Clarification on my call for license change

David Elliott dfe at
Fri Feb 15 22:02:01 CST 2002

On 2002.02.15 11:12 Steve Langasek wrote:
> Since Jeremy has stated his intention to release future code changes only
> under Copyleft, the decision for Wine contributors to make is a simple
> one: do you believe that the benefits of potential additional corporate,
> closed-source adopters of Wine outweigh the certain loss of code
> contributions from Codeweavers, a known active contributor?

Well said.

While I don't want to put-down other contributors to Wine, CodeWeavers has 
contributed an extremely significant amount of code to Wine.  Wine has 
gotten better by leaps and bounds lately and much of this is due to the 
contributions of CodeWeavers.  And what wasn't done by CodeWeavers 
themselves was likely made possible because of work that CodeWeavers did.

CodeWeavers has breathed a lot of life into this project.  A year or two 
ago there wasn't a prayer in hell of running much of anything and at the 
pace development was going at Wine might be closed to finished sometime 
after Microsoft reveals the successor to .NET (yeah, you read that right).

At the current pace Wine looks like it may very well be finished by the 
end of the year.  By finished I mean that we'll actually have a stable 
version 1.1 that runs most off the shelf applications.

It is a dream of mine that one day I can stop saying: well, Linux is 
actually pretty good on the desktop but you still can't run Windows 
applications.  I'd much rather say: Linux is good on the desktop, you can 
still run your legacy Windows applications, and new Linux programs can 
take advantage of all that POSIX goodness :-).

Anyway, the bottom line is that regardless of what the Wine developers 
decide, CodeWeavers has every right to make an LGPL tree.  Given the 
choice of CodeWeavers releasing no code at all, or releasing under the 
LGPL, which do you prefer?  If this happens, a developer could choose to 
contribute to either the official Wine tree or the CodeWeavers LGPL tree 
or possibly to both.  My guess is that the LGPL tree will thrive and most 
everyone will forget about the official tree except for those that 
absolutely require an X11'd Wine.  And if this happens, what's to stop 
Alexandre from saying the hell with this official tree, I'd rather go 
maintain the one with real promise.  Of course since the official tree is 
Alexandre's the previous official tree then becomes unofficial and the 
LGPL tree becomes official.

The second outcome is that the official Wine tree could become LGPL and 
those who want an X11 licensed Wine will more than likely fork and make 
their own tree.  But what happens then.. same outcome, Alexandre maintains 
the official LGPL tree, everyone develops on it because it's the only tree 
worth anything, and the X11 tree is forgotten except by those entities who 
require the X11 licensed tree.

Personally, I'd rather see the official tree just become LGPL and let the 
others maintain their own X11 tree.  Or we can go about it the hard way.  
Of course all of this is assuming that the LGPLed tree will advance faster 
than the X11 tree.  Given the contributions of CodeWeavers alone I think 
the LGPLed tree will advance much faster.  This is ignoring any arguments 
that development will surely be better with the X11 license or surely be 
better with the LGPL license which we all could argue about until we're 
blue in the face.

The bottom line is that if the biggest contributor to the project wants to 
go LGPL then you can bet their tree will be better.


More information about the wine-devel mailing list