Subject: Re: Optimal license for Java projects ...
From: David Johnson <>
Date: Fri, 14 Mar 2003 20:51:10 -0800

On Friday 14 March 2003 08:03 pm, Ian Lance Taylor wrote:

> Obviously you are correct that nobody took away the original free
> code.  But this is an example of a proprietary fork in which
> end-users suffered.  They could not incorporate improvements to the
> free X Window system code on their own systems, because they were not
> able to build their own servers.  I was one of those people myself,
> so it's not purely abstract.

I forgot about that one. You'll have to forgive my shaky memory, because 
the obvious success of the free versions tends to eclipse the others. I 
think that OpenWindows and MetroX are the only others still in the 
running. OpenWindows is platform specific and MetroX seems to be 
relegated to specialty niches. (The Windows based X servers are a 
different category IMO).

What caused the previous preponderance of incompatible proprietary X 
implementations? I would point the finger not at the license but at the 
Open Group, who could never make up their mind if they wanted the code 
to be free or not. It seems to me that they actually encouraged 
proprietary forks. But one thing that didn't happen was a fork of the 
standard itself. You can read about those that tried it in the history 
books. In this the MIT (not BSD) license was successful.

David Johnson
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