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Re: KDE hurts Qt (was Re: LICENSES)

> Chris Waters <xtifr@dsp.net> wrote:
> > This is the really sad part about this whole mess. Qt is a nice
> > library. Non-free, but not everything has to be free. But because of
> > the refusal of the KDE developers to FIX THE KDE LICENSE PROBLEMS, a
> > lot of people are being turned off of Qt! Qt doesn't deserve this, and
> > I think the KDE team should: 1) fix their license problems, and 2)
> > apologize to Trolltech.
> I think they should fix their license problems, but I do not think that an
> apology is warranted.  After all, the Qt license explicitly *encourages*
> application developers to license their code with the GPL.

And that's a good thing... but wil the GPL prevent distribution of binaries
made linked to Qt, or object files compiled against Qt?

If so, then is TrollTech implying falsehoods about the GPL? I.E., are they
implying that people can distribute such binaries? Or, is it the KDE folx that
are doing that implying? Or both?

If TrollTech is saying that people can release GPLed code compiled/linked
against Qt and this is not so and they are refusing to fix this, what is
the reason for this? Are they trying to get free software and/or ideas that
won't be permitted to be released in a normal way? How does this benefit
them, if in any way at all?

If it's KDE saying the same thing, then how do they benefit, if at all?

If both, then how does the system containing both Qt and KDE benefit?

If neither, why does the controversy exist?

> If anybody should apologize, it's Trolltech.  [If they choose.]

Maybe... I'm having trouble keeping up with who should apologise to whom...

I think KDE's use of Qt hurts KDE and also hurts the open source concept.
Whether it hurts Qt is not relevent, IMO. However, because Qt is non-free,
Qt also tends to harm free-software development. 

At one point, Bruce Perens suggested this harm is at the very core of linux.
I don't agree with this because the very core of linux is the kernel and only
the kernel. Outside of that, there are wayyy too many combinations of software
packages that people use regularly and each, to whatever degree, has its
following. So, I don't see this as one of the larger issues in the mass
usage of linux and supporting entities as a whole. However, I do see that
if linux were easier to install and configure, it would be in greater use.
I also see that if linux had a common face, this could also increase usage.
But I don't see linux getting a common face anytime soon, as each individual
will continue to use those software packages they prefer.

I think it boils down to this: everyone involved should read and understand
the GPL (and the ORIGINAL INTENT thereof). Everyone who distributes software
might need to consult a lawyer (especially KDE and Qt makers) to ensure that
their use of the GPL is actually in their interest, and that they are using
it correctly according to its letter and its original intent. Whoever is
using the GPL in a way that conflicts with its terms should stop immediately
and correct the situation.

Without further study into the situation, I can't tell who is or is not
doing so.


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