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29 Sep 2006 21:45
Linux OS Users:

Tearless ♂
Bruce from NW Las Vegas

Do any of you happen to have the Swiftfox1 browser? If so, what do you think of it?

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30 Sep 2006 15:20


Is that even legal? He's taken MPL code and basically fed gcc arch. specific instructions and claims the resulting binaries as his own under a new license, that can't be legal.

As to the entire optimization fad: with a modern processor, the speed improvement to the program "optimized" as such is negligible at best.

30 Sep 2006 17:26
you're right, yes..

Tearless ♂
Bruce from NW Las Vegas

..In obvious violation in section 3 of the license.

I think it is clearly a matter of greed1.

But I have tested the software & I will say that they is was a noticeable difference for me. So as you can see, my reactions are a bit mixed & wanted to know what others think about it.

30 Sep 2006 20:52
But i thought...


..that firefox was open source? Isn't the whole point of open source to be able to modify, change, and distribute as long as the original author was credited for the work... just like linux?

01 Oct 2006 01:21
swiftfox is not freely distributable..

Tearless ♂
Bruce from NW Las Vegas

..based on the website information. You can only download it on that website because the MPL license is unofficial.

I think its one thing for someone to take the firefox code, compile & rename it. Its another to restrict it from being distributable.

Jason Helme didn't even have the source code available on his own site at one point.. :(

02 Oct 2006 03:40


Reply to: But i thought... by: Karce

The entire point of open source licenses is to keep the software free (as in speech), e.g. I download the Linux kernel and hack it to run on a dead badger. I can then redistribute the resulting binary along with the source code so that you too can run the Linux kernel on a dead badger. However I have no right to change the original license of the source code or the resulting binaries for the simple fact that I do not own the copyright to every single letter of code that is running on the dead badger. This gives you the right to hand the binary or the code to your friends so that they also can have a dead badger that is running on the Linux kernel. (The GPL v.2 terms... v.3 which is soon to be released looks to be aimed at protecting against software patents and DRM as well, though Linus is being snooty about it).

Another example: iD Software has released the source code for the Quake 3 engine under the GPL, I can now use this game engine gratis (no charge) and build my own game around this engine. I can then _sell_ the resulting game as my own as long as none of the original Quake 3 artwork is included in the game, however under the terms of the license I have to provide the source code to the game engine and a copy of the license to everyone that downloads or buys the game.

Confused? It is nothing more than copyright. Meaning I have no rights to change the license to any letter of code that I did not put down in vi (or emacs, or nano, pico, et. al.) .

Now as this guy has done nothing more than compile the source code for Firefox in an optimized manner without coding anything himself he therefore has no right to any of the copyrights that exist within Firefox and cannot_ change the license unless he has permission from ALL of the Firefox developers. Sure the source code is still under the same license but this guy has no power and no legal right to change the license of the resulting binary and take complete credit for it, which is what he has done.

The only software license that I am aware of that allows people to change the license of the resulting binary is the BSD license, the most famous instance of this happening is the Microsoft TCP/IP stack which was taken from BSD in the coding of Windows NT (The same code still runs in XP and probably Vista...) Not exactly QDOS, but still... Then there is that whole Apple fiasco... you know steal take a BSD get it to work on your hardware and then claim it is your own work and charge people an arm and a leg to use it while making the big bucks in selling your hardware...

05 Oct 2006 04:37
I was wrong


Reply to: you're right, yes.. by: Tearless

From G. Markham of the Mozilla Foundation:

The MPL has an "alternative binary licence" clause in
section 3.6 which allows you to distribute binaries under any licence
you like. However, the source to any Modifications must be available.

05 Oct 2006 05:00

Tearless ♂
Bruce from NW Las Vegas

Only recently did the Swiftfox owner abide by that.