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

  • To: xen-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • From: Magnus Boman <captain.magnus@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2007 14:04:03 +1000
  • Delivery-date: Thu, 13 Sep 2007 21:04:43 -0700
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  • List-id: Xen user discussion <xen-users.lists.xensource.com>

On Thu, 2007-09-13 at 21:09 -0600, Tao Shen wrote:
> 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.

Why not?

> 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 

Off course it is.

> 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?  

No, I think your understanding is wrong. How would an open source
company make money without doing something like that?

> Windows paravirtualization drivers are released in closed source.  That 
> alone is fishy at best.  Also, I had this question:  even though 

Nothing fishy with it at all.

> 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?

I'm sure MS wouldn't mind if you pay them as well. But my guess is that
MS only provided technical documents (under NDA) and XENSource wrote the
drivers. That's why they can't be open sourced. And again, this is
another way for an open source company to make money.

> 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.

XENSource is not selling the code. It's GPL'd, meaning you are not
allowed to sell it. I'm guessing that XENSource also packaging admin
utilities which is not open source, and support, hence they charge money
for it.

> 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 

Haha... You crack me up. openSUSE is a fork of SLE? Since when? Both
openSUSE and SLE is freely available. It's only if you want an automatic
way to install updates, and get support that you have to pay.

> 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?

Buying XENSource did not (and can not) un-GPL the code.

> 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.

Ah! I didn't actually read your email all the way down before I hit
reply. So you can forget about my first question.

> 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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