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Re: FreeQt ?

> Daniel Quinlan wrote:
> >> Troll is using a different economic model for generating revenue than
> >> other free software companies.  They get other people to write free
> >> software (for zero cost to them) on one platform so they can sell it
> >> under their own license commercially on other platforms.  They
> >> prevent those same authors from redistributing the free software they
> >> wrote on those other platforms (anything other than the X Window
> >> System).
> Leland Olds writes:
> > Sorry. I have to correct this inaccuracy.
> > Free software authors CAN redistribute free software that they wrote on
> > other non-X Window systems.  They can also distribute the QT runtime
> > with their software on those platforms for "free".
> Not as free software, since the toolkit is not freely redistributed for
> other platforms.

But the implication that Troll prevents authors from redistributing
their own software free-of-charge on other platforms and instead sells
it as part of their toolkit isn't true.

If an author owns a license, or finds someone with a license willing to
compile and link, the software and dynamic libs can be distributed
without charge.

> >  -Changes and patches to the Qt library itself can't be distributed
> >   without Troll Tech first integrating them into their product and
> >   "blessing" them.  Qt wants to keep ownership and control of that.
> >   (This is true for the X Windows platform as well.)
> False.  Read the X Window System license:
    <snipped the X Windows system copyright>

Sorry. My words were misleading here.  I meant "(This is true for Qt
under the X Windows platform as well.)"  You are correct that The X
Window System is "Free Software" per the Debian/Gnu definition.

> >> The X Window System is likely to be replaced, at which point your
> >> Qt-based free software will become very non-free.
> >> 
> >> Sounds like a losing bet.
> >> 
> >> Why exactly is Qt almost-free?  It's a scam.  Just because some free
> >> software authors have been snookered into it, doesn't mean we should
> >> put all of our hopes and dreams at the whim of a company that works
> >> against our interests, our goals, and the free software community.

"free" means different things to different people. Personally, I like
the Debian/Gnu definition.  But if someone else uses it in another way,
that doesn't mean that they are scammers and are trying to mislead us.

Qt is a commercial software product. There are restrictions on the use
of their product - either buy the expensive commercial license, or
don't sell your software - and buy the expensive commercial license if
you want to compile for a non X-Windows platform.

But calling Qt a Scam is a bit strong.  I think they make it clear that
they want to make money selling their product. I think it is also clear
that they want to use their "Free-Software" License to encourage people
to use and learn their product so they can sell more commercial licenses

> A big part of the word "free" is that it doesn't mean "use this unless
> you want to write Windows95 software", or "as long as you don't try to
> make a buck, you can use this".  Read the X11 license, the X Consortium
> is giving away their software left and right.
> I have read the "free" and "professional" Qt licenses.  By the way, the
> URL is actually http://www.troll.no/
> I don't understand why anyone would want to write free software under
> someone else's restrictive rules.
> A contrasting example: the LGPL.  LGPL'ed code stays free, but allows
> non-free programs to use it.  If you read the LGPL, the FSF doesn't
> cover up their motives, they don't mislead people.  In fact, when people
> (especially Debian) complained that the GPL/LGPL kept bison from freely
> being used to develop software, the FSF changed the bison license.  They
> didn't demand $1470 each time, either.

Lee Olds

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