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Re: [Xen-users] Does it legal to analysize XEN source code and write a book about it ?

  • To: jian zhang <cheechuang@xxxxxxxxx>
  • From: Tao Shen <taoshen1983@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2007 21:09:58 -0600
  • Cc: xen-users <xen-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Delivery-date: Thu, 13 Sep 2007 20:10:32 -0700
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Well, my point is this: if you have "analysize"d Xen, perhaps you shouldn't have written a book about it, at least not in English.

On the issue of Xen being purchased by Citrix, I was wondering about the issues of legality. Is it even legal for a corporation(Citrix) to purchase an open source package, of which was contributed by thousands of open source developers, and is it legal for a corporation(XenSource) who basically combines a lot of open source package(qemu device drivers and their paravirtualization based on the linux kernel) into one to sell the technology as if they owned it? When Xen was doing their Xen Enterprise, Xen Windows, and Xen Express separation, I knew this XenSource was going to be bought. While it's perfectly legal for XenSource to provide open source service...selling support packages(to amazon EC2 for example), but forcing the bundling of support with an "enterprise" edition is pushing the boundaries of GPL. At least that's my understanding of the GPL. Doesn't anyone here smell something? Windows paravirtualization drivers are released in closed source. That alone is fishy at best. Also, I had this question: even though Microsoft had a deal with XenSource to bundle windows paravirtualization drivers with Xen, shouldn't we pay Microsoft for the drivers instead of paying XenSource for their Xen "Windows" Edition?

Comparing this behavior to VMware or Parallels, at least VMware and Parallels wrote their code they are selling. Every line of it. VMware workstation 6 will also be using paravirtualization techniques. VMware ESX was criticized for using Linux as the backend...but the point is: Vmware wrote very single line of their own kernel that runs on top of linux kernel including device emulation, and windows drivers even. Xen cannot say the same. For one thing: all their devices are emulated by qemu. That's why they can't do 3D yet like VMware and parallels.

Enough rambling. It's too bad the open source community has turned into this way: giving a limited basic version and upselling an Enterprise version and continue to ask for open source developer to code their stuff for free(MySQL comes to mind) There is a reason why CentOS was forked from RHEL and why OpenSuSE was a fork of SLES. I predict that there will be a fork of openXen from the last checkpoint where Xen was bought. To me personally, it just doesn't make any sense that XenSource is capitalizing on the work of thousands of engineers from INTEL, AMD...shouldn't the developers who contributed to be paid individually as well?

So, in conclusion, Jian, I think you should be free of legal issues to write a book about the source code or at least the code before it was bought.(I think the freedom of speech alone justifies it), btw, the first line was a joke, don't be offended.

jian zhang wrote:
Hi all:
Previously we have analysize Xen source code, and we have wrote a book about the code. BUT now, I noticed that xen has been purchased by Citrix <http://www.cnetnews.com.cn/list-0-0-16406-0-1.htm>, so does it legal to publish that book???

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