[plug] Qt with the LGPL license

Martin Langsjoen lists at langsjoen.org
Thu Jan 15 17:08:48 WST 2009

Hi folks,

Nokia has decided to start the prosess of changing the Qt license to
LGPL license.

All the major Linux distributions and Sun Solaris uses Gnome as their
main desktop environment.

This is mainly because of the historic lisenses of Qt.

Red Hat Advanced Development Labs was working on Gnome 1. Red Hat has
been working on every release after that. 

Ximian (previously called Helix Code) was another important developer
team. I seem to remember that they focused most on the end user
experience while Red Hat focused most on the lower end of the stack.
They was later bought buy Novell just before Novell bought Suse. Ximian
pushed for Gnome as a replacement from KDE as the standard desktop in

I know from first hand observation and participation that the Qt license
has been a major issue that has been debated for years. Knut Yrvin (he
is now the community manager of Qt Software) and me had many heated
debates about this is in the past. I do not know what he personally had
to do with this, but he is one of those who push hard and wide. I will
buy him a beer next time I see him. 

Nokia uses Gnome technology in their Internet tablets. Many questions
was asked when a Gnome company like Nokia bought Qt. Nokia has been
working on merging Gnome and KDE technologies for their own needs.
Version 5 of the Nokia Maemo Linux plattform will see some of this work.

Mark Shuttleworth of Ubuntu said this in a interview: "I think it would
be perfectly possible to deliver the values of GNOME on top of QT".

Gnome and KDE will co-locate their main developer conferanses this year.
My guess is that will be a very interesting, challenging, creative, and
important event. A major opportunity for the future of the free and open
desktop. "GNOME and KDE to Co-locate Flagship Conferences on Gran
Canaria in 2009" -

There are some issues that remains to be sorted out. George Makrydakis
points out some interesting issues in this blog: 
"LGPL 2.1, Qt 4.5 and C++ templates" -

It seems like this issue is already forwarded to the license lawyers at
Nokia. The future is promising.

Can Gnome3 be a evolutionary version with focus on cleanup and Qt

A GTK based Gnome3 with focus on Qt integration can open up for seamless
use of both tool kits. This might be archived trough development
collaboration between Gnome, KDE, Qt, and GTK. This will make a complete
change to QT less important on short to mid term. It can be done in

The Gnome community have used incremental steps to change from ORBit,
GnomeVFS, and other technologies in the past.

I am personally opening a bottle of Champagne if the Qt license change

Have a nice and way to hot day!

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