Subject: Re: Can open source cost money?
From: kragen@pobox.com (Kragen)
Date: Wed, 26 Aug 1998 15:40:34 -0400 (EDT)

On Wed, 26 Aug 1998 shap@eros.cis.upenn.edu wrote:
> My hypothetical grant was made to the X Consortium in the reasonable
> expection that a gratis version of any program using that code would
> be distributed.  If all versions of X11r6 are priorietery, this has
> been violated.

True, but not all versions of X11R6 *are* proprietary -- just the new
ones.

(And even the proprietary ones are still gratis, if not libre.)

> As long as X11 was free, it controlled enough seats that it was
> difficult to marginalize.  If the libre seats shrink, prioprietizing
> the [graphics] card interfaces becomes more justifiable, and then 
> we're all in a world of hurt.

XFree86 controls more seats than the rest of X11, and that number grows
every year.  I don't think X11 on PCs was *ever* a significant force
before XFree86.

What's making proprietizing those interfaces more justifiable is the
vanishingly small number of people using OSes without graphics-card
drivers.  In the past, graphics-card makers had to release specs so
that software makers could support their cards.  Now they don't -- they
just release a Windows95 driver.

> Given this, and speaking solely for myself, I would rather see TOG
> cease to support X11 than see them successfully render it proprietary.

I don't think there was ever any chance of that.  The Unix vendors
depend too much on the continued existence and development of X.

Kragen

-- 
<kragen@pobox.com>       Kragen Sitaker     <http://www.pobox.com/~kragen/>
We are forming cells within a global brain and we are excited that we might
start to think collectively.  What becomes of us still hangs crucially on
how we think individually.  -- Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the Web