No subject

Tue Aug 30 17:20:58 CDT 2005

It might marginally simplify your life at a terrible price.

Some questions:
Wouldn't abolishing copyright simplify your life?
Probably? Right?

Would you be prepared to pay the price?
Probably not? Right?

> Wine still requires huge capital investments to
> make it work, and any company that is going to
> invest hundreds of thousands of dollars is
> naturally going to demand ownership of the resulting
> work product.  It it were LGPL, it would be
> an easy negotiation - I'd just say "Sorry, can't
> do it."  End of story. 

If copyright didn't exists you could release the code anyway,
but as I said you wouldn't want to pay the price would you?
> I know that the naysayers will jump on this and say
> "Oh, but then you wouldn't have had any customers,
> they would have been scared away by the LGPL."
> To this I respond very simply:  bullshit.
> I was there for each of these sales processes,
> and each customer was primarily interested
> in the end result, not in the nitty gritty
> license details.

The question is not whether LGPL scare away your customers,
the question is whether it scares away other businesses
from investing in Wine.

Obviously specialist consulting services like CodeWeavers
can survive in any market almost regardless of the rules of
the market, as I explain in another mail. This is quite
unintresting as far as LGPL is concerned though.
> There is an analogy I recall from when I took
> a physics and public policy class.  If a physicist
> stands up and says "It's a bad idea to build
> chemical weapons" nobody will listen to the physicist's
> opinion - they just get a different physicist to do the
> dirty work. If, instead, she stands up and says "It won't work.  
> The inverse poleron field conclusively prevents that."  
> There is no more debate, and public policy moves on to protecting
> chickens from acid rain or something else.

Obviously, if something is impossible then it is.
> So, my business is threatened, because CodeWeavers
> is trying to be the best physicists in town.
> If I, as a matter of principle, refuse
> to work on chemical weapons, I lose business because
> my customers hire different physicists who will
> build chemical weapons.

OK. I can see your point but that comes with as
I said a terrible price.
> Okay, let me drop the analogy and come back to
> straightforward facts.  If I believe in the LGPL,
> and release all of my code to WineHQ under the
> BSD despite that, then I am a fool.  Transgaming,
> Lindows, name your new competitor, each of them
> can take the best of my work and use it in their
> product.

The world is not a simple place. There are few
things that are 100% wrong or 100% right.
Yes, you can get some "protection" but are you
prepared to pay the price?

> I'm sure Transgaming doesn't have any problem using any
> of the great new Window management code or
> Window messaging code we wrote.  In fact, the
> InstallShield 6 stuff wouldn't be *possible*
> without that code.  However, if I had it to do
> over again, I would not have released that code
> under the BSD license.

Please note what Dimitrie O. Paun said that the LGPL
only extends to the DLL boundaries. That was one
of the few things everybody seemed to argee on,
even Alexandre last debate.

So even with LGPL, they could still have used it.
the DCOM stuff they did was in another DLL.

I must emphasize this.
This is VERY IMPORTANT that you realize.

> So, I think there are several fundamental problems:
>     1.  The current license encourages forks.
>         We have the WineX fork; I think that Lindows
>         is still formulating their strategy, but
>         they have publicly stated that they like
>         having some proprietary pieces, this certainly
>         suggests another fork of Wine.
>         You can argue that the pain of maintaining
>         a separate fork is so great, and the work of
>         merging in the BSD code is so hard, that people will
>         just naturally contribute their code back.
>         We do merges of six month drifts on a regular
>         basis; it's just not that painful (the last
>         one took Francois 2 days; the resulting bug
>         fixes probably took 3 or 4 days).

The question is not how hard it is rather why they would want
to waste any resources on it at all. Most companies would
benefit very little from not submitting non strategic code.

>         If this argument held any water, then Transgaming
>         would have just been forced to contribute
>         the Direct3D and IS6 support back.

The Direct3D stuff is quite seperate and the IS6 stuff are
IIRC in quite seldom changed parts of Wine. 

Your real world example is not very good.
>     2.  The current license discourages competitors
>         from releasing their code.
>         Since I believe in the LGPL, but compete with Transgaming
>         and Lindows, contributing my code under the current license
>         is like giving my competitors my very best and getting nothing
>         in return.  
>         You know, the concept of making money on Free 
> software is crazy
>         enough without enabling your competitors into the mix.
>         And, much as Gav and I are friends, we do compete.  I 
> have been
> in 
>         sales situations with embedded customers where gaming 
> expertise
>         was required.  Now, Gav has the best of what I can do, and I
> have
>         little or none of what Transgaming did.
>         In hindsight, if I had it to do over again,
>         I would have held out all code we had done
>         over the past year or two.  Where would Wine
>         and Transgaming be if we had done that?

Hard to tell. But everything comes with a price.
Will you pay it? And even if if you will. Should Wine? 
>     3.  The current license is harmful to the growth 
>         of Wine, because it creates a murky, uncertain ground.
>         This is true for a lot of reasons.  First, I think
>         we all sort of kind of hope that any corporate
>         Wine citizens will follow some sort of unwritten
>         ethical code of conduct.  That is, we'd like
>         the corporate citizens to pitch in and help Wine
>         to grow.
>         Having unwritten rules is foolish, IMO.
>         The current license specifies:  go ahead and do
>         anything you want - we don't care.  But I think
>         we do care (*I* care).  So corporate citizens
>         spend all their time worrying about this
>         middle ground of perception (how much time
>         do you think this debate is taking away from
>         my people, and the Wine hacking they could do?)
>         Well, a Copyleft license provides potential
>         corporate citiziens with written rules.
>         Second, it clarifies the code issues.  Right now,
>         say I wanted to work on a game.  Well, gosh, just
>         how should I do that?  Should I work against the WineX
>         tree?  But if I do that, I can't really talk about
>         it on wine-devel, and I can't really share my work
>         with others.  Ah heck, maybe Transgaming will fix
>         my game.  I'm just going to reboot over to Windows.
>         And if you don't think that's a serious problem,
>         just look at the Wine project historically.  Over
>         the past five years, game related patches have
>         overwhelmingly dominated wine-devel.  Over the
>         past 12-18 months of Transgaming?  Virtually dead.
>         Add to that the new problem of CodeWeavers now
>         being unwilling to contribute their code under
>         the current license.
>         In my opinion, all the developers will just throw
>         up their hands and go work on something else, and
>         I think that would be a great tragedy.

Well we will see, however we should think both once or twice
before going down the one way street that LGPL is.
> I hope that helps.  
> Looking back on this, I see nothing but kindling.
> If you want to raise a point or an argument that is a variation on
> something we've heard before, just don't.  
> And if you're not a contributor to Wine, please don't
> respond at all.  You can flame me privately.  Or go find a different
> mailing list.
> I would really prefer to hear only what Wine contributors
> think about this.

Well, I really hope I qualify.
Read what I have written and think about it.

> p.s.  For the record, in my mind, Dan Kegel qualifies as a major
> contributor to Wine.  It is through his hard work that we 
> have a chance
> that the U.S. court system will put into place systems that will make
> Wine development easier and protect Wine from predatory action
> from Microsoft.

I guess that was I stab at me. 

As explaination I was irritated on all non-contributors that posted
their crap, so I just happend to take it out on somebody whose name
I didn't recognize, so I'm sorry that Dan Kegel happend to get in
the way.

More information about the wine-devel mailing list