[conspire] Upcoming meeting dates

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Mon Oct 31 09:41:00 PST 2005

Quoting Daniel Gimpelevich (daniel at gimpelevich.san-francisco.ca.us):
> Here are a couple of selected relevant quotes from the SuSE website:
>> What's the Difference Between the CD and DVD Edition

> One more SuSE page I should have mentioned:
> http://www.novell.com/coolsolutions/tip/16015.html

> Oops again: make that two more:
> http://www.novell.com/coolsolutions/tip/16076.html

None of those three pages clarifies the difference between Retail
Edition and Eval Edition.  E.g., note the omission from
http://www.novell.com/coolsolutions/tip/16015.html :

> There are two versions of SUSE Linux 10.0. One is the retail (box
> purchase) version known as SUSE Linux 10.0, and the other is the free
> downloadable version, which is known as SUSE Linux OSS 10.0. The
> retail version can contain closed source packages. Since OSS stands
> for Open Source Software, the OSS version does not contain closed
> source software.

If you look on ftp://ftp.suse.com/ (and mirrors), and then on the
OpenSUSE site, you find that there are _two_ editions of downloadable
ISOs: OSS and eval -- not just the one detailed in the pages you cite.

OSS Edition is freely redistributable, because (as mentioned) it
contains only open source / free software.  There is some reason to
believe that Eval Edition is not freely redistributable:  It appears to
be offered only via authorised download sites, and appears to contain
the usual suspects of non-redistributable proprietary software, e.g.,
RealPlayer, Macromedia Flash Player, Adobe Acrobat.

Adrien mentioned fonts.  Typefaces are one of the more subtle but
pervasive licence-related problems:  One of the reasons I keep around my
old CDs of Star Office and of Corel Linux OS Deluxe Edition is to mine
them for very high-quality typefaces, creation of which is, alas, such a
valuable, rare, and difficult task that it's nearly impossible to find
them licensed in a redistributable fashion.  (This is one of the reasons
why Sun Star Office still tends to look nicer than the OpenOffice.org
codebase it's based on.)

Anyhow, the _real_ unresolved question, which no site I've seen thus far
addresses, is what if any packages in SUSE Linux v. 10.0 Retail Edition
are omitted in Eval Edition.  Maybe none:  Maybe the sole difference is
that retail edition comes in a box with printed documentation, with a 
bundled support agreement, while Eval Edition has neither but can have
paid support purchased a la carte.

Or, as Adrien suggests, maybe at minimum Eval Edition drops a number of 
restrictively licensed typefaces -- and possibly other things.  I'd 
like to find out, some time.

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