Re: Mission statement and 1.1 license issues

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On Thu, 25 Mar 2004, John Bradford wrote:

> My opinion of the whole situation is that the XFree86 licensing
> situation was a complete mess _before_ the 1.1 license, but it was
> just about managable in practice.  The introduction of the 1.1 license
> was one tiny step further away from that, but one which has been very
> visible, and as a result of this, many users are acknowledging the
> problems that existed before for the first time.
> I don't believe that the license change in itself is a serious
> practical problem.  The new license is not really any more restrictive
> than many of the other licenses that were used in various places of
> the source tree.
> This fact makes it easy for anybody who is so inclined to say that
> very little has changed, and claim that anybody who is complaining is
> making a lot of noise over nothing.
> Maybe the real issue is infact with the mission statement of the
> XFree86 project, rather than it's license.
> The mission statement of the XFree86 project says nothing directly
> about serving the existing userbase of the XFree86 project.

   I for one do not consider myself to be a public servant.
XFree86 is a hobby of mine.  I work on the parts that are
interesting to me, and do not feel obligated to work on things
that are of interest to other people.  I believe that, with few
exceptions, the people who have contributed the most to the
XFree86 project are of the same opinion.

   I belive that XFree86 has gotten much criticism from some
parties (Linux distributions, in particular) who feel that the
XFree86 project should be serving their needs.  The XFree86
project isn't an industry consortium and isn't likely to ever
be.  If people want an industry consortium, they can talk to

   I believe the XFree86 mission statement was rewritten to
clarify that XFree86 was focused on being developer driven
rather than being driven by the needs of the consumers.  It
implies that the only way for consumers (industry consumers
included) to have a say in XFree86, is to become developers.

   One might argue that the license change doesn't necessarily
go along with the mission statement, since it's not clear to
me that the majority of XFree86 developers (even if you only
include the most active ones) thought that a license change
was in order.  I myself do not, though I also don't see what
the big deal is.  For me, I'd rather see the license reverted,
but I agree with the mission statement.


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