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Re: [Qemu-devel] FreeOSZoo will stop March 1, 2005

From: Herbert Poetzl
Subject: Re: [Qemu-devel] FreeOSZoo will stop March 1, 2005
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2005 22:53:50 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.4.1i

On Sat, Feb 12, 2005 at 11:41:55PM +0100, Grzegorz Kulewski wrote:
> Hi,
> On Sat, 12 Feb 2005, Jean-Michel POURE wrote:
> >Following Fabrice decision to transform QEMU into a proprietary closed
> >solution
> No, Fabrice did not transform QEMU into anything. He simply added another 
> optional module than can make QEMU faster and more bug-free. You can still 
> use QEMU without the accelerator and be perfectly happy with it. Also any 
> further development in area of IO, devices and so on will make both 
> versions better. KQEMU is only very small accelerator.

well, unfortunately together with the following mail ...

| From: Fabrice Bellard <address@hidden>
| To: address@hidden
| Date: Sat, 29 Jan 2005 22:48:24 +0100
| Hi,
| I plan to remove the 'qemu-fast' target in the next release of QEMU. It
| is too painful to maintain, difficult to port and it needs a patched
| guest OS to work correctly.
| This target is replaced by the standard QEMU with soft mmu support. The
| QEMU Kernel Acceleration Layer which will be unveiled very soon will
| give much more performance while working with unpatched guest OSes.
| Fabrice.

the future looks more like this:

 - you want the same performance or better as before?
   then you have to use 'my' proprietary kernel module
   which isn't even open source (so that somebody
   could verify that it isn't that evil ...)

 - of course, you can use the slow version and
   contribute to the development of the commercial?
   version ...

> Think about PHP and different accelerators. PHP itself is free product 
> (PHP licence, IIRC). But there are many (often commercial but not all) 
> accelerators for it (one even made by Zend - autor of PHP). But this 
> does not make PHP less free. There are milions of people using PHP without 
> any accelerator, there are some using it with commercial accelerator and 
> there are few using it with one of free accelerators. Exactly the same 
> goes for QEMU.
> QEMU is even better because no non-free part is linked with any code in 
> QEMU (userspace). This way no QEMU based free products (for example GUIs 
> or anything other) are affected by this addition and no licence is broken. 
> GPL, of course, allows calling non-free program or using GPLed program on 
> OS with non-free module.
> Strictly speaking there are more problems at the kernel level. This is 
> because Linus and other gave their permission to load non-free modules to 
> the kernel but only as a special exception and mainly because some kernel 
> modules were written for some other OSes and were ported to Linux and 
> their code cannot be opened. This is not the case for KQEMU because it was 
> written especially for Linux but I think this is still more-or-less ok. 
> Nobody will hopefully complain.

proprietary kernel modules are a dangerous thing ...

 - first, you basically lose any support from the 
   kernel developers, when your kernel is tainted
 - then you do not know what the module will do to
   your system (i.e. what crashes it may cause)
 - and finally, if you're paranoid, you will not
   know what kind of information that module might
   gather and send to who-knows-where ...

> [ Fabrice, please make sure that all files linked with QEMU are free 
> because GPL demands that. I did not investigated this but if the header 
> for the module is used in userspace please make it free (BSD?) too. 
> Thanks. ]
> Of course it will be better if KQEMU will go opensource but I hope it will 
> happen fast.

open source, good -- free software, even better ...

but don't get me wrong, it's totally up to Fabrice
under what license he releases his software, and
we have everything required to start of our own QEMU
branch (just under a different name if I got the 
Trademark comment right ;) and continue with free
software development based on qemu/qemu-fast ...

> >without any kind of future, I don't find any reason to loose my
> >company time and money fostering FreeOSZoo.
> Of course its your decision and you have perfect right to make it. But 
> please think once more about it. I think that your project is very 
> valuable for the community.
> >I will hand over the project to any interested person, for exampe Raphaƫl 
> >if
> >he is interested by FreeOsZoo.
> How fast must be the connection for it? How large is it? How much GB/month 
> does it generate currently?

I'm still hoping for the best, but expecting the
worst ... 


> Thanks,
> Grzegorz Kulewski

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