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Re: [News] Review of Firefox 3, Team Explains Success of Development Model

Verily I say unto thee, that chrisv spake thusly:
> Homer wrote:
>> Verily I say unto thee, that Linonut spake thusly:

>>> I'm liking Firefox 3.  Can't wait to have some time to track down
>>>  a 64-bit version.
>> Just get Swiftweasel:
> Is that evolved from the now-defunct SwiftFox?

Reports of SwiftFox's demise have been greatly exaggerated, since
3.0pre-4 is available here:


However, be aware that this is /not/ Free Software:


1. Swiftfox binaries are not distributed under the MPL
   license and are not freely distributable.  Swiftfox
   is licensed only to the user that downloads the
   binary from getswiftfox.com and no distribution
   to other parties is allowable under this license.
   Download of any binary from getswiftfox.com
   constitutes acceptance of these terms.

2. Swiftfox source code is available for download from
   getswiftfox.com which is in keeping with the
   requirements set forth by mozilla.org.  This source
   code includes all patches that have been applied to
   create Swiftfox other than those that involve
   branding.  Swiftfox source code compiles correctly
   on my build machine.  No warranty or support is
   provided for builders.

3. Source code only is licensed MPL as required by
   mozilla.org http://www.mozilla.org/MPL/MPL-1.1.txt
   Binaries are not MPL and no redistribution of
   binaries is allowable under any circumstances.


OTOH, Swiftweasel /is/ Free Software, as well as having the code
optimisation benefits of SwiftFox:


Swiftweasel and Swiftdove source code is licensed under the Mozilla
Public License 1.1 also known as the MPL. As such the source code is
freely available under the MPL as are the changes. This project has
anonymous read-only CVS access. As well as web based access to the code.
All changes and modifications to the source to make Swiftweasel and
Swiftdove will also be under the MPL 1.1.


The binary releases of Swiftweasel and Swiftdove will also be licensed
under the MPL. Unaltered binary packages are freely distributable and


Of course the Debian Iceweasel project (the first to break from Mozilla
due to the trademark nonsense [1]) is still alive and well:


And GNU IceCat (previously, and rather confusingly, known as GNU
IceWeasel) is also ongoing, albeit at a slightly slower pace:


Shortly after the inception of Gobuntu, and much heated debate about
whether or not it should depreciate Firefox in favour of Debian's
Iceweasel (Gobuntu was supposed to be a /radical/ implementation of
Freedom, after all), Mozilla Corp. made a half-hearted attempt at a
concession, called "Mozilla Community Edition":

A Community Edition is a version of Mozilla software that has some set
of customizations beyond those normally allowed under the Mozilla
Trademark Policy.


The following changes are permitted within Community Editions:

    * Change certain preference settings


Community members and organizations can start using the "Firefox
Community Edition" and "Thunderbird Community Edition" trademarks from
day one, but the Mozilla Foundation may require individuals or teams to
stop doing so in the future if they are redistributing software with low
quality and efforts to remedy the situation have not succeeded. Doing
things this way allows us to give as much freedom to people as possible,
while maintaining our trademarks as a mark of quality-- which we are
required to do in order to keep them.

"As much freedom as possible" sounds like a very lacklustre commitment
to the principles of Free Software, however this change came at a very
opportune moment, since Shuttleworth was adamant that he was sticking
with Firefox, because keeping his promise of implementing a strictly
Free version of Gobuntu, by maintaining a separate Free codebase, was of
"little benefit":

The Mozilla® mail client shipped with Fedora is similarly encumbered
(Thunderbird®), which is one of many bugs I hope to remedy over the next
few months (along with depreciating Mono, amongst other things) in a
Free(er) fork of Fedora.



| 'When it comes to knowledge, "ownership" just doesn't make sense'
|     ~ Cory Doctorow, The Guardian.  http://tinyurl.com/22bgx8

Fedora release 8 (Werewolf) on sky, running kernel
 01:27:33 up 158 days, 22:03,  6 users,  load average: 0.12, 0.10, 0.12

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