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Old 08-19-2004, 08:48 PM   #1
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Rep: Reputation: 0 Vs whats the diff.

I am noticing some distro's switching X server binaries. My question is whats the diff. between the two?

Old 08-19-2004, 08:55 PM   #2
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From what I've read, is a fork off XFree86 because XFree changed their license to one that nearly nobody likes.

Right now, there isn't a whole lot of diff betwixt the two. But, as different coders work on them, they will slowly diverge... Much like Mandrake did from Red Hat, even though it started out as "99.999% compatible".
Old 08-19-2004, 09:01 PM   #3
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Thats sad to hear. I am aware that used to be commercial(correct me if I am wrong), is this how XFree86 came to existance?

What are the main diff. between the two license's?
Old 08-19-2004, 09:32 PM   #4
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Errr... I was a bit off...

The X Consortium organized in 1988 to direct the development of X. It desolved in 1996 and ownership of X passed into the hands the Open Group, an outgrowth of the OSF. In 1999, ownership passed to, which was a tech group in the Open Group.

XFree86 was also a part of the Open Group, focused on the i86 version. As XFree became more popular and more advanced, incorporated it's advances into it's own releases. It lagged though, so there wasn't any reason to switch. had once tried to change the license to something people didn't like. It quickly changed back. When XFree recently switched, people complained again, but XFree wouldn't back down. So, distros started switching to, which technically isn't a fork of XFree.

All this is taken from the Debian page...
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Old 08-19-2004, 09:52 PM   #5
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ranger_nemo Thank You so much for that link. Now I understand.
Old 08-19-2004, 10:28 PM   #6
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I hesitate to post because i have little direct knowledge
and to that end do not wish to gissip...
I'm not so sure the riff was actually about liscense
some small thing about opening cvs read only to the public but no public bug tracking
and still tight controll over code commit ????????
can't really figure how that's a big problem but people are calling this
"limit the involvement of contributors that are required to make it better."

I personally think the switch is because big companies and money are behind

x .org i think however is going to put advances made to xfree into it's review process....

but personally i fear overly complex code and support leaning toward propriatary hardware of certain corporations that participate in the pay to play proccess. a true example of
"limit the involvement of contributors that are required to make it better."
and include corporations whose sole purpose is to cop it for themselves.

as far as i know xfree is not tied to huge computer manufacturers that are tied to the us government like is and the us navy is a member of
we all know how the pentagon was involved in the funding of the computer research at mit
(a way for the us government to funnel tax money to the benifit of tech companies who rip off the work and sell it back to the public) this is
Metro Link
Shiman Associates
Silicon Graphics Incorporated
Starnet Communications
Sun Microsystems
The XFree86 Project
US Navy
Xi Graphics

as to the liscence it is a little strange and can be seen as conflicting with GPL in some very small ways....
however within Linux developement circles conflicting with GPL in a small way is not a small issue....
these are some of the relavent sections:

3) The end-user documentation included with the redistribution, if any,
must include the following acknowledgment: "This product includes
software developed by The XFree86 Project, Inc
( and its contributors", in the same place
and form as other third-party acknowledgments. Alternately, this
acknowledgment may appear in the software itself, in the same form
and location as other such third-party acknowledgments.

this presumable would apply to everything linked to xlibs which is alot.
now in GLP you find

6. Each time you redistribute the Program (or any work based on the
Program), the recipient automatically receives a license from the
original licensor to copy, distribute or modify the Program subject to
these terms and conditions. You may not impose any further
restrictions on the recipients' exercise of the rights granted herein.
You are not responsible for enforcing compliance by third parties to
this License.

the operative line is "You may not impose any further restrictions"
Since the GPL does not force you to add acknowledgement in the end-user
distribution, the clause 3) above from Xfree liscense is a further restriction
thus breaking GPL ???????????

seems like that one could be worked out yes ???????????


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