind: this is NOT a situation of "mindless GPL advocates"
    rejecting it. Theo De Raadt, of the OpenBSD project, is anything but
    a fan of the GPL. He also concluded that OpenBSD couldn't include
    PostgreSQL, another BSD-licensed system, because they refused to
    change license wording to fit with his lawyer's recommendations.

    The _serious_ thing going on is the politicking surrounding the
    XFree86 Project; something _is_ rotten, "in the state of Denmark," and
    the opposition taking place doesn't strike me as wrong-headed.

    Credible people like Jim Gettys and Keith Packard have been rebuffed
    by Dr Dawes' "cabal;" it all goes together to indicate quite a big
    problem, big enough that forking does not seem unwarranted.

    OpenBSD split off of NetBSD because they couldn't work together;
    apparently the same is true here.
    --
    let name="cbbrowne" and tld="acm.org" in name ^ "@" ^ tld;;
    http://cbbrowne.com/info/x.html
    Rules of the Evil Overlord #158. "I will exchange the labels on my
    folder of top-secret plans and my folder of family recipes. Imagine
    the hero's surprise when he decodes the stolen plans and finds
    instructions for Grandma's Potato Salad."


  15. Re: XFree86 4.4 licensing

    The Ghost In The Machine writes in comp.windows.x:
    |[2] X from www.x.org is now at version 6.6. Why the
    | lag regarding XFree86?

    Work is in progress on the next X.Org release, which will incorporate
    most of the XFree86 4.4.0 changes that aren't covered by the new
    license. If you want to try it early, the CVS tree is now publically
    available - see http://www.freedesktop.org/Software/xorg

    --
    __________________________________________________ ______________________
    Alan Coopersmith alanc@alum.calberkeley.org
    http://www.CSUA.Berkeley.EDU/~alanc/ aka: Alan.Coopersmith@Sun.COM
    Working for, but definitely not speaking for, Sun Microsystems, Inc.

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