Letter to Microsoft to open-source MSX Bios and MSX Basic

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By Tanni

Hero (556)

Аватар пользователя Tanni

04-02-2011, 13:57

I've not much time, now.

AS?

Muffie's deadline was much too short for the importance of that letter. Yes, it's a very good idea.

By FiXato

Scribe (1740)

Аватар пользователя FiXato

04-02-2011, 14:45

Quick spelling note: it is 'scene', not 'szene'. Though I think the word 'community' would be more appropriate instead.

By Tanni

Hero (556)

Аватар пользователя Tanni

04-02-2011, 20:51

Letter to Microsoft, version 2

To whom it may concern,

This is an open letter from members of the MSX community. MSX is a Z80-based international homecomputer standard introduced in the early 80th featuring system software based on Microsoft products. It was in widely use especially in Japan, Korea, Arabia, former Sovjet Union, Europe, especeally in the Netherlands and Spain, South America, Australia and other countries with smaller communities as well. Even sovjet Mir station was controlled by an MSX computer over a certain period of time back then, so it is of some historical importance. Over thirty companies regularily produced hardware for that standard, and lots of hobbyists do so upto today. There is still software development for this standard, too, including competitions such as MSXdev. Several websites all over the world are dedicated to that ingenious standard.

Because of this, we like to request the general release or license of MSX BIOS and MSX BASIC including documentation. It does not need to be fully open-sourced, but we at least like to have a license that makes it easy to copy and modify it, without restrictions.

Benefits to Microsoft:

• No loss to Microsoft, as it is a hobbyist scene and therefore very little chance of future revenues based on that software.

• Increasing goodwill to a community that loves the MSX standard and therefore provides free promotion of Microsoft as a whole.

• Boosting retro computing (which has been gaining broad consumer appeal), especially a system Microsoft was involved in.

• It brings to light Microsoft’s early attempts at developing standard-based operating systems which can surely only help to further Microsoft’s community image.

• The MSX 1 BIOS listing has already been released in the past (See MSX BIOS published by Quest Publishing in 1985)

• Other software companies such as Borland and Hitech have already released or relaxed rights on software to retro communities, so there is good precedent for agreements of this sort.

Why is this license/release needed?

There are several MSX emulators -- some of the most elaborated ones are blueMSX and openMSX -- running on Windows and other operating systems, allowing the expanding MSX community to experience and enjoy an MSX system without the need of physical MSX hardware, which is getting harder to obtain in working condition anyway. This allows a much wider audience to participate in the retro computing community previously restricted to owners of physical hardware.

In order to also make the use of MSX emulators available to a wider community, it would be desirable for MSX BIOS and MSX BASIC to be distributed along with these emulatores, thus the catalyst for this request.

We do understand that there may be other parties (ASCII Corporation etc.) that will need to be jointly involved in this request if it is to come to pass. But we as a community are unsure about the current ownership of MSX BIOS and MSX BASIC, so, as a first step, we modestly ask for clarification on the status of each of that software titles.

Sincerely yours

Remarks

Alternative opening:

This is an open letter from members of the MSX community to request the general release or license of MSX BIOS and MSX BASIC including documentation.

Benefits to Microsoft

Not all items are benefits, especially the last two. They only state facts. So we have to rework that section.

I'm no English native speaker, and I don't know ''To whom it may concern''. Billy Gates? So come up with corrections or new ideas.

Who is supposed to sign the letter?

Will there be a poll?

By Tanni

Hero (556)

Аватар пользователя Tanni

04-02-2011, 21:17

Quick spelling note: it is 'scene', not 'szene'. Though I think the word 'community' would be more appropriate instead.
Thanks, FiXato! Changed it respectively. I think the word ''scene'' should show up somewhere, as ''community'' is somewhat ... hm, whatever!

By tcruise

Master (133)

Аватар пользователя tcruise

04-02-2011, 23:32

I've not much time, now.

AS?

Muffie's deadline was much too short for the importance of that letter. Yes, it's a very good idea.

@Tanni: Ankylosing Spondylitis

By tcruise

Master (133)

Аватар пользователя tcruise

04-02-2011, 23:38

@Tanni: Minor corrections i.e. word structure as follows

To whom it may concern,

This is an open letter from members of the MSX community. MSX is a Z80-based international home computer standard introduced in the early 80’s featuring system software based on Microsoft products. It was in widely use especially in Japan, Korea, Arabia, the former Soviet Union, Europe, especially in the Netherlands and Spain, South America, Australia and other countries with smaller communities as well. Even the Soviet Mir station was controlled by an MSX computer over a certain period of time back then, so it is of some historical importance. Over thirty companies regularly produced hardware for that standard, and lots of hobbyists do so up to today. There is still software development for this standard, too, including competitions such as MSXdev. Several websites all over the world are dedicated to that ingenious standard.

Because of this, we would like to request the general release or license of MSX BIOS and MSX BASIC including any documentation. It does not need to be fully open-sourced, but we at least would like to have a license that makes it easy to copy and modify it, without restrictions.

Benefits to Microsoft:

• No loss to Microsoft, as it is a hobbyist scene and therefore very little chance of future revenues based on that software.

• Increasing goodwill to a community that loves the MSX standard and therefore provides free promotion of Microsoft as a whole.

• Boosting retro computing (which has been gaining broad consumer appeal), especially a system Microsoft was involved in.

• It brings to light Microsoft’s early attempts at developing standard-based operating systems which can surely only help to further Microsoft’s community image.

• The MSX 1 BIOS listing has already been released in the past (See MSX BIOS published by Quest Publishing in 1985)

• Other software companies such as Borland and Hitech have already released or relaxed rights on software to retro communities, so there is good precedent for agreements of this sort.

Why is this license/release needed?

There are several MSX emulators -- some of the most elaborated ones are blueMSX and openMSX -- running on Windows and other operating systems, allowing the expanding MSX community to experience and enjoy an MSX system without the need of physical MSX hardware; which is getting harder to obtain in working condition anyway. This allows a much wider audience to participate in the retro computing community previously restricted to owners of physical hardware.

In order to also make the use of MSX emulators available to a wider community, it would be desirable for MSX BIOS and MSX BASIC to be distributed along with these emulators, thus the catalyst for this request.

We do understand that there may be other parties (ASCII Corporation etc.) that will need to be jointly involved in this request if it is to come to pass. But we as a community are unsure about the current ownership of MSX BIOS and MSX BASIC, so, as a first step, we modestly ask for clarification on the status of each of the software titles.

Sincerely yours

By tcruise

Master (133)

Аватар пользователя tcruise

04-02-2011, 23:44

Looking much better now, of course any more ideas keep them coming.

Next we need to have a look at some of the petition sites to see if this could be used in conjunction with the letter. I think just signed MSX Community, with appropriate references (url's) at the bottom. We can also have several email addresses and people in a contact list, one in each region would be nice, but lets see how we go.

In the mean time I will make some enquiries to find the most appropriate Microsoft representative to send it to 1st.

By Tanni

Hero (556)

Аватар пользователя Tanni

05-02-2011, 00:38

AS?
@Tanni: Ankylosing Spondylitis

It's also called Morbus Bechterew. Does not sound good.

By Tanni

Hero (556)

Аватар пользователя Tanni

05-02-2011, 01:04

... do so up to today.
I first had that, then changed it to ''upto''. Sometimes, I didn't know how to put it better, so thanks for the correction. It looks very good, now.

It does not need to be fully open-sourced, but we at least would like to have a license that makes it easy to copy and modify it, without restrictions.
I still have some problems with this passage. I admit, I don't know very much about licences and the juristic problems associated with them, but it seems to me somewhat contradictionary. Easy copying and modifying means that there will be many copies around, some of them original, some patched. Documentation available means that patching will be easier, if you take the effort. To me, it seems that having a disassembled listing of the code and documentation available is also and mostly for learning purposes, as it is more easy to start out with 8 bit systems to learn assembly as with modern day stuff. (Microsoft also could benefit form that, because there will be some more people growing into low level programming skills right form the beginning.)

Concerning my list of MSX regions, what's about Africa -- barring the arabic speaking part -- and North America? And how widespread is MSX in South America? Brasil, Argentina, but what's about the other countries? Do we need to mention some of them, as I did with The Netherlands and Spain for Europe?

Do you think I have mentioned that regions in the ''right'' order?

Do we need to capitalize the ''the'' in ''the Netherlands''?

Over thirty companies regularly produced hardware for that standard, and lots of hobbyists do so up to today. There is still software development for this standard, too, including competitions such as MSXdev. Several websites all over the world are dedicated to that ingenious standard.

Over thirty companies regularly produced hardware according to that standard, and lots of hobbyists do so up to today. There is still software development, too, including competitions such as MSXdev. Several websites all over the world are dedicated to that ingenious home computer system.

We should also indicate that MSX is a standard open to further developments.

By FiXato

Scribe (1740)

Аватар пользователя FiXato

05-02-2011, 06:37

Do we need to capitalize the ''the'' in ''the Netherlands''?
Not as far as I know.

It was in widely use
not completely sure, but shouldn't that be 'in wide use' or 'widely used'?

Even the Soviet Mir station was controlled by an MSX computer over a certain period of time back then
Not completely sure if it was controlled by an MSX computer or if it was merely there for some data analysis and/or entertainment + possible spare parts.

Because of this, we would like to request the general release or license of
are you sure it is license of and not licensing of?

Also, might it be an idea to mention Ascii's MSXPLAYER emulator which (I assume) has been distributed with the BIOS/ROM already?

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