Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 12th Sep 2007 11:51 UTC
Original OSNews Interviews QNX has announced that they are going to open up the source code to their QNX microkernel operating system. The press release reads: "Effective immediately, QNX will make source code for its award-winning, microkernel-based OS available for free download. The first source release includes the code to the QNX Neutrino microkernel, the base C library, and a variety of board support packages for popular embedded and computing hardware." Read on for more information, as well as an interview with Dan Dodge, CEO of QNX.
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Good news?
by thryllkill on Wed 12th Sep 2007 12:00 UTC
thryllkill
Member since:
2005-07-08

I know a lot of people will be excited about this. And I know some will bitch about it not being GPL. But the real question I have is how does everyone think this might impact embedded Linux projects like OpenMoko?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Good news?
by kaiwai on Wed 12th Sep 2007 12:08 UTC in reply to "Good news?"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Does it include the GUI - the GUI IMHO is the *best* component of QNX. Also, another benefit, it is a microkernel.

I'd love to see it not only in PDA's but things like routers etc.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Good news?
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 12th Sep 2007 12:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Good news?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Does it include the GUI - the GUI IMHO is the *best* component of QNX. Also, another benefit, it is a microkernel.

Erm, did you read? It's one of the questions, actually.

Reply Score: 3

This is free software. GPL not required
by npang on Wed 12th Sep 2007 21:03 UTC in reply to "Good news?"
npang Member since:
2006-11-26

It doesn't matter if this is licensed under the GPL. The fact that this is now free software means that we have the liberty to study the logic of that code. This means that we can write our own code that implements the same logic and we can release our (hypothetical) software under any license that we have chosen.

Reply Score: 2

wannabe geek Member since:
2006-09-27

Umm... it's NOT free sofware. It's NOT open source.
If anything, it's a kind of "shared source".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shared_source

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Umm... it's NOT free sofware. It's NOT open source.
If anything, it's a kind of "shared source".


Nonsense.

They allow everyone to look at the code, download it, compile it, change it, share it with their peers or keep it to themselves, heck, they can even make a distribution and put that online - they are just not allowed to sell it.

Reply Score: 1

wannabe geek Member since:
2006-09-27

Thom, frankly, do you think they would carefully avoid calling it "open source" or "free sofware" if it qualified as that? I won't remind you the OSD or the FSF definition of Free Sofware. So, again, it's NOT Free Sofware, it's NOT Open Source (maybe the caps help to clarify?) and if you disagree, just Google it. You seem to have been deceived by their announcement, just like they planned.

Oh, and it would help you think more clearly if you avoided buying into their speaking about "selling" the sofware or "commercial deployment". That's very confusing and they know it. They try to blur the distinction between making a derivative under a proprietary license, and setting up a project to distribute sofware and provide support for profit, which are two VERY different things. Software is either free or proprietary. Free software can be deployed commercially (as Red Hat and other do). You can use Free Software at home and in the office, and you can set up your business around Free Sofware, without fears that anyone will charge you for making "commercial" use of said sofware.

Reply Score: 0

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

So, again, it's NOT Free Sofware, it's NOT Open Source (maybe the caps help to clarify?) and if you disagree, just Google it. You seem to have been deceived by their announcement, just like they planned.

You can do whatever the hell you want with the code - you just can't commercially exploit it.

It is not Free Software as defined by the FSF. It's not open source software as defined by OSI. But, it it can still be called open source by another defintion - namely that of being able to do whatever the hell you want with it, except sell it.

Like I said before, OSI and FSF haven't patented the definition of open source.

Reply Score: 1

wannabe geek Member since:
2006-09-27

"You can do whatever the hell you want with the code - you just can't commercially exploit it."

What's exactly to "commercially exploit it"? Can you set up a business with 100 workstations running QNX without their permission? I don't think so. What sets Free Sofware apart from other licensing models is that you can effectively avoid vendor lock-in. I couldn't find their exact licensing terms in their website, but it seem to be designed to keep vendor lock-in as a business model. Hence, it's fundamentally different from Free Sofware as defined by FSF, which is by far the most widely accepted definition, and calling it the same is arguably misleading. "free for personal use" would be acceptable, but in any case it's a VERY different licensing model.

Reply Score: 1

npang Member since:
2006-11-26

You're right. I was wrong. I was blinded by the Apache 2.0 license. I didn't read answer 7 closely enough.

Reply Score: 2

wannabe geek Member since:
2006-09-27

That also happened to me at first. I think it's a rather confusing announcement ;)

Reply Score: 1

Wooah! Cool!
by stodge on Wed 12th Sep 2007 12:02 UTC
stodge
Member since:
2005-09-08

Wooah! Cool!

Does this mean QNX's primary business/revenue stream is no longer their OS?

I considered applying for a job at QNX, but decided against it. Now they're heading into open source territory, it's a bit more appealing again.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Wooah! Cool!
by stodge on Wed 12th Sep 2007 13:09 UTC in reply to "Wooah! Cool!"
stodge Member since:
2005-09-08

Strange, there are no jobs listed on their site. This is the first time I've seen this in what, 10 years? Is this a bad sign for the company? I did initially wonder if open sourcing the s/w implied the company was cutting staff or going through troubled times.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Wooah! Cool!
by samad on Wed 12th Sep 2007 23:20 UTC in reply to "Wooah! Cool!"
samad Member since:
2006-03-31

I think their primary revenue has been support, not the actual sale of their software. If this is true, going open source makes perfect sense. The company benefits by having the open source community (hypothetically) contributing to the OS relatively cost-free, and the community benefits by learning their numerous engineering accomplishments in the realm of real-time computation.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Wooah! Cool!
by tchristney on Thu 13th Sep 2007 06:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Wooah! Cool!"
tchristney Member since:
2005-09-21

A fairly major source of revenue in the embedded market for them is actually royalties. The commercial users pay a fee for each system shipped with QNX running on it.

Reply Score: 1

Well, the idea is welcome but..
by reduz on Wed 12th Sep 2007 12:13 UTC
reduz
Member since:
2006-02-25

The "open source for non commercial use" license is kind of dumb..
They _are_ QNX after all, the same way Sun is Sun.

Properly open sourcing QNX will attract a much bigger developer community. They can even use a dual-like license, and make sure that 1) If using a GPL/MPL-like approach, they only accept changes for inclusion in the main branch if ownership or special usage rights are granted 2) If using BSD/MIT, etc license, they can easily just merge the changes.

I don't understand why does QNX fail to see this..

--

To make the point clearer, they are still the owners of the product and it's not like anyone will take it from them if they opensource it. Same way it happens with Solaris and Sun. On the other hand, they will get a much larger community instead.

Edited 2007-09-12 12:15

Reply Score: 5

RE: Well, the idea is welcome but..
by sanctus on Wed 12th Sep 2007 12:47 UTC in reply to "Well, the idea is welcome but.."
sanctus Member since:
2005-08-31

I don't understand why does QNX fail to see this..


It goes in both way, maybe you fail to see all the amount of money they invest in it and are unwilling to let other company making profit out of it.

To make the point clearer, they are still the owners of the product and it's not like anyone will take it from them if they opensource it. Same way it happens with Solaris and Sun.

Then why should the license "limitation" a problem?

Reply Score: 3

reduz Member since:
2006-02-25

> It goes in both way, maybe you fail to see all the
> amount of money they invest in it and are unwilling to > let other company making profit out of it.

No, I think it comes down to their business model.
Like Sun, IBM, etc. QNX also realized how their market (Aix,Solaris,etc) is being eaten alive by Linux and the overall opensource community projects (PHP, MySQL, etc), in the server, embedded, etc areas,

Even if their are strong in their own areas (Solaris for highend servers, QNX for mbedded/realtime/critical), it is undeniable that they still share a lot with the opensource OS arena, which is growing several times faster than them, and makes them realize they are missing a big business chance.

Even microsoft did at some point see this and attempted to compete by using their "Shared Source" licenses (failing miserably).

But it's been proven endless times that unless the project is FULLY open, and not something that "resembles being open" or just "free", the community will lack interest and will not pick it up. Beos and QNX itself were examples of this. They looked great, worked great, but then died and left their "community" out in the cold.

So I think it's good to point out that either QNX really goes open, or they'll likely not get much community adherence. To me, it's just another in the long list of companies that don't seem to "get it", and repeat the same mistake over and over.

Reply Score: 4

dimosd Member since:
2006-02-10

But it's been proven endless times that unless the project is FULLY open, and not something that "resembles being open" or just "free", the community will lack interest and will not pick it up. Beos and QNX itself were examples of this. They looked great, worked great, but then died and left their "community" out in the cold.


Neither Beos or QNX were open source, just free to copy. I am sure if Beos was open source, Haiku developers would have concentrated their efforts on the existing code base rather than starting from scratch.

Edited 2007-09-12 13:35

Reply Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

So I think it's good to point out that either QNX really goes open, or they'll likely not get much community adherence.

Define "open".

If you definition of "open" is either GPL or BSD - and nothing more... Than you have a very narrow-minded view on the world... And we all know what happens to narrow-minded people.

Reply Score: 2

danieldk Member since:
2005-11-18

If you definition of "open" is either GPL or BSD - and nothing more... Than you have a very narrow-minded view on the world...

I don't think so. It often doesn't make much sense investing code into something that is not open as in opensource or free software. An opensource license put every participant in a project on an equal footing. When that is not the case, one participant in a project (QNX in this case) can play games with whoever is dependent on QNX for making their money. In an opensource project, the contributions of participants lifts the tide for every participant, and contributors can be sure that they won't be locked in, or disadvanted in other ways.

Of course, licenses differ in their strength to regulate participation, and arguably, the GPL is a lot better at it than the BSD license (just to name one other commonly used license). Additionally, dual licensing like MySQL does, is a kind of workaround.

And we all know what happens to narrow-minded people.

Right, like what? At any rate, many companies make misuse of the term "open" in software to suggest opensource. While this is explicitly denied in the interview (though the Apache license bit confused me for a second), it's not suprising that people enumerate the term 'open' with 'opensource'.

Edited 2007-09-12 14:01

Reply Score: 1

Luis Member since:
2006-04-28

Define "open"

I guess he means Free Software. There are many, many Free licenses apart from GPL and BSD. But QNX won't use any of the existing ones, nor their own Free license. They'll use a "friendly" one.

That's ok with me, of course. And I thank them for it (even if I have never used QNX and don't have plans to use it soon). But it's true that with a "friendly" license they won't get too much community contributions.

Reply Score: 2

Tyr. Member since:
2005-07-06

And we all know what happens to narrow-minded people.


Yes, they become politicians and managers.

Reply Score: 3

KLU9 Member since:
2006-12-06

Beos and QNX itself were examples of this. They looked great, worked great, but then died

QNX died? news to me. and to all the companies using it too, I presume.

Reply Score: 5

snozzberry Member since:
2005-11-14

Beos and QNX itself were examples of this. They looked great, worked great, but then died
Every time you use a credit/debit card in that touchscreen box at Target, you're looking at a QNX platform. That's 10-15 seats x every Target store in North America.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Well, the idea is welcome but..
by dimosd on Wed 12th Sep 2007 13:28 UTC in reply to "Well, the idea is welcome but.."
dimosd Member since:
2006-02-10

The "open source for non commercial use" license is kind of dumb


Isn't this somewhat similar to what Trolltech does?

If you simply want to play with it, use it, tweak it, spread it (say, make a distro) it's free.
If you want to make money out of it, the company makes money too.
In both cases you get to modify it at will.

Sounds like a reasonable long term strategy for a company rather than wishy-washy GPLing (or BSDing) it.

Edited 2007-09-12 13:29

Reply Score: 3

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Actually not. Trolltech releases QT under two commercial licenses. One license is Proprietary Commercial, and the other license is FLOSS Commercial. Both licenses allows for commercial use.

Proprietary is not the same as commercial. Licenses which do not allow for commercial use are not open. All open licenses allow for commercial use, incl. GPL and Apache License 2.0.

Reply Score: 7

binarycrusader Member since:
2005-07-06

Isn't this somewhat similar to what Trolltech does?


Nope. Trolltech (though I don't agree with the choice of GPL) chose a license that allows commercial development, etc. The QNX license will not allow commercial development (without a separate agreement with them).

In theory, you could perform commercial development with Qt's open source edition.

They could have offered the same freedom to their existing commercial customers without this bizarre licensing incompatibility situation.

Reply Score: 2

binarycrusader Member since:
2005-07-06

Same way it happens with Solaris and Sun. On the other hand, they will get a much larger community instead.


No, not the same way. Sun chose an open source license for their code that meets all of the commonly accepted definitions of what open source is.

QNX has chosen a license that is clearly not reflective of what most people accept as "open" and will severely restrict what their community can do with the code due to license incompatibilities.

While they are to be commended for trying, I think they're just confusing matters. Even Microsoft has chosen better licensing terms for many of their "shared source" projects with the Ms-PL, etc.

Reply Score: 3

This is great...
by JonathanBThompson on Wed 12th Sep 2007 12:14 UTC
JonathanBThompson
Member since:
2006-05-26

Not just for commercial ventures, but hobbyists that want to dabble, and just perhaps wind up entering into the commercial venture realm, should their personal projects/research pan out.

Perhaps the iPhone will soon have a QNX port ;) This also opens up a lot of other single board computers (PCI-104 and other mutations) that aren't especially powerful systems that are (perhaps) old PC-compatible or mostly so, as well as those that just fit the form factors, that are relatively cheap to get, and provides another option with great development tools and an OS you can easily strip down to the bare requirements.

Reply Score: 2

From QNX6 to QNX6
by Buck on Wed 12th Sep 2007 12:41 UTC
Buck
Member since:
2005-06-29

So do we see the old story repeating? It sounds like the good ole days of QNX6.0 only better in a sense that they don't intend to take the OS away or cripple it with time limits.
One thought flashed through my mind though: they're late. They should've made that move several years ago and could have had a great thriving community by now. Back in the day enthusiasts were really excited about QNX. Now they'll just have to spend all those marketing resources again to attract the dev crowd back. Hey, we've even seen QNX news sites shutting down recently...
Anyway, wishing them luck and wishing them to have a separate deskop/evangelistic department within the company. Nothing commercial or serious, mind you, just to fuel the interest.

PS Their site is broken in Safari v3. Does it work in Voyager though, heh.

PPS And bring back William Bull. Pleeeeease!

Edited 2007-09-12 12:46

Reply Score: 3

No problems about it now being GPL
by Sodki on Wed 12th Sep 2007 13:06 UTC
Sodki
Member since:
2005-11-10

QNX source code is being released with the Apache Licence 2.0, which is compatible with the GNU GPL v3.

Reply Score: 2

chekr Member since:
2005-11-05

Apache? Where did you read that? I read it as only being board support not the kernel.

Edited 2007-09-12 13:20

Reply Score: 3

aliquis Member since:
2005-07-23

"QNX source code is being released with the Apache Licence 2.0, which is compatible with the GNU GPL v3."

But only one way? Can people change the code and release it under GPL v3 only so it can't get transfered back to QNX?

I hate GPL, even if it protects "freedom". It's a little evil to FORCE "freedom" on everyone =P

Reply Score: 1

REALLY REALLY REALLY COOL!!!
by JohnOne on Wed 12th Sep 2007 13:25 UTC
JohnOne
Member since:
2006-03-25

As in the subject! :-D

Reply Score: 2

wow!
by JrezIN on Wed 12th Sep 2007 13:46 UTC
JrezIN
Member since:
2005-06-29

That was a pleasant surprise!

Reply Score: 4

Great news
by SReilly on Wed 12th Sep 2007 13:48 UTC
SReilly
Member since:
2006-12-28

I've always liked QNX. I started messing with it when I moved to Japan and was looking for something to pass the time while I was not working. Back then, I think it was QNX 4 something, you could install from CD in under 5 minutes. Total network transparency. Totally cool.

I'd love to see a port of the Photon MicroUI to other nixs, man that would rock!

Reply Score: 2

Not sure about this...
by binarycrusader on Wed 12th Sep 2007 13:53 UTC
binarycrusader
Member since:
2005-07-06

While the code being open will certainly be useful as a source of study, the licensing will severely restrict how people can use it.

QNX is merely continuing to muddy the waters of licensing for projects that make their code available. Microsoft at least had the decency to choose licensing terms that would be compatible with a great deal of code that is available in the open source community.

The non-commercial restriction of the code will make it difficult at best to be able to use anything but BSD, MIT, or X11 -style open source code in combination with QNX code.

While this is beneficial for QNX's customers, I can't help but think that their company has "missed the point."

Nonetheless, they are to be commended for trying.

Reply Score: 3

awsome
by poundsmack on Wed 12th Sep 2007 13:59 UTC
poundsmack
Member since:
2005-07-13

i for one think this is great

Reply Score: 1

umpc/mid?
by hobgoblin on Wed 12th Sep 2007 14:00 UTC
hobgoblin
Member since:
2005-07-06

thats the one place i would like to test qnx i think, on umpc/mid devices ;)

Reply Score: 2

best news I've heard in years
by Downix on Wed 12th Sep 2007 14:04 UTC
Downix
Member since:
2007-08-21

Pity a few years late for my original goals... *sigh* But, welcome to the party!

Reply Score: 2

Good news.
by johkra on Wed 12th Sep 2007 14:08 UTC
johkra
Member since:
2007-09-12

QNX is a very interesting operating system for a small, energy-efficient desktop system (e.g. sam440ep, efika).

A typical Linux system is already overkill for daily usage and provided a good browser (Opera sucks least imho, but a webkit port would be most promising), text editor and media player, I would ditch my current Archlinux desktop instantly.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Good news.
by Constantine XVI on Wed 12th Sep 2007 15:37 UTC in reply to "Good news."
Constantine XVI Member since:
2006-11-02

You mean a webkit "port" like Konqueror?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Good news.
by johkra on Wed 12th Sep 2007 17:04 UTC in reply to "Good news."
johkra Member since:
2007-09-12

Konqueror is a really nice browser - if you use KDE.

But qt-webkit is afaik not yet released, is it?

No, what I was talking about was more of a webkit-photon using native widgets and so on.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Good news.
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 12th Sep 2007 17:09 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good news."
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

No, what I was talking about was more of a webkit-photon using native widgets and so on.


QNX's browser, Voyager, already supports multiple rendering engines, so UI-wise, there's little to do.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Good news.
by zizban on Wed 12th Sep 2007 17:58 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Good news."
zizban Member since:
2005-07-06

Maybe cdm will update KillerIRC ;)

Reply Score: 2

Nice, but no help
by ingraham on Wed 12th Sep 2007 14:14 UTC
ingraham
Member since:
2006-05-20

My company uses QNX commercially. As much as I think this announcement is good, it doesn't help me at all, at least directly. Neither myself nor any of my co-workers has the ability, inclination, or business case for even LOOKING at the micro-kernel source code, much less modifying it.

But maybe someone will port OpenJDK to QNX, and that would be quite helpful to me.

-James Ingraham
Sage Automation, Inc.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Nice, but no help
by renhoek on Wed 12th Sep 2007 18:32 UTC in reply to "Nice, but no help"
renhoek Member since:
2007-04-29

it's more useful than you think, as an asp.net web developer i also looked at the mono source. having the internal workings of your platform at your disposal can cut debugging times a lot.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Nice, but no help
by dekernel on Wed 12th Sep 2007 20:27 UTC in reply to "Nice, but no help"
dekernel Member since:
2005-07-07

My guess is that the only time you will need to look at the kernel code is when you are having problems, and boy will you be glad then.

Reply Score: 1

Wow!
by zizban on Wed 12th Sep 2007 14:56 UTC
zizban
Member since:
2005-07-06

This is great! Ever since 6.3 came out, QNX has died as a community. So many apps are so far behind (X11, Gaim, Abiword, etc) because of the restrictions place on 6.3.

I love QNX and its UI. I can't wait for the apps to start flowing, just like in the 6.2 days.

Rock on!

Reply Score: 2

Big nothing
by kajaman on Wed 12th Sep 2007 15:04 UTC
kajaman
Member since:
2006-01-06

Again, nothing really happened. If you download source of this "open source" kernel, and browse it - please read the headers.

You can't call this free software, you can't even call this open source.

It seems like they wanted to make bug fuss about that, it's free commercial for them - I understand that - but it is nowhere close to revolution - until it's free for commercial use and redistribution - nothing changes.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Big nothing
by Buck on Wed 12th Sep 2007 15:23 UTC in reply to "Big nothing"
Buck Member since:
2005-06-29

Well, the anouncement seems to be targeted more at OS enthusiasts rather that businesses, even though QSSL is all about business.
Anyway, you can't call that "nothing" because it gives people a great code example to study and educate themselves. And if you're running a business you shouldn't expect to get things for free.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Big nothing
by Tyr. on Wed 12th Sep 2007 15:38 UTC in reply to "Big nothing"
Tyr. Member since:
2005-07-06

You can't call this free software


No it isn't.

you can't even call this open source


Yes it is. Everyone can read the source at will, it is "open" to the public.

You need to clearly differentiate between the two. That is why there are OSI open source licenses which are not considered to be free software by everyone.

Anyway QNX has made a decision which makes sense for their business. Giving away their flagship product would probably ruin them (unlike Sun which doesn't depend on Solaris to bring in the megabucks.) Instead they have opted to just open their source so their clients can write better software because they are aware of how things work internally. Sounds like a good idea to me.

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: Big nothing
by obi_oni on Wed 12th Sep 2007 15:43 UTC in reply to "RE: Big nothing"
obi_oni Member since:
2006-02-15

Fine - but this isn't even under an OSI approved license, is it?

So I wouldn't call it "Open Source". Open Source implies more than just "I can view the code".

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Big nothing
by Tyr. on Wed 12th Sep 2007 15:58 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Big nothing"
Tyr. Member since:
2005-07-06

Fine - but this isn't even under an OSI approved license, is it? So I wouldn't call it "Open Source". Open Source implies more than just "I can view the code".


No, it's not and probably couldn't be approved by OSI, because you cannot freely redistribute the product (you need to buy a license.)
I guess it depends on what your definition of "open" is. ([CLINTON MODE OFF])

Reply Score: 2

RE: Big nothing
by wannabe geek on Wed 12th Sep 2007 22:59 UTC in reply to "Big nothing"
wannabe geek Member since:
2006-09-27

"Again, nothing really happened. If you download source of this "open source" kernel, and browse it - please read the headers. "

Would you please paste the license in a pastebin and provide a link? That would be very helpful.

http://rafb.net/paste/

Reply Score: 1

Much ado about nothing
by obi_oni on Wed 12th Sep 2007 15:40 UTC
obi_oni
Member since:
2006-02-15

Okay, so what exactly _are_ the licensing terms?

It's not any of the [L]GPLv[23] licenses, it's not MIT/X/BSD licensing, it's more than likely not an OSI approved license - so it's not "Open Source" at all. This is "look but don't touch open".

This is (maybe) good for existing customers of QNX and that's it. I'm sure their internal processes will be more open too, and they probably did the work to vet where all their copyrighted code came from, which is healthy too.

But this is definitely not an "Open Source" move.

Reply Score: 1

All I know is...
by fretinator on Wed 12th Sep 2007 15:47 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

...how cool the floppy was that QNX used to distribute. From a single floppy, you could boot up the machine into a graphical OS with a file manager, web browser, tcp/ip, etc. I thought it was an amazing feat. I, too, hope further work goes into a desktop-focused QNX for lower-spec machines or PDA's. It could rock!

Reply Score: 2

RE: All I know is...
by snozzberry on Wed 12th Sep 2007 16:12 UTC in reply to "All I know is..."
snozzberry Member since:
2005-11-14

...how cool the floppy was that QNX used to distribute. From a single floppy, you could boot up the machine into a graphical OS with a file manager, web browser, tcp/ip, etc.
Which lacked the driver for the Intel PRO network card in most Dells built between 199x-2002 or most of the modern softmodem cards. This was unbelievably frustrating.

Edited 2007-09-12 16:15 UTC

Reply Score: 1

wannabe geek
Member since:
2006-09-27

It's a pity, because I was glad when I saw the title of the article. Finally a good open source RT microkernel! Well, the title is about as close to being a LIE as it can be, without quite lying.

This and other "open-sourcish" initiatives and doomed to a well-deserved failure. They completely miss the point about FOSS. Do they really think many open source developers will be interested in contributing for free to a PROPRIETARY, CLOSED-SOURCE project? Have you noticed it's not a bit closer to being open source now than before?



"Dan: Today, QNX Software's revenue comes from a mix of products and services, including runtime royalties, development tool sales, custom engineering, and technical support. None of that will change: Anyone who uses QNX's technology to build commercial products will still need to purchase commercial development seats and runtime redistribution licenses. The big difference is that we now expect more people to choose QNX for their commercial projects. That's because our new model will make it far easier to access, experiment with, and distribute QNX technology. It will also encourage a larger ecosystem of complementary products."

So, they want to have their cake and eat it too, so to speak.


"Dan: We aren't releasing the OS code under an open source license. Rather, we're using a commercial-friendly licensing model that gives developers and customers the option of either keeping their source modifications or donating them back to the community. If fact, we're providing three licenses: one for commercial users, one for noncommercial users, and one for QNX technology partners. When you register, you identify which license is appropriate to your interests. For instance, if you're a student, academic faculty member, or hobbyist developer, you choose the noncommercial license, which provides access to development tools and runtime components free of charge."


The title and the tone of the interview seems to suggest otherwise, misleading the reader, but in the end he admits it's NOT open source, it just "feels exactly like" open source, and "is a better model". Personally, as a free software enthusiast, I must say I find these words rather insulting, and a lame marketing campaign.

I'm sorry to say, I wish them a resounding failure.

Reply Score: 3

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

The title and the tone of the interview seems to suggest otherwise, misleading the reader, but in the end he admits it's NOT open source, it just "feels exactly like" open source, and "is a better model". Personally, as a free software enthusiast, I must say I find these words rather insulting, and a lame marketing campaign.

I don't see where exactly it is claimed this is "open source as defined by the OSI and/or FSF". The article says just that - they're opening up the source code. You can view the code, modify it for your personal use and/or contribute those changes back to the community.

Sadly, these days, it are the big organisations (FSF, OSI) who get to decide what's open and what's not. To me, QNX here has made a very smart move, that only benefits us enthusiasts. So, this code can't be copied/pasted into the Linux kernel... Well, too bad, then. Doesn't mean the code is not open.

I, for one, am extremely pleased, and wish the company all the luck in the world with their effort.

Reply Score: 2

wannabe geek Member since:
2006-09-27

"I don't see where exactly it is claimed this is "open source as defined by the OSI and/or FSF" "

Nowhere in the article such a claim is made. Otherwise it would be an outright lie, not just misleading.

You are right in that, AFAIK, the term "open source" is not trademarked (and neither is "Free software" IIRC), so, technically, maybe you could even say it's "open source, just not by the OSI definition". But I hope you agree that would be *extremely* misleading, and as such, contrary to good journalism style.

I get rather heated when some initiatives try to sell themselves as kind of "equivalent to all practical purposes to open source, just better" to entice naive developers into contributing to a proprietary product.

Other than that, I think your coverage of the new was in good faith, just that you got carried away by your technical enthusiasm about QNX and microkernels in general, which I understand and even share, up to a point. So let's say I hope they realise their mistake and change to a REAL open-source license.

Reply Score: 3

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Actually "Open Source" used to be a trademark, but its legal status at this moment is unknown (the same status as in 1999). The trademark still exists.

Besides that the term "open source" was invented specifically as a term for sources one could use, modify and distribute for commercial as well as non-commercial use.

Your attempt at redefining "open source" is - to put it mildly - quite unethical.

Reply Score: 4

wannabe geek Member since:
2006-09-27

I think the trademark is "OSI certified". It seems that "open source" could not be trademarked for being too descriptive.

http://slashdot.org/articles/99/06/17/0213251.shtml

Reply Score: 1

SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

Your attempt at redefining "open source" is - to put it mildly - quite unethical.

Absolutely. Although I agree that the opening of the QNX source is not what you could call 'GPL' like, it's still opening the source code for all to see.

So you can't make a commercial product out of your changes without buying a license? Where is the problem in that? QNX, unlike Sun or IBM, are not a hardware company and need to make a buck some how.

As for this being opensource, of course it is. You can see the source, change it and compile your own binaries from that source. What else could possibly be ment by opensource software?

AS far as I can tell, nobody is trying to hoodwink naive developers here by calling a spade a spade. If you want free as in libre software, choose the GPL. It's that simple.

Reply Score: 3

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

BTW, Thom. Bad mouthing and misquoting me does not make you look any better.

EDIT: Removed subtle insult ;)

Edited 2007-09-12 23:31 UTC

Reply Score: 2

This is so cool
by aliquis on Thu 13th Sep 2007 00:44 UTC
aliquis
Member since:
2005-07-23

Now if someone just turned it into the next gen. amigaos/beos =P

Reply Score: 2

The best announcement of the year!
by Tropheus on Thu 13th Sep 2007 09:21 UTC
Tropheus
Member since:
2005-07-11

The Hebrew year that is... (It started yesterday).

I have programming experience on Linux, FreeBSD, BeOS, Solaris, AmigaOS, VxWorks, Windows and QNX - One thing I can tell you is that QNX is a top quality OS and the opening of the source code is on par (in terms of importance to the industry) with the opening of the Solaris source code.

Reply Score: 1

Hooray!! At long last, we can
by bannor99 on Fri 14th Sep 2007 19:41 UTC
bannor99
Member since:
2005-09-15

finally finish HURD!! :-D

Reply Score: 1

I'll survive !
by Kochise on Fri 14th Sep 2007 20:30 UTC
Kochise
Member since:
2006-03-03

Well, will it revive the NC interrest of 6.1 ? 6.2 had more hardware support, but became limited to a 30 days usage... Will http://www.qnxzone.com/ reopen ?

Reply Score: 1