Archive for December, 2006

Of licensing

Sunday, December 24th, 2006

So Adium always has and always will be Open Source. Even the Adium 1.x codebase (not to be confused with the Adium X 1.x codebase) has been.

However, there’s all of these different problems associated with Open Source in general. For instance, a portion of the developers currently working on Adium prefer the BSD (the new bsd, 3 clause not the old 4 clause) license. And while a lot of them do, we can’t really change the licensing.

Open Source itself is rather funny in that if someone contributes something, what say do they get from then on out? Assumably they get a say over their contributions, but in reality they get a say over the entire kit. For instance, if I submitted a patch that was GPL for one of the more useful classes in the codebase, and it was accepted, the codebase could no longer be changed to say.. LGPL, until the Adium Project got my permission to change the license, or they redid my code with a clean room setup.

Clean Room?

But Chris, you ask, Chris, what is a “clean room” implementation? My apartment is pretty clean, is that it?

Why no. It’s actually kind of involved. Basically one guy reads and documents the code you want to relicense, and then another guy (or girl! girl hackers rule) writes new code based on the documentation. The bonus is you get a rewrite, and the con is the time spent plus losing already tested code.


So the interesting bit to this, and why I am posting this in the hopes of getting a response, is how do we take this with Adium? We’ve got a ton of code from people we just can no longer contact. We attempted to contact them all about 8 months ago in order to relicense or at least just have their approval in the future. As such, since it’s GPL V2 that they submitted in, how can we really move to a BSD license?

Or better yet, how do we move to the GPL v3? Now, I know the licensing states that we can, but that’s just a technicality. What about the moral ramifications of doing so? What if one of our contributors hates the GPL V3 and doesn’t want anything to do with it? How are we to know their wishes, and what if anything do we do about it?

Or better yet, we use OTR for encryption, could that be misconstrued as DRM in a court of law? I’ve seriously had someone ask me this.

The reason I ask this is because the GPL V3 is already held with a lot of contention in the Linux community, but nobody has really spoken about it in the Mac community as such. For instance, does any code compiled by gcc with a GPL V3 license mean that iTunes cannot be compiled with it, since it has DRM built in?

Stop yer yammering

So ya, it’s kind of interesting I suppose.

An Interesting Experiment

Friday, December 22nd, 2006

Along with the current beta‘s advancements, the introduction of Sparkle Plus allows for even nicer upgrading. A specific advantage of the system is the anonymous data submission which is an integral (although optional, for those of you wearing tinfoil hats) part of the upgrading process.

A nifty little program I’ve been working on with regards to the Sparkle project is our Sparkle Plus Information page. The page features graphs (bar and line) of the various data being submitted by Sparkle. A lot of the results are still inaccurate (for example, the submission of data can sometimes occur too often, swaying the results), but I believe they are an interesting thing to bring to light. Just wanted to pass on the cool information we’ve been gathering the past few weeks. 🙂

Update: Oh, I forgot to mention, the source is released under a BSD license. 🙂 You can check it out in our SVN at or you can browse it at our Trac SVN browser. Remember I still consider the code to be beta, so don’t be too alarmed at random bugs that crop up! The folder “adium” contains the adium-specific code that I use for the IMServices field (and any future Adium-specific fields).

This code, however, reduces the ability to coorelate data between different fiends to individual users. That is, it no longer stores reports as a report per person, but sums up the results given. This is both for privacy and practical purposes: we’d have millions of rows per year if we were to keep the data coorelated, and the processing time would be through the roof.

Welcome to a new Adium team member

Thursday, December 21st, 2006

Elliott Harris has accepted our invitation to join the prestigious powerhouse of development known by mortals as the Adium Team. Congratulations to Elliott!

Interested in getting involved in Adium’s open source development? Take a look at Contributing to Adium; there’s always room for more people helping out 🙂

The reddit Alien in an Adium Dock Icon

Monday, December 18th, 2006

The artist who creates the reddit homepage images has created a reddit Alien Dock icon pack for Adium. There’s even a link from reddit’s own help pages.

There’s also a digg-inspired contact list theme (not by the same author), in case you’re more of a digg fan.

Family released, villagers rejoice

Thursday, December 7th, 2006

Hey folks,

So for those of you who are interested in some of the stuff that we each do outside of Adium, take a look at this link to Family.

Evan and I have been working on Family for a while now, and we just released version 2.0. If you’re interested in Genealogy (family tree stuff) then definitely give it a gander.

– Chris