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Re: Please do not use Qt (fwd)

> On Sat, 23 Nov 1996, Richard G. Roberto wrote:
> > On Fri, 22 Nov 1996, Martin Konold wrote:
> > > On Fri, 22 Nov 1996, Heiko Schlittermann wrote:
> > 
> > Then they can't be GPL'd.  You should read the license.  It
> > prohibits modification restrictions (which QT has).
> Of course the apps CAN be gpled! Even if they have to be linked against
> some commercial libs.

Not by my reading of the GPL.

> There are hundreds of gpled Motif based pieces of software out there.

Name 5.    By your assertion, I could modify GNU Emacs to use Motif 
widgets, and distribute the modified version freely, under the GPL.  I 
am certain that if I were to do  that, one of the first people I would 
hear complaints from would be RMS himself.

The FSF has consistantly held that the GPL covers not the source 
implementation of the program alone, but specifically covers the 
executable form -- the source simply being the preferred way to 
distribute the executable.  The GPL requires that the entire program be 
available in source form in a way easily modifiable and be 
distributable in that form.  This includes any libraries that must be 
linked into the final executable -- with the special exception of 
system libraries normally distributed with the system itself, like 
libc, etc.  This precludes commercial or proprietary library packages.

As a concrete example of this, the FSF argued that a program that was 
designed to link against the RSAREF library couldn't be GPLed, because 
of the restrictive nature of the license on RSAREF.  The situation was 
with regard to a program that was designed to link against both RSAREF 
and the GNU GMP math libraries (which is GPLed).  The FSF argued that 
since the program linked against GNU GMP, it -must- be GPLed, but since 
it linked against RSAREF, it -couldn't- be GPLed.

The FSF dropped their objection when someone wrote and released a 
non-GPLed math library compatable with GMP, thus making the original 
program not dependant on GMP (there were other libraries it could 
choose from).

Based on this event, I would say that any attempt to link a GPLed 
program with a non-free package (like Qt) would run into similar 
problems -- unless there was a interface compatable free replacement 
for Qt, in which case, we would suggest that people use that.  Much 
like we are going to suggest that people use Lesstif instead of Motif 
when it is stable and complete enough.

> You are not allowed to distribute changed version of the library but you
> are welcome to change the gpled application as you like.
> > > Soon LyX will also be Qt based.
> > > 
> > 
> > That's too bad, I kind of like lyx.
> Obviously, you unfortunately do not know hwat you are talking about,
> sorry.
> The very first versions of LyX have been Motif 1.2 based.
> This had the BIG disadvantage that the co developers did not want to buy
> the commercial Motif stuff.
> Matthias then switched to Xforms. They most recent stable beta is based on
> Xform 0.81. Xforms is free of charge for non commercial use.
> The developers do NOT provide their source code. Xforms is limited
> due to time constraints of the two developers.
> LyX will in the near future switch to Qt. Qt is in contrast to Xforms
> available free of charge to the freeware community and much more important
> it is WITH source code!
> It has also advantages from the programmers point of view. (C++...)

Try taking a look at V.  It is GPLed, available in source form, and 
also a C++, object oriented approach to a GUI.

> So even for the GNU purists it must be evident, that Qt is LESS
> restricting than the Xforms license.

But it is still MORE restricting in key ways than the Xforms licence.  

What do you do if LyX breaks because of a bug in Qt?  The standard Free 
Software method would be to fix the bug, send a patch back to the 
authors, and continue using the modified library, distributing it if 
necessary until the authors fix the bug in the upstream version.  This 
doesn't work with the Qt license, since you can't distribute modified 
versions of Qt.

What do you do if a new feature needs to be added?  In the standard GPL 
model, you add the feature, tell the authors what and how you did it, 
so that it may be incorporated into future upstreams versions, and 
distribute, if needed, the version with new features. This is how 
Objective C got added to gcc by NeXT, how Lucid Emacs, MULE, and Nemacs 
split from GNU Emacs, and so it.  This can't happen with the Qt 
license, since you can't distribute modified versions of Qt.

What do you do if you need to port LyX to a new platform with slightly 
different requirements for it's low-level graphics handling (like, for 
instance, NeXTStep, which uses Display-Postscript for it's underlying 
graphics engine)?  Not a problem with the GPL, since you can modify 
GPLed programs at your will.  On the otherhand, since the Windows Qt 
libraries are proprietary without source, this seems to be evidence 
that the authors of Qt do -not- want you to be able to port it to new 
platforms.  This is in direct violation of the letter and spirit of the 
> How does it come that you are talking about stuff you do not understand.
> I personally would appreciate something like alladins license for
> ghostscript beeing applied for Qt.
> But Qt is still a very new, but promising project.
     Buddha Buck                      bmbuck@acsu.buffalo.edu
"Just as the strength of the Internet is chaos, so the strength of our
liberty depends upon the chaos and cacaphony of the unfettered speech
the First Amendment protects."  -- A.L.A. v. U.S. Dept. of Justice

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