Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 20th Dec 2005 13:03 UTC, submitted by zam001
X11, Window Managers Aaron Siego of KDE: "It would be very nice if our X server could use OpenGL directly for its display and composition. Because then we could have hardware accelerated effects that are not only cool looking, but also very useful. Well, there is just such a project underway, called XGL. But don't hold your breath. The development of XGL has been largely removed from the community and is being done behind closed doors. Who is this company, you ask, that would take the development of something as potentially important as this out of the community and put it behind closed doors? Novell."
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responses
by aseigo on Tue 20th Dec 2005 16:09 UTC
aseigo
Member since:
2005-07-06

first off, i happen to know that this is happening for a fact due to talking with people involved there at novell. this isn't speculation on my part, nor am i (by far) the only one aware of the situation.

i *am* very happy that novell is putting people on the project. however, that is completely unrelated to closing out *other* people from participating. the former has nothing to do with the latter; and there have been requests made to get involved with XGL, including code contributed, and the response has been negative.

the cvs on freedesktop.org is (i just checked again, actually) around a year old.

why is this bad?

because it completely does an end run around the peer review process; it ensures that nobody else can work with what could be a fairly important technology while it is in development (and that's purposeful); and it ensures that other vendors are *not* supporting xgl and going off and doing their own thing which means we get further splintering of the community and direction around X. X has enough problems without creating schisms around it.

there is absolutely no good technical reason for what is happening, it's purely a "business decision".

i understand that not everyone here likes hearing that, and perhaps especially from me =), but thems the facts and unlike others who may be content to sit quietly wringing their hands, i'm more apt to do and say something about bad situations within the community in which i work.

Reply Score: 5

RE: responses
by thebluesgnr on Tue 20th Dec 2005 17:21 in reply to "responses"
thebluesgnr Member since:
2005-11-14

"there is absolutely no good technical reason for what is happening, it's purely a "business decision". "

And there's nothing wrong with that. They can choose the development model that's best for them, as the Oxygen artists did. What matters is that the code, when released, is under a free license.
If others are not happy with the situation they can either convince Novell to work with them or they can start their own code. Crying about it won't get anything done.

It would be a different issue if they were releasing software under a non-free license; that would be a serious problem. That's not the case here.

Reply Parent Score: 0

Could help stop fracturing, actually....
by on Tue 20th Dec 2005 17:46 in reply to "responses"
Member since:

Maybe you should consider that possibility. One development process does not work equally well for every project. Sometimes the work at hand demands a different approach from that taken on another project. Does it not seem likely that some permutations of the OSS development model would be needed to best handle the wide variety of technical, economic, political, etc., conditions and challenges facing specific projects? Every process does *not* need to follow an exact cookie-cutter OSS process in order to be a "good" OSS project.

Assume the group working on it has a strong and clear vision of what they want/need to get done for a first cut. Maybe they'll be better able to focus on cranking it out if they don't have to spend time vetting other peoples' submissions and ideas during this phase. And a quicker first release of something implemented and working will get others to jump on the wagon, since they'll be cut off earlier in their competing process.

Sometimes the way to get your sw adopted ubiquitously, and closing the team off can at times help create the focus and momentum needed. They can (and likely will) then open the source and the development process once they've gotten a good code cut done. You'll still get your "peer review". After all the OSS work that Novell/Ximian/SuSE has done, don't be so naive as to suggest they don't know the benefits of that.

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE: responses
by Tyr. on Tue 20th Dec 2005 17:57 in reply to "responses"
Tyr. Member since:
2005-07-06

it ensures that nobody else can work with what could be a fairly important technology while it is in development

People are always told that's one of the great things about open source : anyone can take the code and start hacking, now suddenly that's a bad thing ?

it ensures that other vendors are *not* supporting xgl and going off and doing their own thing which means we get further splintering of the community and direction around X

Another piece of open source doctrine : open source is freedom of choice which is good, the good technology succeeds and competes. Now suddenly you're worried about fragmentation, how about resolving the fragmentation in the layers above the X server first ?
Besides which fragmentation, this thing implements X11, so it should be compatible with other implementations right ?

there is absolutely no good technical reason for what is happening, it's purely a "business decision"

Let's see assembling a small dedicated team of paid professionals to work on a piece of software they would like to see released is not a good technical reason. This would be because we all know that the bazar model is superior in all possible circumstances and configurations to any other development model. Um yeah.

And if the fork stays closed well that's the option the original author offered them (when choosing the license) and that was his choice to make, even the GPL allow you to keep your code to yourself as long you keep the product in house.

Sorry, but this whole thing just smacks of GPL license fanaticism to me (all code must be Free and all that)

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: responses
by on Tue 20th Dec 2005 18:01 in reply to "RE: responses"
Member since:

"People are always told that's one of the great things about open source : anyone can take the code and start hacking, now suddenly that's a bad thing ?"

Jesus, learn to read.

The bad thing is that the code is _not_ publicly available, so nobody from the outside can take, nobody from the outside can test it and give feedback or adjust other software to work well with XGL, nobody from the outside can contribute, so some would like to.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: responses
by on Tue 20th Dec 2005 18:44 in reply to "RE: responses"
Member since:

"Sorry, but this whole thing just smacks of GPL license fanaticism to me (all code must be Free and all that)"

Actually, complaining about the development model used by a company or individual is not something that I would relate to the Free Software Movement. Free software is about freedoms of the user of released code, and says nothing about the development model; the development model is an idea of people who defend the "Open Source" definition.

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE: responses
by rayiner on Tue 20th Dec 2005 18:51 in reply to "responses"
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't know if you're giving enough weight to the political friction surrounding XGL. "In the open", there was massive resistance to getting anything done with it. From the very first step, convincing people that 2D was doable via OpenGL at all, it was an uphill battle. If Novell decided to sod it all, and go and just write it and see what happens, I don't think you can blame them.

Reply Parent Score: 1