Another commercial Delphi component vendor has apparently decided to pursue a direction that no longer involves supporting at least some of their Delphi components on a commercial basis.  Fortunately in this case they have decided to open source their products.  So, if you are using the Luxena DBExpress drivers for Informix, these and related supporting code can now be obtained from the Google Code links, below.

Links:

Thanks to Cameron Hart of Flow Software for originally posting this information to the NZ DUG mailing list.  There has been no official announcement from Luxena on this as yet (their web site “news” showing only the most recent updates to their components… from 2006!).

13 thoughts on “Another One Bites The Dust

  1. Unfortunately it appears to be GPL v3 licensed (as opposed to using the MPL as JCL/JVCL uses) meaning if you use this in an application, be prepared to give the source away…

  2. Actually, I don’t think Luxena can or would want to do that since the components were available as a closed source commercial product previously. By releasing as GPL v3 they automatically put an obligation on existing customers to retrospectively adopt the GPL v3 license.

    I am sure that was not their intention and we are seeking clarification on that point.

  3. Jolyon -> GPL includes DLL linking – that is the difference between GPL and LGPL.

    This change does not encumber their previous customers, as they would still be convered by their old license. If they chose to include any new GPL covered developments however, they would have to accept the GPL license.

    I’ve said it before – GPL is a poison pill. From and end user’s point of view, GPL might be about freedom and everything they can do, but from a developer’s point of view, GPL is exclusively a list of what you CAN NOT do.

    I definitely favor the BSD licenses and its MPL style offshoots – now THERE is real freedom for everyone.

  4. It appears that the license has been changed to GNU LGPL on the code.google.com projects. This appears to be really recent as the projects were created less than 24 hours ago. I guess a formal annoucement by Luxena will follow soon.

  5. Luxena has been dead since 2006, so no news here.
    We used Luxena, but they never upgraded their component to support Delphi 2007. I’m sure that everyone who are using D2007 or newer have moved on. As far as i know there isn’t very good native Informix component (free or commercial) for D2007 or newer.

  6. Did you mean “retroactively” instead of “retrospectively”? Changing the license does not have any impact on existing licensees, only future ones.

    Because I do commercial work, I stay completely away from GPL licensed code. LGPL is more explicit in its intent, making the separation of library and application code clearer. In this case, all of the Luxena libraries are LGPL licensed, not GPL.

    It’s a shame that they aren’t continuing as a commercial solution, but I genuinely appreciate their generosity and the effort to make these available as open source.

  7. Releasing something as GPLv3 does not affect those who already bought the product, as those people still have a separate license agreement. Releasing as GPLv3 means “if you didn’t yet buy this product from us, you can now get it for free, provided you follow the conditions from the GPLv3”. Copyright holders cannot retroactively limit the conditions by which you obtained a copy, and the ways you can use that copy. That’s not how copyright works.

  8. Jolyon –

    You are mistaken about the effects of licensing the code under GPL. The GPL is a contract, like every other license. One license doesn’t invalidate the other. Take an easier example – if I sell you a copy of my book for $50, then I increase the price to $60, you aren’t required to come in and pay me the extra $10! Likewise, if I write some code and sell it for $N, I can then turn around and release that code under any license that I choose at a later point without impacting your license. QT does this – they call it dual licensing, but only because they offer BOTH choices at the same time.

    As for the derived work question, would you risk it? I sure wouldn’t. LGPL was MADE for this type of situation. If you don’t use LGPL or something more liberal (BSD, MIT, Mozilla, Perl license, etc), you may as well not ever release the code.

  9. @Bruce – the license was originally GPL v3 – they have changed it to LGPL at our request/suggestion.

    @Licenses Suck – as was noted by someone else, the components haven’t been updated since 2006. If/when a user updates the components themselves for D2007+ it could become confused as to which license applies – the commercial license acquired for the D2006 version or the Open Source license.

    But it doesn’t matter much – as I suspected, it was not Luxena’s intent to restrict users or confuse matters and they have now changed the license to the more permissive LGPL.

  10. If a user makes changes to code that they’ve bought to support Delphi 2007 or later, it has no impact on their license or suddenly mean that they are bound by any changes that happened in the mean time, so I’m not sure why there would be any confusion about which license applies applies.

    1. Key word: “*could*”… and “confusion” was perhaps the wrong word. “Doubt” may have been better. When presented with software incorporating Luxena Informix components lacking apparent GPL compliance you do not know whether they are in violation of the GPL license or in possession of a valid commercial license.

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