DFSG2: Qt, KDE
Many people seem to think that I've been writing the DFSG2 just to
spite Qt and/or KDE. They think this despite my denial and despite
the fact that I have been a longstanding opponent to the patch clause
(which they think is my way to throw out Qt), and despite the fact
that I have many times said that I planned to rewrite the DFSG, and
despite the fact (as far as I can tell from the discussion) that it's
quite likely that the new QPL will meet the DFSG2 despite not meeting
the DFSG1 ! In fact, I have not even read the new draft QPL, mainly
because of lack of time.
Furthermore, let me state for the record that I have nothing against
Qt and/or KDE if and when they become free software. It is true that
I have been opposed to some of Troll and KDE's actions, but these
actions are purely ones that I see as error, misrepresentation and/or
playing fast-and-loose with the GPL, which I feel is one of the
cornerstones of the free software system.
I believe that my current DFSG2 draft does not prevent Troll from
achieving what I think is actually their objective: they want to
retain the (sole) right to produce proprietary software based on _any_
contributions to Qt from anyone.
The DFSG1, on the other hand, probably _does_ prevent this, because it
requires that the licence permit distribution of modified versions
_under the same licence_. The DFSG2 draft allows Qt to force modified
versions to use a different licence.
I have heard many good things about KDE from users, and I look forward
to the time when KDE and Gnome can both be shipped by Debian, and can
compete on technical merit rather than political and licensing
I haven't used either KDE or Gnome, so I have no personal opinion
about the relative technical merits. But, I strongly believe that
diversity and competition are essential to maintaining the quality of
free software. Think how much more complacent any Linux distribution,
including Debian (mine) or Red Hat (the most popular), would be if the
others didn't exist ?
So, I'm glad that people from Debian are talking to Troll. I think it
would be a good thing for everyone if Qt and KDE could be truly free,
so that we could distribute them.
But, considerations about Qt and KDE aren't going to change my mind -
either way - about what software freedom means