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

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

First, Xen is free software. While it is licensed under the GNU GPL
it is free software. Please stop calling it open source. "Open Source"
is a 
misnomer. For a program to be free, its source is already considered to
"Open", but that is just one requisite. To also be free, you must be
able to
copy it, share it, package it and sell it yourself.

Some programs are open source but not free, many of them Microsoft
They have a developer network where members get a new set of CD's every
with new goodies on them that have source code included. This is open
not free. You can't share those programs or their source code, if you
improve the 
code the only people you can share your imrpovements with is Microsoft.

Xen (GPL) is free software. Xen has (Keir would have to pull the patch
graphs since 
day1 to list them) _MANY_ substantial contributors who own the copyright
to their 
code. Just like the Linux kernel. In order for that to change, you would
have to get 
every single major contributor in agreement, I don't think that would
ever happen.

Unique (a bit) to Xen is the fact that so many major contributors are
paid by their
employers (such as AMD, IBM, Novell, and others). Depending on the
agreement between
the authors and their respective companies, those companies may also
have a stake in 

> When Xen was doing their Xen Enterprise, Xen Windows, and Xen Express 
> separation, 
> I knew this XenSource was going to be bought.

XenSource is shifting their development focus to a completely different
kind of market
for virtualization, did you read any of the press and subsequent buzz
after the sale?

Xen (Free) is seeing most adaptation on servers. Xen (ent) is going
directly for desktop use and other uses in industry besides the typical
PV dom-u farm.

I'm sure that XenSource will keep an eye on the direction Xen is going,
however they
_must_ be completely different projects or they violate their own
license unless they
give you source code with XenEnt.

> 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.  

No its not. XenEnt is not GPL. It does not contain GPL code. It is not a
developed product. How are they pushing anything? Xen (GPL) and Xen
(ENT) are two
completely different code bases from my understanding, or you would get
source code
with XenEnt. XenSource does _NOT_ own the entire code base to Xen (GPL)
and thus can
not dual license it.

> At least that's 
> my understanding of the GPL.  Doesn't anyone here smell something?  

Yeah, but I suspect its coming from my armpit. Please don't dig up dirt
outside to 
throw on a perfectly clean floor inside. 

> Windows paravirtualization drivers are released in closed source.  That 
> alone is fishy at best.

They are under no obligation to release those drivers GPL. I think they
were talking about it once, not sure what happened. If I'm correct,
those drivers would need a bit of hacking to get into place anyway.

> 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?

No, You should pay the people who wrote them. Actually, you shouldn't
pay anyone. Don't use Microsoft products and the problem goes away :)

> Comparing this behavior to VMware or Parallels, at least VMware and 
> Parallels wrote their code they are selling.  Every line of it.

So did MySQL. Please, I don't know how to make it more clear, Xen (GPL)
and XenEnt are different things totally. It seems like you have a
misconception that XenEnt is a polished
up version of the GPL version of Xen, it is not, it could not be, or
XenSource violates its own license and has been for years. I _SINCERELY_
doubt that :)

> 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)

XenEnt is nothing like MySQL. Its a completely different code base and
project. MySQL dual licenses their code and does not accept things
beyond trivial patches so that they retain full copyright. 

XenEnt is NOT free , its NOT open source. It just so happens that
XenSource manages both code bases. One is a bag of apples, one is a bag
of oranges. 

>   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.  

I highly, highly doubt that. 

Its one thing to ask questions when you don't understand things. Its
another to propagate misinformation based on known misunderstandings (as
you indicated, you aren't quite clear on it).

It might be wise to refrain from such things in the future, or your only
starting a fire 
for the benefit of being the one to say 'fire'.


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