gpl

Surge in GPL source code releases

Is this just me or do we see a highly increased rate of (important and interesting) stuff being released (or announced to be released soon) under the terms of the GPL lately?

A few examples:

  • VirtualBox — a VMware-like virtualisation solution
  • Second Life — the client for now, but the server software might follow
  • Fortress — Sun's Fortran replacement
  • OpenSolaris — scheduled to be released under the GPLv3
  • Java — this might have a huge impact...
  • Sun UltraSPARC T1 — a complete, modern CPU

This is a great trend and good news for all of us. A special thanks to Sun for releasing more and more stuff under free licenses!

GNUFI - The GNU Firmware Implementation

Johan Rydberg has recently announced his Free Software (GPL) firmware implementation named GNUFI.

GNUFI is designed to be a firmware compatible with the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) specification.

GNUFI is designed so that it can be adopted to different runtime environments; such as a legacy BIOS or U-boot environment, or as a LinuxBIOS payload.

At this point there has not been any official release of GNUFI. The version controlled source repository can be accessed using Bazaar:

bzr branch http://gnufi.openbios.org/gnufi.dev

If you're interested in early testing and/or helping with development also checkout the wiki / bug tracker and the mailing list.

Free Ryzom Campaign now supported by the FSF [Update]

The Free Ryzom Campaign that I have mentioned earlier is now officially supported by the Free Software Foundation with a donation pledge of $60.000 (which now makes a total of ca. 134.000 Euros together with the contributions by many other people).

The Free Ryzom campaign was established to purchase the online game and universe known as Ryzom, property of the now bankrupt Nevrax company, and release the entire game as free software.

As stated by Peter T. Brown, Executive Director of the Free Software Foundation, the FSF considers the Free Ryzom campaign "a high priority project for the free software movement". The aim of the campaign is to publish the source code to the entire game under the terms of the
widely-used GPL, as well as publishing all of the artwork and other content under similar free licenses.

The Free Ryzom campaign represents a unique opportunity for the free software movement and the emerging free gaming field. A fully free MMORPG (massively multiplayer online roleplaying game) engine and client/server architecture would allow the development of a myriad of universes, each one evolving its own philosophy and unique content - but sharing in general technical improvements. If successful, this campaign would allow any user to create their own universe and produce their own content based on the Ryzom/Nevrax architecture.

The new goal is now to reach 200.000 Euros in order to increase chances to convince the judge to choose the Free Ryzom project as the new owner of the code and game data.

Pledges must be made within the next few days, since the deadline for the final bid is expected sometime before Wednesday, December 19th, depending on when the judges make their decision.

Good luck to the project!

Update 2006-12-14: Fix the numbers (Euro vs. Dollar messup). Thanks Ward Vandewege!

The Free Ryzom Campaign - A campaign to buy Ryzom and publish it under the GPL

Ryzom is a Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) developed by the French company Nevrax. It is based on the NeL game engine (also from Nevrax), which is GPL'd already.

As "due to market conditions and other unforseen cirucumstances, a request to begin bankruptcy proceedings has been filed at the commerce tribunal", the Free Ryzom Campaign has formed with the aim to buy the source code and game data and release it under the GPL:

Help us make Ryzom a Free MMORPG! Donate now to help us purchase the source code, artwork and other game data associated with Ryzom, so we can breathe new life into it as an open, democratically run player project.

They've even set up a Social Contract (modeled after the Debian Social Contract) which states among other things that "Ryzom and all materials produced by the Free Ryzom Project will become and remain 100% Free Software".

If you want to support the project, you can make a donation pledge (used to convince the official presiding over the liquidation process). No real donations are possible at the moment.

More info/material on the game:

I'm looking forward to the day where I can apt-get install ryzom and play a fully free MMORG...

[1] I recommend using the Mozilla/Firefox/Iceweasel VideoDownloader extension to download the videos and watch them with mplayer.

(via Karl-Tux-Stadt)

Nexuiz - a fast-paced, GPL'd ego shooter

Nexuiz screenshot

Although I'm not a "gamer", I enjoy playing computer games from time to time. First-person shooters are especially well-suited for relaxing after a long and exhausting day ;-)

IMHO a very good choice, if you're looking for a fun Free Software first-person shooter running on Linux, is Nexuiz.

Nexuiz

  • is GPL'd (and not only the code, but also the data!)
  • is based on the Darkplaces engine, which in turn is based on the Quake engine
  • should be packaged for Debian sooner or later
  • has an unpronouncable name, which is always a bonus ;-)

Nexuiz version 1.5 has recently been released, which features new maps, new characters, better AI and lots more. Check it out!

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