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Re: [XaraXtreme-dev] GDraw/CDraw [was: Ping]

From my understanding it can not, however one tries to twist
words, be legally redistributed by anyone (with the possible
exception of Xara Ltd. itself), which makes it a GPL
violation in itself. Should that understanding be correct,
the source is as proprietary as ever, as it's then only covered
by international copyright agreement and local copyright laws.

The GPL allows exceptions to be made to give additional rights. Xara
have given additional rights to people to link to CDraw. That's
entirely permissible and within the spirit of the GPL, or the
explanatory header wouldn't dwell so much on why it is allowed.

Xara could not be "violating the GPL" with respect to code in
which they have copyright (that's all of it). You can do anything
you like with code you have copyright in, because (in essence) it's
yours. The same thing that allows them to sell a proprietary version
allows them also would allow them to license it under the GPL, GPL
with a special exception to permit additional rights, or any other
license they wanted.

I fully take the point that some people don't like the situation,
and indeed my own view is that whilst it's permissible as a
"temporary measure" it is going to cause difficulties for a significant
number of developers if it turns into a permanent situation; however,
before you start spouting about "GPL violations" etc, please get
a basic understanding of copyright law.

We make the binary of this available for free to be
distributed with Xara Xtreme.

... which only Xara Ltd. can (potentially legally) do, as it
would violate both spirit and word of the GPL should anyone
else attempt it, no?

Anyone can distribute the CDraw binary. Read the license.

As I have no numbers to back up my suspicion you are wrong on
the account of "most", I will limit myself to point out the
obvious: Flash Player and Adobe Reader also haven't got
partially released source code. They haven't claimed those
programs are licensed under the GPL. They haven't promised to
release all of the source code. They don't claim to be wanting
the help of the "community". They don't decieve by claiming
it's Free Software (which is not only implied, it's explicit
when using the GNU GPL) when it's not.

See a difference?

The above, on the other hand, is a valid distinction.

We've held back on CDraw partly because it's simply not
necessary to have the source code of this to develop,
improve, fix bugs, add new features or all the other
things that I'd imagine most users would be looking for.

*cough* bullshit *cough*

I had to expend *considerable* effort to make LX run on Win32
using my compiler of choice, effort and knowledge not held by
but probably just a handful of people on this planet.

Sure, but that's not the market Xara are seeking assistance in (as I
understand it). It's not necessary to have the CDraw source to do all the
things Charles talks about in the Linux version. I have the CDraw source on
my machine solely to compile occasionally for the 64 bit port. I don't even
bring in debugging symbols etc. for the rest of the work I do.

It's entirely unsurprising you need CDraw source to put LX (including
CDraw) on a different platform/compiler. Is this meant to be news?
If you wanted to make *that* point, you could have far better pointed
out that the endian bugs on linux PPC would no doubt be fixed by
now had the source been in the open. Indeed I'd have fixed them myself
if I had a decent PPC machine to compile on. And that would certainly
help it get into distributions, AND help the Mac port.

[lots of emotional stuff snipped]

From my own point of view, I think Xara have been pretty open about
what they intended to do (whether or not is is/was the 'right thing'
for open source developers, and/or for Xara - two rather different
questions). That was GPL the main source, see what interest they
got, and, assuming they did get developer interest, release CDraw.
The assumption proved wrong; you may or may not be correct that
lack of developer interest was DUE to them not releasing CDraw
earlier. You are, however, accusing them of more than that, i.e.
being disingenuous as to their intentions. I don't buy that.