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S3TC For Mesa Is Talked About Some More

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  • #16

    Your completely mental and it appears unable to string together two rational thoughts, much less carry out a decent conversation. 'Yelling' about it is just making you look stupid.

    Please stop that and try to re-read things until you understand it. Otherwise your only going to give yourself a headache and make yourself look foolish.


    • #17
      Sorry for the yelling, the last "question" is more addressed at the mainline mesa devs/maintainers rather than you.

      I stand by my claim that the issue here is NOT about shipping patented tech by default. If anyone is claiming that (your previous post puts you into this group), they misunderstood the Lucas', Marek's and other devs' proposal. That's definitely NOT their intention.


      • #18
        Originally posted by peppepz View Post
        FreeType managed to hide patented technologies behind compile-time switches for years and I don't think anyone has ever sued them...
        Close but not quite. FreeType didn't hide the functionality, it was clearly there (in the code) for anyone who cared. They even directed users who wanted to be legit in using the patented tech to the respective licensors, who acknowledged this development/distribution model as valid and non-infringing. I'm baffled that mesa maintainers would apparently rather hide their heads in the sand rather than talk to people at FreeType responsible for legal matters for insight and patent holders to arrange a working model.


        • #19
          Originally posted by drag View Post
          Your missing subtleties. Plus you don't understand how patents works.

          Having open source code that is patented is NOT a problem. Nobody is going to sue you.

          USING open source software that is patented IS a problem. People can and actually DO sue for that.
          Nice, then it is possible (and legal) to implement patented features in source form and protect them from illegal use via compile-time switches, as FreeType did. This is good news to me.

          Perhaps it could be done at runtime, too, by downloading "unrestricted" binaries from servers in patent-free countries only if the user declares, under his sole responsibility, that he resides in a patent-free country? Or would this put the distributors residing in patent-ridden countries in danger of being sued because of providing an "easy way" for dishonest users living in patent-ridden countries to illegally run patented software?

          Originally posted by drag View Post
          Yes. So they would be forced to remove s3t support if they want to ship it and still allow people to use it as open source software.
          Why, that's exactly what would make me happy (in a pretty egoistic perspective): a compile-time switch to enable users who aren't restricted by patent legislation (or who have obtained a legitimate license for the patented technology) to access those features.

          Originally posted by drag View Post
          That's why it's fundamentally incompatible with open source/Free software. It makes it illegal to use the software as open source software unless your patent license covers all possible uses for that open source software.
          In my opinion this should be a matter to be resolved between the users of the software who live in patent-ridden countries, and the legislators that they elected to make their laws. See what the GPL says (I know, it doesn't apply to Mesa, I went to read that just to try to understand, in general, the opinion on the matter of the writers of the GPL, who must probably be among the most ardent supporters of the freedom of software):

          8. If the distribution and/or use of the Program is restricted in
          certain countries either by patents or by copyrighted interfaces, the
          original copyright holder who places the Program under this License
          may add an explicit geographical distribution limitation excluding
          those countries, so that distribution is permitted only in or among
          countries not thus excluded. In such case, this License incorporates
          the limitation as if written in the body of this License.
          It is clearly not possible to know in advance, when writing a piece of software, each and every patent it might infringe in each and every country in the world. The only alternative would be not to write software at all, as is somehow proposed once in a while by some people when they say that, although this can't be proven in court, "you can't write a video codec without infringing on some of h.264's patents".

          Originally posted by drag View Post
          "You may get sued if you use this software, but it's not our problem."

          Does that sound responsible to you?
          It definitely sounds broken, but its brokenness only reflects the inherent brokenness of software patent law. Furthermore, it's the de-facto situation in which we're currently living: when I installed my Linux distribution, I had no notification whatsoever that I can be sued by Microsoft if I dare attach a thumb drive / sd card / phone / photo camera to my computer while I'm running Linux. Yet, for what you taught me, this seems to be the case.

          Note that I don't want distributions to ship patented software by default; I understand their position (and their users').

          Originally posted by drag View Post
          The dispute is whether or not s3tc support is _shipped_ enabled by authors or distributions, not that it exists.
          Thanks, the mistake was that I hadn't understood this. I had the impression, instead, that the dispute was whether or not authors should support patented features, that distributions could disable, at all.


          • #20
            Originally posted by peppepz View Post
            Linux is full of patented technology (as others have pointed out, FAT is such one, so according to the no-patents theory, the whole world should immediately stop using *all* USB sticks from Linux, or connecting their Android phones to their PC, and if they don't do that, they're a bunch of criminals).
            I'm sure the world would stop using windows too. Btw. can you name some more than just the one patent?


            • #21
              I don't get why this is such a big issue just because there's a patent defined in the US, just distribute the patented stuff to the rest of the world and leave US without them warning them somehow. Maybe this way the people in the US will finally understand how stupid their software patent laws are and rise against them! If this were any other country there wouldn't even have been any discussion about it. Let them suffer for what they allow to happen to them!


              • #22

                someone on the mailing list posted this and if its correct it seems to apply in EU also


                • #23
                  Originally posted by myxal View Post
                  BINGO! That's what we're trying to accomplish for MESA. Having a separate branch for this is a PITA and far from easy.
                  So in you're opinion, it's easier to be obliged to recompile the whole Mesa to gain a certain feature, than to just install an external librayr that will be dlopened at run time if available?
                  Sorry, I prefer a thousand times the second option. Look for instance at the libdvdread/libdvdcss stuff : distros can ship libdvdread without any fear of anything and you can just install libdvdcss to be able to read encrypted DVDs, a very small library which is in most repositories.
                  If Mesa can work this way with the s3tc lib, it's without doubt the most convenient way for end users.

                  As for floating point textures, this is different, as apparently dlopen cannot be used for them. It seems a compile switch is mandatory there.


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Saist View Post
                    but isn't S3TC owned by Via now?

                    Has anybody suggested to Via that maybe the best way they can show they are serious about Open-Source development is to make the S3 patents available to Open-Source developers under an Open-License, or under terms allowing the royalty free usage there-of?
                    My thoughts exactly. Approaching VIA would be much better in this case, and who knows? Maybe they will agree to a sort of patent covenant with the OSI for its use within OSS and Mesa (yeah, right!).