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Mozilla.org Announces Intent to Dual-License Mozilla

Wednesday August 16th, 2000

Mozilla.org announced today their intention to dual-license the whole of the Mozilla codebase under the MPL (Mozilla Public License) and the GPL (Gnu Public License). There is more information available in this news post, and the FAQ at mozilla.org.


#1 Bravo!

by jelwell

Wednesday August 16th, 2000 3:45 PM

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Now with GNOME/Nautilus/Star Office/Mozilla all rolled into the GNOME foundation Linux is going to start making some desktop headlines. Not to mention what Star Office/Mozilla could do for Windows. Joseph Elwell.

#2 Free Mozilla!

by loadrunner

Wednesday August 16th, 2000 4:26 PM

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Looks like it will be able to leave Nescape's "fish bowl" and jump into the ocean soon!

Wonder why it took so long, but then maybe the lizard needed to reach maturity before its release.

#3 Does it matter?

by ERICmurphy <murphye@gmail.com>

Wednesday August 16th, 2000 4:40 PM

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Apparently a person can take any Moz code, change it, and then GPL it.

I am not sure why people see the GPL as something better than the Moz license. Just look on Slashdot at all the posts on this.

At least I can read the MPL easily...

#4 Untrue.

by jelwell

Wednesday August 16th, 2000 5:09 PM

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The idea that someone could take MPL code and change it then relicense as GPL is just wrong. If you read the informed slashdot comments you'll find that even Galeon needed to relicense their product to something that was not GPL (it was GPL with an extra clause). That extra clause differentiates the License enough to make the two incompatible. So still Galeon could not include certain pieces of code - instead they require a seperate download of Mozilla to run Galeon.

#5 What is the point???

by rgelb <nospam@nospam.com>

Wednesday August 16th, 2000 7:06 PM

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This GNOME foundation seems like such a mismatched and a non-starter idea. It reminds me of when Borland threw completely mismatched products together and called it an Office just to put out something out there to compete with MS. Here we have several non-entities on the desktop front getting together and saying: "Hey, look here, we got something to compete with ms". Never mind, that the browser is at least half a year from being done and when it is, who knows how it will be received (with the current UI). Never mind, that StarOffice is virtually unusable to anyone who has ever used MS Office. Never mind that Linux is installed on less then 1% of desktops. Other than marketing, can someone explain what was the point of that?

#6 Re: What is the point???

by mattdm <mattdm@mattdm.org>

Wednesday August 16th, 2000 9:00 PM

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This is probably a troll, and I probably shouldn't respond, but I'm going to anyway.

1) IDG (<http://www.idc.com/itforecaster/itf20000808.stm>) shows linux *client* shipment market share at 4.1%. And that's not even talking about freely downloaded/distributed copies. For reference, MacOS is at 5.0%.

2) Star Office may be different from MS Office in many ways, but the basic "Office" functionality is quite easy for many people to pick up. Plus, unlike Borland's suite, it *is* an integrated product -- perhaps too much so. (The upcoming componentized version can't do anything but help.) The other partners mentioned are above and beyond what normally makes up an office suite, which makes sense, because GNOME is more than that.

3) What'dya mean about the browser not being well received with the current UI? The UI is very changable -- that's the point.

#7 oh yeah

by mattdm <mattdm@mattdm.org>

Wednesday August 16th, 2000 9:01 PM

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No matter what comes of it all marketwise, we'll get some neat new toys. It's not all about fighting Microsoft.

#8 Re: Re: What is the point???

by rgelb <nospam@nospam.com>

Wednesday August 16th, 2000 9:29 PM

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First off, I am not a troll. I've been checking out builds since m9. Plus, I've written software utilizing moz.

1. I do not dispute the IDG figures, but figures talk about shipments. I am talking about an installed base. A lot people purchased Linux to see what it is all about. After playing with it for a month, they gave up on it because it didn't support something (winmodem, USB, DSL, whatever...) or didn't want to get into compiling patches. So I seriously doubt that Linux installed base on the client is at even 1%. Think of 100 people you know (NOT including programmers, just end-users) at work or friends who use Linux as their primary OS. It is doubtful that many people know the statistical 4.1 persons. For instance, I don't know of any large company that has their people working on Linux.

2. What I meant to say was that once you used Office2k, in terms of functionality and ease of use, it is difficult to go back to StarOffice. I've installed StarOffice on Linux and Windows. On Windows, there is simply no comparison to Office2k. On Linux, I thought it was pretty good, except the startup time is ferocious and I ended up using WordPerfect. When I talk about integration, I am saying that there is absolutely no integration between the members of GNOME foundation. Moz is doing its own thing and is not skinnable by GNOME skinz, StarOffice is going its own direction... In other words, this is an alliance in words only.

3. 90% of users will never change a skin. The proof is that I see winamp on many desktops at work and have yet to see it have a different skin. When people see a skinned winamp on my desktop, they don't know what to make of it. That said, the Modern skin will turn off a great many people. But the UI is a topic for a different discussion.

#9 Re: Re: Re: What is the point???

by arielb

Wednesday August 16th, 2000 10:15 PM

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"For instance, I don't know of any large company that has their people working on Linux. " guess IBM and Dell aren't big enough <http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1003-200-2528316.html>

#17 Re: Re: Re: Re: What is the point???

by rgelb <nospam@nospam.com>

Thursday August 17th, 2000 10:44 AM

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First, where exactly do you see in the article that their employees have Linux as their primary OS?

Secondly, I am talking more about non-computer companies that have thousands of desktops, such as Proctor&Gamble or Deutsche Bank or AT&T. Their staff (salespeople, secretaries, tech support) is not using Linux on the desktop. At least from what I've seen.

#10 yes but... let's talk about the future !

by RvR <mozillazine@mozillazine-fr.org>

Thursday August 17th, 2000 2:03 AM

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ok, for now Linux may not be used by more than 1% of the desktop users... skins are useless most for most people... integration is difficult to achieve when you have separate projects, but things may change.

we may see pretty cool Linux desktops in a near future. look at the Helix Gnome Desktop <http://helixcode.com/desktop/> or at KDE 2...

and we could have them preinstalled on PCs or PPCs. i'm quite sure that the "average computer user" people you talk about use Windows because it comes preinstalled, not because they really want it. they would really _use_ Linux if it comes preinstalled and configured with a working Net connection (DSL or whatever)

i see Mozilla as a part of this strategy for the future.

#18 Re: yes but... let's talk about the future !

by rgelb <nospam@nospam.com>

Thursday August 17th, 2000 10:50 AM

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I agree with you on skinz. I use KDE myself. But as I've come to find out an OS is first and foremost drivers, then drivers and then drivers. Then other stuff. So my Linux partition doesn't have access to about half of the peripherals on my PC. The "average computer user" will NOT go that situation.

#15 Re: Re: Re: What is the point???

by rkl

Thursday August 17th, 2000 4:31 AM

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Sorry, but your point 1 is invalid. IDG do indeed count shipments and for *paid shipments* (CD-ROM purchases), Linux already has 4% of the market. What about the huge number of people who download Linux and install it on a machine (and maybe more than one machine) - these are untrackable installs and could well add even more Linux desktop users.

If the truth be knwon, IDG don't really know the percentage of users who have Linux (and what about dual-boot, are they counted, even if you rarely boot into Linux?) - the fact that the number of purchased copies of Linux almost rivals the Macintosh (claimed to have the best desktop interface) is surely significant ?

If Linux's desktop progress continues, we might see the surprising situation of the Mac being relegated to "third place" on the desktop - there's more software available for Linux than the Mac, Linux is a superior OS and the only think missing is the shine of a polished UI (and we've all seen the myriad of new and updated UI projects that are busy being developed right now). The fact that Mozilla (and its components thanks to the dual licensing) can be involved in all these UI projects is something to get excited about. And, yes, this could well mean a whole load of Mozilla spin-off browsers (Galeon won't be the only one) too.

#19 Re: Re: Re: Re: What is the point???

by rgelb <nospam@nospam.com>

Thursday August 17th, 2000 10:53 AM

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I agree that IDG numbers regarding Linux are irrelevant. I think a better representation would be to see what USER_AGENT is accessing sites like yahoo.com or excite.com. Then, you'll probably have a better representation.

As far as percentage goes, my number comes solely from experience.

#16 Re: What is the point???

by mattdm <mattdm@mattdm.org>

Thursday August 17th, 2000 7:13 AM

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1) The IDG figures talking about shipments don't cover what I would guess is the majority of Linux installs -- copies obtained for free.

I don't think I could come up with 100 people who use Linux as their only OS, but I *can* think of 100 who at least dual-boot. As Linux software gets further along, they'll move more and more away from MS Windows. And what will encourage that? Well, actually, I expect the GNOME Foundation to be quite a big deal.

2) I agree that StarOffice 5.0 has a terrible UI. That, again, is part of why this announcment is so cool. (They seem to be going *less* in their own direction.) At the very least, breaking it into individual components should reduce startup time.

And, moving Mozilla to the GPL will make it much more likely that things like skins become compatible.

3) I expect that the Netscape-branded version will ship with a much more conservative skin. But that's still Mozilla!

#21 Re: Re: What is the point???

by samfish

Thursday August 17th, 2000 11:42 AM

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Since this is turning into a linux debate, I'll add my $0.02.

Most people I know who bought or downloaded Linux didn't keep it on their system for more than a few moths. It has some interesting stuff, but after a few months of changing the skins for the desktop you find that there's not much to do with it. There is word processing, but that's not very fun (BTW, WordPerfect is much better than either MS Word or Staroffice and is very affordable and cross platform). Other than that youi have Gimp, which is pretty nice, but still lacking in some features that would make it a professional quality paint program. If you're into 3d graphics, there's Blender, but that thing has such a horrible and confusing interface that it defeates the powerful features it has. I took me ten minutes just to figure out how to load a file into the program.

From whaty I've seen, Linux needs to be completely rewritten. It's following the samew path MS took with dos, which is a commandline OS with a huge bloated GUI attached to it and every new feater is just being added on top of the old stuff. If you want to see someone who is doing it right, look at BeOS. It takes about 5 minutes from install to be up and running (linux and MS can't claim this... MS can't hardly boot in 5 minutes). It's easy to configure, it's small, it's fast, and it's not outdated. Once they get some application support (they already have some big names porting to their OS) They will be the ones to compete with MS for the desktop market. They just need to make some more noise like the Linux gang has been doing.

#14 Linux is on 4% of desktops

by rkl

Thursday August 17th, 2000 4:22 AM

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Funny how I've seen this "Linux is on <1% of desktops" *twice* in responses and yet an article <http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1003-200-2528316.html> on news.com way back in February completely contradicts this:

"Linux grew to 4 percent of the client market, trailing MacOS's 5 percent share, IDC said."

So no more of this "<1% Linux on the desktop" rubbish please - it's 4% at the moment and looking to overtake the Macintosh (yes, the MAC) very soon now on the desktop.

#20 Re: Linux is on 4% of desktops

by rgelb <nospam@nospam.com>

Thursday August 17th, 2000 11:04 AM

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OK, as I've said in other posts, IDG numbers are irrelevant because they reflect purchased copies. Many people purchased Linux to give it a try. Based on my experience, the number of people that actually stuck with it is very low. The number of "average computer users" using Linux is ZERO. Why don't you go and find me 4 average computer users out of a 100. I bet you can't

#11 WHEEEEEEE-HAAAAAAA!

by mpt <mpt@mailandnews.com>

Thursday August 17th, 2000 3:44 AM

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This is the best news I've heard this decade.

For a long time, the non-GPL-ness of the Mozilla license kept me from helping out with the project. (Although there would be some who would say that that was a good thing.:-) I think the same would have been the case for many other potential contributors.

This can only hasten that great day when the number of person-hours contributed by non-Netscape programmers exceeds the number of person-hours contributed by Netscape programmers.

When Mozilla developers no longer care (nearly so much) about the vagaries of Netscape's release schedule, because Mozilla itself is more important.

When it is no longer acceptable, at all, for specifications for Mozilla features to be hidden inside Netscape's firewall.

And when Netscape staffers stop referring to `the Net community' <http://bugzilla.mozilla.o…se+same+sort+as+last+time> as something outside themselves ... and, instead, start referring to themselves as part of the Mozilla community.

-- mpt

#12 what is wrong with some peoples

by billi_kid

Thursday August 17th, 2000 3:44 AM

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...why there always are some peoples which comes to you and tells you how to make your life easier when their own is miserable , and how to mastrubate to get powerest orgasm....???? like this rgelb? why why?

#13 what is wrong with some peoples

by billi_kid

Thursday August 17th, 2000 3:51 AM

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...why there always are some peoples which comes to you and tells you how to make your life easier when their own is miserable , and how to mastrubate to get powerest orgasm....???? like this rgelb? why why?

#22 Re: what is wrong with some peoples

by rgelb <nospam@nospam.com>

Thursday August 17th, 2000 1:42 PM

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1. I am not miserable. As a matter of fact, I am pretty happy in my personal life.

2. >>and how to mastrubate to get powerest orgasm<<

WTF are you talking about?

3. You life must be pretty despondent if you got all bent out of shape just because of a rant.

Cheers

#25 Re: Re: what is wrong with some peoples

by billi_kid

Friday August 18th, 2000 3:43 AM

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i just want to share with you that movie "The Matrix" is the worst i ever seen... and that you are wrong:)))

#23 Wow!

by MattyT <matty@box.net.au>

Thursday August 17th, 2000 5:48 PM

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The fact that Moz wasn't available under the GPL was beginning to increasingly annoy me over time.

This will also be very useful so people can use Mozilla more in other projects, but it will be interesting to see how it will affect the Mozilla code base.

Since GPL can only link to things that don't restrict further than the GPL, which the MPL alone does, and there's plenty of MPL code copyrighted to entities other than Netscape, purely GPL code is not going into Mozilla for a while yet. That is unless checking into the Moz tree required a copyright assignment I wasn't aware of.

#24 Re: Wow!

by dveditz

Friday August 18th, 2000 2:04 AM

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I doubt mozilla.org will allow pure-GPL code into the mozilla.org tree. Dual-licensing is so non-Mozilla GPL'd projects could make use of Mozilla/Gecko code, and in turn we hope they would return improvements (at least bugfixes) to it.

Allowing even one bit of GPL'd code back into the mozilla.org tree would force the dual licence to be treated as GPL-only. If that's what mozilla.org wanted they would not have gone to great lengths creating the MPL in the first place.

#26 GPL is not an office suite

by tny

Monday August 21st, 2000 9:46 AM

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and I'm a non-programmer (well, more or less) who uses Linux at home, doesn't have to compile patches, and changes skins as often as possible.

Congrats to both Moz and Gnu.

#27 GPL is not an office suite

by tny

Monday August 21st, 2000 9:47 AM

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and I'm a non-programmer (well, more or less) who uses Linux at home, doesn't have to compile patches, and changes skins as often as possible.

Congrats to both Moz and Gnu.