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Debian Kicks Jörg Schilling 473

Posted by Hemos
from the to-the-curb-baby dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Debian's cdrecord maintainers announced that they have had enough of Jörg Schilling and kicked his program suite cdrtools out of Debian, introducing a free fork of his no longer free cdrtools." I've put the message below, along with some other links.
So, why the fork? CD/DVD burning is a complicated business that needs a lot of knowledge, so forking such a big collection isn't a step to be taken lightly. It requires a lot of development effort that could be put to better use elsewhere.

In the past, we, the Debian maintainers of cdrtools, had a good and mutually cooperative relationship with Jörg Schilling. He even commented on Debian bug reports, which is one of the best things an upstream maintainer can do. Naturally, there were occasionally disagreements, but this is normal.

Unfortunately Sun then developed the CDDL and Jörg Schilling released parts of recent versions of cdrtools under this license. The CDDL is incompatible with the GPL. The FSF itself says that this is the case as do people who helped draft the CDDL. One current and one former Sun employee visited the annual Debian conference in Mexico in 2006. Danese Cooper clearly stated there that the CDDL was intentionally modelled on the MPL in order to make it GPL- incompatible. For everyone who wants to hear this first-hand, we have video from that talk available.

Here is the FSF position about the CDDL. This thread contains statements on the issue made by Debian people; for more context also see the other mails in that thread. In short -- the CDDL has extra restrictions, which the GPL does not allow. Jörg has a different opinion about this and has repeatedly stated that the CDDL is not incompatible, interpreting a facial expression in the above-mentioned video, calling us liars and generally appearing unwilling to consider our concerns (he never replied to the parts where we explained why it is incompatible). As he has basically ignored what we have said, we have no choice but to fork. While the CDDL *may* be a free license, we never questioned if it is free or not, as it is not our place to decide this as the Debian cdrtools maintainers. However, having been approved by OSI doesn't mean it's ok for any usage, as Jörg unfortunately seems to assume. There are several OSI-approved licenses that are GPL-incompatible and CDDL is one of them. That is and always was our point.

For our fork we used the last GPL-licensed version of the program code and killed the incompatibly licensed build system. It is now replaced by a cmake system, and the whole source we distribute should be free of other incompatibilities, as to the best of our current knowledge.

Anyone who wants to help with this fork, particularly developers of other distributions, is welcome to join our efforts. You can contact us on IRC, server irc.oftc.net, channel #debburn, or via mail at debburn-devel@lists.alioth.debian.org. Here is our svn repository.
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Debian Kicks Jörg Schilling

Comments Filter:
  • I believe (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04, 2006 @11:25AM (#16038324)
    They told him to fork off.
  • Ouch (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04, 2006 @11:26AM (#16038328)
    I understand dropping his package, but kicking him? Man, I don't want to upset the Debian team.
  • by Bombcar (16057) <racbmob&bombcar,com> on Monday September 04, 2006 @11:27AM (#16038337) Homepage Journal
    Won't the GPLv3 be incompatible with the GPL?
    • by jZnat (793348) *
      The more interesting question is how long will it take for the GPLv3 to make it in Debian Stable.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Nutria (679911)
        The more interesting question is how long will it take for the GPLv3 to make it in Debian Stable.

        How do you release a license as a product?

  • by bgfay (5362) on Monday September 04, 2006 @11:30AM (#16038356) Homepage
    They refer to MPL in the message and I wondered if that's that Mozilla license and if that is really incompatible with the FSF.
    • by OmegaBlac (752432) on Monday September 04, 2006 @11:53AM (#16038494)
      Yes it is the Mozilla Public License. From the "GPL-Incompatible, Free Software Licenses" section of one of the links posted in the summary/article:

      Mozilla Public License (MPL)

      This is a free software license which is not a strong copyleft; unlike the X11 license, it has some complex restrictions that make it incompatible with the GNU GPL. That is, a module covered by the GPL and a module covered by the MPL cannot legally be linked together. We urge you not to use the MPL for this reason.

      However, MPL 1.1 has a provision (section 13) that allows a program (or parts of it) to offer a choice of another license as well. If part of a program allows the GNU GPL as an alternate choice, or any other GPL-compatible license as an alternate choice, that part of the program has a GPL-compatible license.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by BrokenSegue (895288)
      Yep, MPL==Mozilla Public License. The MPL is incompatible with the GPL because MPL'd code can be combined with proprietary code. FSF [gnu.org] says that MPL has "some complex restrictions that make it incompatible with the GNU GPL." To get around this potential problem, Mozilla licenses all of their code under the MPL, GPL and LGPL (a so called tri-license [mozilla.org]).
      See MPL [wikipedia.org] for more details.
      I wonder why Schilling doesn't just dual-license? (I did RFTA)
      • by Curtman (556920) on Monday September 04, 2006 @03:05PM (#16039482)
        I wonder why Schilling doesn't just dual-license?
        Because Schilling is a Sun fanboi. See his blog [blogspot.com] for details..

        "OpenSolaris however _is_ a real threat for Linux. OpenSolaris gives more freedom than Linux, it gives new impressing features and there is marketing.

        It seems that the reason for the FUD against OpenSolaris published by Linux people is caused by the fact that product of value and freedom found in Linux is smaller than the product of value and freedom available with OpenSolaris.
        "

        Among other humourous things.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by truedfx (802492)

        The MPL is incompatible with the GPL because MPL'd code can be combined with proprietary code.

        That's clearly untrue, as the FSF explicitly state that public domain code, (modified-)BSD-licensed code, X11-licensed code, and code released under various other licenses that can be combined with proprietary code is GPL-compatible.

        FSF says that MPL has "some complex restrictions that make it incompatible with the GNU GPL."

        This is why, and nothing more.

  • I retract my comment from the other day (http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=195649&cid=16 033548). The folks at Debian are still apparantly squabbling over how free is free enough.
  • Do I read that message correctly as saying that MPL-like licenses are not allowed in Debian? If so, did Debian also not allow Mozilla back in the old days when it was MPL/NPL licensed, or is this a new decision?
  • CDDL (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mrsam (12205) on Monday September 04, 2006 @11:35AM (#16038385) Homepage
    Anyone who kept track of Joerg Schilling, and his prominent ego, was able to clearly see the inevitable fork from quite a distance away. Schilling was another one of those types -- like the dude who was running some obscure piece of code known as xfree86 -- whose success and prominence as the author of a popular free software package went completely into his head.

    No, this should not be suprising news to anyone who's been following LKML. You could've predicted this a long time ago. What is really interesting here is the revelation that Sun explicitly made CDDL intentionally incompatible with GPL. That is, what I think, the newsworthy fact, and should be a wake up call to all the Sun fan club who've been slobbering all over themselves on the account of Sun's promises of releasing Java as free software.

    Reading this just underscores the fact that you just can't trust Sun, and nobody should hold their breath on account of Java.
    • If Sun releases their VM under CDDL, it will still be free software.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by eviltypeguy (521224)
      Anyone who kept track of Joerg Schilling, and his prominent ego, was able to clearly see the inevitable fork from quite a distance away. Schilling was another one of those types -- like the dude who was running some obscure piece of code known as xfree86 -- whose success and prominence as the author of a popular free software package went completely into his head.

      If that's all it was, then why has no one else been able to create an equivalent tool to Joerg's?

      You make it sound like Joerg was all hot air, and
      • Re:CDDL (Score:5, Interesting)

        by krmt (91422) <therefrmhere&yahoo,com> on Monday September 04, 2006 @11:56AM (#16038511) Homepage
        t's funny because when the Apache Software Foundation has a license that is incompatible with the GPL, no one gave them grief, but SUN moves to one and suddenly they're evil...
        Debian actually quietly engaged the Apache Foundation about their license too and worked to resolve issues there as well.
        • Re:CDDL (Score:4, Insightful)

          by ray-auch (454705) on Monday September 04, 2006 @01:00PM (#16038861)

          Debian actually quietly engaged the Apache Foundation about their license too and worked to resolve issues there as well.


          really ? someone needs to tell the FSF then, because they still list all the apache licenses as incompatible http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/index_html#G PLIncompatibleLicenses [fsf.org].

          no offence intended, you may be a lawyer etc., but I trust the FSF website on this a lot more than someone posting on /. after all, part of the problem here is that Jörg Schilling has been going with his own thoughts on which licences are GPL (in)compatible instead of listening to the relevant experts.

          so, until someone credible says otherwise, the GP is right, the Apache Software Foundation does have a license that is incompatible with the GPL. furthermore, since it's been so, and been known to be so, for a number of versions, it is unlikely that this incompatibility is accidental.

          on that basis they deserve at least as much grief about it as Sun.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by krmt (91422)
            I didn't say they made the Apache license compatible with the GPL. There was code being distributed under the Apache license and the GPL in much the same manner as Schilling is distributing cdrtools with mixed and incompatible terms. Some Debian people talked to some Apache people and got the license conflict resolved. The Apache people were obviously much more cooperative than Schilling.
      • Danese Cooper was no longer a SUN employee as of March 2005. Her words (from after that) are therefore not representative of SUN.

        If she spoke about a decision she is knowledgeable of that was made prior to her departure then her words are indeed applicable.
      • Re:CDDL (Score:5, Interesting)

        by r00t (33219) on Monday September 04, 2006 @12:25PM (#16038675) Journal
        "If that's all it was, then why has no one else been able to create an equivalent tool to Joerg's? You make it sound like Joerg was all hot air, and not a extremely technically cable person."

        Who said anything about technical capability?

        Well, I will: Joerg is moderately capable. His advantage is that he personally owns many expensive and out-of-production burners, and that his employer (the lovely MP3 patent holders) he has an unusual ability to get vendors to cooperate in giving out hardware information under NDA.

        Joerg is a stubborn bone-headed idiot when it comes to user interface, hardware abstractions, and portability. He has the gall to claim that users actually like to specify all burners by a 1980s-style set of three numbers, and that users actually like running the -scanbus option instead of just using /dev/burner (or /dev/white-sony-drive, etc.) for the name. See the linux-kernel mailing list for some great flamewars, many involving Linus and many which lead to somebody catching Joerg in a lie.

        So... are you Joerg, or are you his buddy the xcdroast author? That program too is a piece of shit. I've seen the code. It has buffer overflows. It doesn't abstract out the interface to the burner program. All over the code one can find ugly little bits of buggy cdrecord output parsing code, mixed right in with the GUI widgets. That's not how competant people write programs, excepting throw-away hacks.

        • Re:CDDL (Score:5, Insightful)

          by belmolis (702863) <billposer@alum. m i t .edu> on Monday September 04, 2006 @12:38PM (#16038753) Homepage

          This doesn't surprise me in light of my experience with some of his other projects. On several occasions I've come upon one of his projects on Freshmeat and been interested enough to try to build it. This has generally been problematic. He has his own configuration and build system. It isn't necessarily bad - it may even have some advantages - but it is idiosyncratic and in my experience a pain to use. When I've examined the specifics of his project I usually find that the differences between it and the more standard version (several of his projects are variants of standard utilities, e.g. his count [freshmeat.net] is a variant of wc) aren't sufficiently interesting to me to make the hassle of his build system worthwhile, or that they lack features of other variants that are important for my purposes. (His count, for example, is said to be faster than GNU wc, but doesn't understand Unicode.)

          None of this means that he is evil or incompetant, but it does give the impression of someone who is insistently idiosyncratic. I can easily imagine that he'd be difficult to deal with.

          • Re:CDDL (Score:5, Informative)

            by diegocgteleline.es (653730) on Monday September 04, 2006 @01:22PM (#16038974)
            None of this means that he is evil or incompetant, but it does give the impression of someone who is insistently idiosyncratic. I can easily imagine that he'd be difficult to deal with.

            Heh. He also has his own make version for some reason. Also, IIRC cdrecord doesn't (or didn't) support DVD recording except through a propietary program made by schilling. You needed to pay him money in order to get a license and a key. People had to code opens-source DVD extensions, and distros had to patch the cdrecord source with those extensions.

            And then, there's the dev= issue. Schilling insist that the "right way" of using your burner is by passing the dev=1,2,3 argument, instead of dev=/dev/foo, and that the "right thing" to do is not to use a kernel interface to use the burner, but to let cdrecord internal libraries to access directly to the IDE/SCSI bus, like in the good old DOS days. When Suse patched their cdrecord version to use dev=/dev/foo directly, he wrote a linuxcheck() function [mozillazine.org] that printks a warning when you're using a 2.6 kernel, and he "sub-licensed" that function with a GPL-incompatible statement: "you can't remove this function", just to try to force Suse and Redhat to include it.
        • Re:CDDL (Score:5, Interesting)

          by rainer_d (115765) on Monday September 04, 2006 @03:54PM (#16039697) Homepage
          > He has the gall to claim that users actually like to specify all burners by a 1980s-style set of three numbers,

          Hey - I actually thought it to be normal.
          Because, in FreeBSD-land, there's camcontrol(8) devlist, which gives you exactly these numbers.
          Also, some people may have more than one burner. The above makes it very obvious, which one is the right one.

          > and that users actually like running the -scanbus option instead of just using /dev/burner

          It's a legacy, maybe - but just try to find a command in Linux to rescan your SCSI-bus.
          Well, there isn't. Instead, you are supposed to echo some values into certain parts of the procfs, or run some vendor-specific script.
          Wow, l33t. Impressive. *That's* what I call a hack.

          Yes, cdrecord is still living in SCSI-land - but this is the only cross-platform (API-) stable peripheral interface that works on almost any unix-platform.
          Nowadays, too much open-source software is full of code that assume that everybody=linux - or those stupid install-scripts that assume sh=bash.
          I *loathe* them.

          And, as someone else pointed out: if it would be so easy-peasy to code a cdrecord replacement, somebody would have done it already.
          But apparently, some people prefer to fight over licences, rather than actually produce code...
          (This is not to put down the OpenBSD-project, who also fight for free-ness of code - but they actually go the extra-mile and have the guts to start from scratch, if it is necessary. In Linux-land, forking a GPLed older version seems to be de-rigeur - any counter-examples?)

      • Re:CDDL (Score:4, Funny)

        by harmonica (29841) on Monday September 04, 2006 @12:25PM (#16038678)
        If that's all it was, then why has no one else been able to create an equivalent tool to Joerg's?

        You make it sound like Joerg was all hot air, and not a extremely technically cable person.


        Being a good developer and "letting success go to one's head" don't rule each other out.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mrsam (12205)
        If that's all it was, then why has no one else been able to create an equivalent tool to Joerg's?

        Because as long as Joerg's tool was free software, there was no need to. Nobody really cared much about Joerg being a jackass, as long as his software basically worked, and was redistributable under the GPL.

        Until one of those two properties changed, Joerg could've remained as pompous and as much of an ass as he wished. But that will hold true only until you cross a certain line.

        We've seen this happen with XFree
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Chops (168851)

      Anyone who kept track of Joerg Schilling, and his prominent ego, was able to clearly see the inevitable fork from quite a distance away.

      Seconded. I used to use Schilling's "prodvd" fork of cdrecord to burn DVDs at work. Since prodvd is shareware (free for personal use, but registration required for commercial use), I talked to my boss about registering my copy, and then tried to contact Schilling to pay him the money to get a legal license. I tried two email addresses listed in his webspace, got no res

  • I wonder if this has anything to do with him recently quiting? It seems that debian has been taking one hit after another lately.
  • by eviltypeguy (521224) on Monday September 04, 2006 @11:39AM (#16038417)
    What Danese Cooper says is wrong. I and many other members of the OpenSolaris project know for certain that SUN did not create the CDDL to be purposefully incompatible with the GPL. SUN even releases other software under the GPL and LGPL.

    It is also important to note that Danese Cooper's employment with SUN ended in March of 2005 (http://blogs.sun.com/DaneseCooper/). This means that any statements made by her are not officially representative of SUN. Conspiracy theorists are free to believe what they wish.

    In addition, what the maintainers have failed to mention is that they have repatedly introduced patches to the codebase that have broken or otherwise caused problems in the cdrtools codebase. They need help because they don't know how to maintain cdrtools properly.

    In addition, there are currently problems with Debian's Free Software Guidelines. Notably that the project does not consistently enforce them because many rules are not explicitly written, instead each software is judged on a case-by-case interpretation making it difficult for upstream developers to comply and those interpretations themselves are not always consistent. If you want proof of this, just read the various flame wars on debian-legal, etc.
    • by rhizome (115711) on Monday September 04, 2006 @12:04PM (#16038565) Homepage Journal
      I appreciate your comments explaining another perspective on this issue. It's always good to have as many angles represented on contentious issues. However, your points are not really germane to the story.

      What Danese Cooper says is wrong. I and many other members of the OpenSolaris project know for certain that SUN did not create the CDDL to be purposefully incompatible with the GPL.

      This does not contradict the stance holding that the CDDL is incompatible with the GPL.

      In addition, what the maintainers have failed to mention is that they have repatedly introduced patches to the codebase that have broken or otherwise caused problems in the cdrtools codebase.

      This has nothing to do with the license.

      In addition, there are currently problems with Debian's Free Software Guidelines. Notably that the project does not consistently enforce them because many rules are not explicitly written, instead each software is judged on a case-by-case interpretation making it difficult for upstream developers to comply and those interpretations themselves are not always consistent.

      In light of this, it would be an act in the name of consistency to further exclude other CDDL projects. It seems you are arguing for the inconsistency to be applied to cdrtools rather than fighting for greater consistency. A predictable reaction to the situation you describe could be to acknowledge the problems between the CDDL and the GPL and frame the controversy in this way, but when projects with incompatible licenses point to other problems in Debians inclusion choices in order to slip themselves through the gate it just poisons the well further rather than attempting to help satisfy Debian's goals.
    • by Mr.Ned (79679) on Monday September 04, 2006 @05:00PM (#16040008)
      "What Danese Cooper says is wrong. I and many other members of the OpenSolaris project know for certain that SUN did not create the CDDL to be purposefully incompatible with the GPL. SUN even releases other software under the GPL and LGPL."

      Danese Cooper is the primary author of the CDDL; if there's anyone who knows the CDDL, it's her.

      In the video linked in the article (from May of this year), she does indeed say that the CDDL is intentionally incompatible with the GPL, and the Sun employee also in the discussion (Sun's free software community relations guy) confirms this.

      In the video it's explained that the Solaris development community didn't want to release the code under the GPL, and if Sun had done so prominent developers were ready to quit. Also in the video, she explains that Sun modelled the CDDL on the Mozilla Public License intentionally with the hopes that the Mozilla community would adopt it, and that the CDDL was left incompatible with the GPL partially to appeal to the Mozilla community.
  • by grandmofftarkin (49366) * <3b16-ihd3@xemaps.com> on Monday September 04, 2006 @11:41AM (#16038427)
    I thought that someone already forked this long ago because of problems with Joerg Schilling mucking around with the license? Read the wikipedia entry on dvdrtools [wikipedia.org]. In fact, dvdrtools is already a debian package [debian.org]. Why did they need another fork?
    • by evilviper (135110) on Monday September 04, 2006 @02:32PM (#16039312) Journal
      I thought that someone already forked this long ago because of problems with Joerg Schilling mucking around with the license?

      It's not really a similar situation at all. Joerg was SELLING dvdrecord-pro, as a commercial app, with no open source equivalent. To get free DVD-burning, there was little choice but to take cdrecord/mkisofs and extend it to DVDs.

      Why did they need another fork?

      dvdrtools was branched off a while ago, and the most recent changes have not been merged from cdrtools.

      Last I checked, dvdrtools wasn't as good as cdrtools in specific cases, like burning from bin/cue files.

      dvdrtools is very similar, but isn't a 100% compatible, drop-in replacement for users, and applications that use it, as this debian fork is meant to be.

      Besides, this fork may just be a short-term measure, which seems likely, as they are planning on integrating it immediately.
  • Just an excuse (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I suspect that, as usual, the license issues are really just an excuse, and that the real reason is that the current maintainer of cdrtools hasn't been doing a very good job. What's up with IDE being deprecated? Why do they make us go through all that SCSI business, when at least 95% of the people who use it have no SCSI? Hopefully the debian fork will make the cdrtools better and more usable.
  • by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice.gmail@com> on Monday September 04, 2006 @11:46AM (#16038453)
    Not according to the FSF themselves, who list it under the heading 'The following licenses are free software licenses, but are not compatible with the GNU GPL'.

    • by drnlm (533500) on Monday September 04, 2006 @12:01PM (#16038541) Homepage
      GPL-incompatible means GPL incompatible, not non-free. This is really not hard to understand.

      Combing GPL code with a GPL-incompatible license produces code that cannot be distributed. The GPL v2 specifies, you cannot add further restrictions, so if I combine this with code with a license that adds further restrictions, the code can no longer be distributed under the GPL. If I don't have permission from all the GPL contributers to relicense their code, I cannot legally redistribute the combined work. This is pretty much the entire point of copyleft.

      Since the latest cdrtools packages look to be a combination of GPL'd code and incompatibly licensed code, Debian is removing crtools (not shunting it to non-free), because they feel they can no longer distribute the work.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by krmt (91422)
      Read the article. This has nothing to do with how free the license is. The cdrtools codebase has code licensed under the GPL as well as the CDDL. Becauase these licenses are incompatible, it is illegal to distribute them together because you will be violating the copyrights of at least one of the copyright holders, if not all of them. So Debian can not distribute cdrtools legally. That's why they went back to the original all-GPL version which can be distributed legally.
  • XV was booted because it could only be dustributed as source. And of course the fact the author still demands shareware fees for an app that hasn't been updated in seven years.
  • about time (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04, 2006 @11:52AM (#16038488)
    Some of us grew tired of his rantings about:
      - why scsi emulation was better than native atapi/ide support
      - why the dvd patches were unofficial, and dangerous and you should buy his dvd modifications instead.
      - his insistance of clearly marking "unofficial" versions with warnings that tell you to use or buy his version
      - his sections of code that were not to be modified because he was afraid of answering questions about others instable patches.
      - his license change
      - ...

    cdrtools is dead. long live cdrkit.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by flacco (324089)
      Some of us grew tired of his rantings


      amen to that. goodbye, and good riddance.


      congrats to the debian team for maintaining their standards.

  • It made sense when CDs cost over a buck, and burns took an hour. Now the damned delay before you burn is a signifigant percentage of the total burn time. There should at least be a flag to skip it.
  • by ishmalius (153450) on Monday September 04, 2006 @11:56AM (#16038507)
    If so, then he can use any license he wants. He could wrap it in the User Must Wear Chicken Suit License if he so desires.

    The Debian side itself says in the message that Mr. Schilling's is the original upstream code, and that he has been very supportive of them in the past.

    It almost sounds as if they wanted to dictate to him what the terms should be, and they are unhappy that he is not complying.

    • by Bitsy Boffin (110334) on Monday September 04, 2006 @01:12PM (#16038922) Homepage
      The problem is that he has wrapped parts of his software package in two different, incompatible licences... if you like to continue the chicken suit analogy

      1. You may distribute this software only if you wear a chicken suit
      and 2. You may distribute this software only if you do not wear a chicken suit

      so Jorg says you cannot distribute the software unless you both do, and do not, at the same time, wear a chicken suit. Fairly obviously, in this universe, distributing software under those conditions would be somewhat impossible.

      The deb maintainers have tried to show Jorg this problem, but he is unwilling to change the situation, and as a result the only way that deb can legitimately distribute this software is to fork it from before the second licence was imposed and continue development themselves.

      Basically, they've given Jorg every opportunity to correct the problem so he can continue to have his package legally distributed by debian, he's refused for whatever reason, and so debian has NO CHOICE but to fork it, drop it, or distribute it illegally. They chose rightly to fork it.
  • Like XFree86? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Svenne (117693) on Monday September 04, 2006 @12:00PM (#16038532) Homepage
    So, does this mean Jörg's cdrtools will go the way of XFree86 4.4+?

    I can see a lot of positive things coming out of this move.
  • Joerg's position (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Britz (170620) on Monday September 04, 2006 @12:28PM (#16038689) Homepage
    Why didn't the author include Joerg's position on this? He didn't even provide a link to his hompage:
    http://cdrecord.berlios.de/old/private/cdrecord.ht ml [berlios.de]

    He also seems to have problems with Suse and RedHat as far as his homepage goes (they also include older versions) and with the Linux kernel itself. There seems to be some stuff he dislikes about the SCSI subsystem. And he seems to prefer the way Solaris handles SCSI. Maybe someone with some insight (if there are any left on /.) could comment on that one, since I am not a kernel hacker.

    Joerg Schilling is doing excellent work. But as some others have commented there seem to be personal issues. So it is a shame that they had to use such a lame excuse to boot him. I am pretty sure the fork will go nowhere or at best use patches from Joerg Schilling proving that there never were incompatible licences.

    Note that I don't argue that he might be a difficult character. Comments on /. as well as his problems with other distros and the kernel suggest that he is. I simply don't know. But I also heard that Linux Torvalds can be a very harsh himself. Anybody want to fork the kernel because of that?
    • by r00t (33219) on Monday September 04, 2006 @12:57PM (#16038842) Journal
      Back in the 1980s, the SCSI command protocol and the old-style SCSI bus were a matched pair. Devices had ID numbers that you could set with jumpers. Devices didn't move around. There was no hot-plug or plug-and-play.

      Now we run the SCSI protocol over USB, FireWire, SerialATA, TCP/IP, and numerous other transports. You can't address all the devices on the Internet with a 3-bit number. Devices come and go. If you plug in a CD burner, it usually shouldn't matter which USB port you use.

      The Linux solution is UDEV. We can also use D-BUS and HAL. Device names in /dev are now set by the user. UDEV matches various things (serial number, manufacturer, location, etc.) to identify the device. Device numbers are dynamic and essentially random. The names are stable. Normal apps open devices by name.

      Joerg wants to use an obsolete backdoor. He doesn't use the normal device names or the normal CD/DVD driver. He uses the /dev/sg* devices, which are intended for screwball devices that don't have normal drivers. It is similar to a modem program bypassing the /dev/tty* devices by calling iopl() and then directly controlling the hardware.

      Suppose you have two USB burners. If you yank out your USB cable and then put it back, the device numbers may change. The device names can remain the same, thanks to UDEV. Joerg's defective program will be unaware of this. It will just use the wrong burner.
  • Good riddance! (Score:4, Informative)

    by cpghost (719344) on Monday September 04, 2006 @12:31PM (#16038700) Homepage

    As FreeBSD user, I don't care much about Debian's specific decisions; but regarding cdrtools, I fully agree. The latest versions have become annoyingly FUD-dy and kind of ads for Joerg's commercial version. Fortunately, burncd (for CD) and growisofs (for DVD) work just as fine here. cdrkit will be a welcome addition to FreeBSD's ports system as well.

    It's not the first time some developer's stubborn-ness resulted in a fork. That's the beauty of OSS (GPL and other OSS-compatible licenses): control freaks can't get away with it. Now let's hope some brave soul would adopt cdrkit and keep it up to date with the newest burning technology.

  • by Ant P. (974313) on Monday September 04, 2006 @01:19PM (#16038957) Homepage
    While Debian has the balls to do this, Gentoo already had a GPLed fork of cdrtools available, and TOOK IT AWAY just because a new version of cdrtools came out with a few new features.
  • Finally! (Score:4, Informative)

    by geekboy642 (799087) on Monday September 04, 2006 @03:29PM (#16039597) Journal
    ABOUT!!!

    EFFFING!!!

    TIME!!!

    I have DESPISED this man's code since the day I saw it. His BONEHEADED insistence on doing things the Solaris way in Linux, his apparent INABILITY to use a standard build system, and the INSUFFERABLE ARROGANCE he displays through absolutely everything he does are completely INFURIATING.

    Think I'm spewing flamebait? Nonsense. Read this bug report [debian.org] about cdrtools. He starts by insisting his misinterpretation of the GPL is correct, goes on to threaten defamation(slander) lawsuits in german courts against Debian, and finishes up calling most the people in the discussion thread "convinced liars". The man is unusable as an open source contributor, and I am ecstatic that more people actually realize this now.
  • by joe_n_bloe (244407) on Monday September 04, 2006 @04:44PM (#16039925) Homepage
    Has anyone here ever tried to buy a ProDVD license? I have, on behalf of a former employer, and the result (by email) was always no reply. Every year or so our production system would stop working until someone realized that another "free" key had gone bad.

    So not only does Jörg keep his software non-free - he doesn't take money for it either. I concluded a long time ago that his thought processes are not standard issue.
    • ROTFL (Score:3, Funny)

      by r00t (33219)
      "his thought processes are not standard issue"

      Oh my. That is perfect.

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