Re: XForms: opengl and shared libraries

Dr. T.C. Zhao (
Wed, 15 Oct 1997 23:27:52 -0500

To subscribers of the xforms list from "Dr. T.C. Zhao" <> :

from "Robert S. Mallozzi" <> :
Quoting Letters to the Editor
> [Incorrect stuff about a.out object format not being
> supported by XForms deleted]
I am not surprised by this. Big mouths never let fact
stand in the way.
> In my opinion, this is contrary to the spirit of those
> who developed Linux initially. It was meant to be a
> free Unix system based on free tools and a free kernel.
xforms IS free. Arguing any other way is just philosophical
nit picking or hypocracy (I have people flaming me for
denying his freedom to make commercial software using
> Motif, standard for nearly every available platform.) XForms
> doesn't fulfill this criterion."
I am willing to bet xforms is available on far more platforms
than Motif. I don't think Motif is standard on Linux, freebsd
netbsd or Openbsd. Even on some of the commercial Unix,
Motif costs money.

>Is there any plan to release XForms in source code form?
Not right now. As long as I feel the internal is not solid,
I don't intend to release the source. Of course if for any
reason, I can no longer actively support xforms, I will
either hand the source to someone else or release the source.

>What are the reasons it is not?
Both Mark and I feel it's in xforms' as well as ours
best interest not to release the source. Unless the source
is released under "anything goes" license, I don't
see it help quieting flaming (just look at Qt)
But if it is released "anything goes", what prevents many pseudo-xforms
from appearing ? Worse, every new release becomes a nightmare
as it will break piles of hacked xforms as those
tend to involve the internals too much. All things considered,
we feel a single standard and easier management are worth
the hit not being able to incorporate possible user contributions
in the short term. Once the internal matures, it will be easier for
"third parties" to contribute with the help of better documentation
of the internals and better support of composite object.

>Is the library really licensed by a lot of
>commercial developers?
No, not really.
Although we feel if xforms helps someone make a profit, we deserve
a small share of it, money is not really the driving force behind xforms.
If it were, xforms would've been dead long time ago. There are
far better ways to make money with much less work (though not
as fun) than supporting xforms.

>Is the fact that the code is unavailable going to impede the usage
>of the package?
I would believe so, but I am not overly concerned. Judging
by the hits on the xforms home page (it will reach 100,000 by
the end of October), it looks there are plenty of programmers
interested in xforms. Ultimately, I believe it will be the technical
merit (or lack of it) of xforms that will determine the fate of xforms.
It costs nothing will only help.

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