GPL and missing licenses in xf86-input-keyboard? (was Re: [ANNOUNCE] xf86-input-keyboard1.2.2)

Paulo Cesar Pereira de Andrade pcpa at
Thu Sep 6 12:56:14 PDT 2007

Matthieu Herrb wrote:

>>   Is there something preventing relicensing "Xorg" under GPL?
> Yes. Several organisations using/contributing to X.Org rely on the
> MIT/X11 license.
  I believe it is a minimal percentage, and I am sure 90% of people that 
wrote Xorg code would not object to having it relicensed under GPL. I 
would not.
>>   I think a full GPL relicensed Xorg could be the required change to 
>> make the X server receive the same community/industry attention of Linux 
>> kernel and/or gnome/kde, so that end users could buy a new computer and 
>> expect to have things like full 3d acceleration, video, etc working, 
>> instead of frequently needing to use something like the vesa driver and 
>> only unaccelerated 2d.
> No. As long as drivers are dynamically loaded, the GPL will not force
> vendors to release sources. Persuading them to open their drivers is not
> a matter of licenses.
  I am not talking exactly about forcing vendors to release source, but 
a way to attract more talented developers and hopefully some of them 
with full access/knowledge about the hardware, maybe an employee 
contributing directly to Xorg. But source/specs availability would solve 
a potential problem of needing to have a binary for every major Linux 
distro,  and maybe someday providing *BSD binary drivers.
  (There are some vendors that provides Mandriva binaries, but guess 
what, most of the time, they don't even work with the "release" they 
should support, and upgrading Kernel/GCC/X just breaks everything).
>>   Forgive the fact that I have been away from XFree86/Xorg for some 
>> years... But XFree86 tried to make an infrastructure to try to make it 
>> easy for hardware vendors to provide binary only drivers as an option, 
>> but this never became an reality (stable/reliable drivers built by the 
>> hardware vendor).
> stability and reliability have also few direct relationship with the
> availability of the source code.
  Unless an user chooses to recompile/debug, and potentially contribute 
back changes. But to protect their's interests, hardware manufacturers 
end up with a lot of unhappy customers, due to malfunctioning software.
  But I believe several companies don't release source because, it is so 
poorly written and hacked, it could became negative  marketing.

  GPUs are becoming way more complex than standard CPUs, and are moving 
a huge amount of money (not infrequently half the cost of a new system 
is only the graphics card), but most of it is for games, and here we 
have an chicken and egg problem. People don't port games to Linux/BSD 
because not only there is few market, the interface (X/3D) is unstable, 
and hardware vendors don't provide better graphics support because there 
is few demand. Maybe if the kernel required a fully functional "GPU 
driver" to boot, or something like that, the hardware vendors would be 
pressed enough to offer a better solution to Linux/BSD users.

  The hardware vendors should be very active in Kernel and X development.


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