Non-free (?) GLX code under GLX Public License and SGI Free Software Licence B
agger at c.dk
Tue May 6 11:09:51 PDT 2008
Daniel Stone wrote:
> It's definitely on the list of things that should be remedied at some
> point, but I don't know of anyone rewriting the GLX code right now.
> We've already managed to get rid of all code under the (rather similar,
> IIRC) CID licence, and I think GLX is the only obnoxiously-licensed
> piece of code left. Right now, our policy is to only accept MIT/X11 and
> non-four-clause-BSD software (or anything with a more liberal license
> than that).
> Patches welcome, I'm sure. :)
Thanks a lot for this response. I've started looking at this bug on
behalf of the Gobuntu project, which aims to build a completely free
(according to the definition of the FSF) version of Ubuntu.
This is an important thing thing to get fixed for many downstream
distributions: Debian has marked the corresponding bug as "serious",
while Ubuntu and many others have a policy of keeping non-free code away
from the main repositories, which is impractical at least as the Ubuntu
source code is structured right now (see  for the current status of
this bug in Ubuntu).
Other distributions such as Fedora have similar issues, even though I
don't know how they handle this particular issue. The Debian people seem
to have at least started working on convincing SGI to change the
licensing of their GLX implementation; do people on this list know of
any suct contacts, or have an idea about SGI's attitude to this?
SGI have released other things in X under more permissive licenses, so
maybe they would want to do this with the GLX stuff also; the present
licensing makes their code problematic for many distributions, and I
suppose they originally published it so it could be used.
If not, the GLX code will need to be replaced - but I'm not even
qualified (as yet) to estimate the magnitude of this task. Can anyone
give a qualified guess as to the man-hours needed for a reimplementation
- we are talking weeks or months, I suppose? Plus extensive testing on
many kinds of equipment. Which is why a relicensing of the SGI code is
much to be preferred if at all possible.
More information about the xorg