[plug] Qt with the LGPL license

James Clarke jamesc at global.net.au
Sun Jan 18 15:49:06 WST 2009

Hi All,

Greetings from Kyoto (home of the protocol)...

Good news indeed, I used KDE (Mandrake/Mandriva) almost exclusively  
from 1999 to 2005, then I changed to Ubuntu and Gnome.

I found that at the time of my change to Gnome in 2005 I found that  
was a more stable platform than KDE but lacked the features of KDE.  
The opposite was true in 1999 and thus the reason I used Mandrake/KDE  
rather than Redhat/Gnome back then, although that might have been  
because Gnome was usually paired with Enlightenment back then.

Recently I also played with Kubuntu (8.10) and came across the same  
bug (?) that annoyed me with some Mandrake/Mandriva versions, that  
after you run a software upgrade all of the fonts change and it almost  
impossible to get them back. What made it worse in Kubuntu is chosen  
tiny sizes which are almost unreadable and even going into the font  
section and setting everything large still hasn't fixed all of it and  
in other places made things too big!

Anyway the good point about QT is it C++ based so much easier to  
integrate into applications than the C based GTK. Changing from GPL  
(and others) to LGPL means than any software you write using the QT  
library no longer has to be GPL itself, which will see more commercial  
use of QT?

Although the bad point is the lack of competition between the  
different desktops, but that may be a good thing in terms of pushing  
Linux forward to the masses.

Just my little rant...



On 15/01/2009, at 5:08 PM, Martin Langsjoen wrote:

> Hi folks,
> Nokia has decided to start the prosess of changing the Qt license to
> LGPL license.
> http://tech.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/01/14/1312210
> 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.
> http://web.archive.org/web/19990421142013/http://www.labs.redhat.com/
> http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.labs.redhat.com
> http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.labs.redhat.com/projects.shtml
> http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/RedHatContributions
> 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
> Suse.
> http://web.archive.org/web/20000407120058/http://www.helixcode.com/
> http://www.linux-watch.com/news/NS9319363052.html
> http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Linux-and-Open-Source/SuSE-Users-Panic-Unfounded/
> 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.
> http://www.gnome.asia/static/upload/event_file/gnome_asia_maemo_qt_002.pdf
> http://labs.trolltech.com/blogs/2008/09/05/qgtkstyle-now-part-of-qt/
> 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".
> http://tech.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/07/14/1245204
> 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" -
> http://www.gnome.org/press/releases/2008-07-guadec-akademy-grancanaria.html
> 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" -
> http://lab.obsethryl.eu/content/lgpl-21-qt-45-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
> integration?
> 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
> steps.
> 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
> happens!
> Have a nice and way to hot day!
> -martin
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