I got a question from users while doing AMA on Twitter regarding the license of Vivaldi. I replied with a short answer due to Twitter’s character limitation but I thought I would post longer answer here.
Our source code package is available here: vivaldi.com/source. This links to a copy of the Chromium source code with the changes we made to allow our HTML/CSS/JS UI to run.
All our changes to Chromium source code are under a BSD license and hence can read by anyone. The details are explained in the the README and LICENSE files, within that package.
In addition, all of our UI code (included in normal packages) is written in plain, readable text. This means that all parts of Vivaldi are full audit-able and open from that perspective.
“Chromium source code with the changes we made to allow our HTML/CSS/JS UI to run.”
Well start changing/fixing Chroms SVG code!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I would have 3 question about that:
1. Do you push your changes to Chromium to the original Chromium project/repo?
2. What license is the ui code under? (I presume not under an open source license since the code is not published in “source” code)
3. Do you plan to release Vivaldi as a whole as an open source project at some point?
It is good that the source can be audited for security. That doesn’t really address the need for it to be open source. We use Firefox because it respects our rights as users to do whatever we’d like with the code that runs on our computers. This includes modifying it to better suit our use cases and sharing the modified version with other users who may benefit from the changes. I quite like Vivaldi, but need to change things like removing it’s ability to collect history and other privacy centric changes that suit my own and others’ user scenario. My only other concern about using Vivaldi is, how do you make money from having users? This fact concerns me because no one is lining up to give away money to someone because their product is popular. Is user information being sold? Please know that I am not being accusatory, I am just genuinely curious. To wrap this up, I firmly believe that if Vivaldi is made to be open source software, it will become the default browser in many Linux distributions, especially mine.