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   Delivered-To: jfm@sidney.remcomp.fr
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   Date: Tue, 17 Jun 1997 06:23:49 -0400 (EDT)
   From: Jay Bloodworth <jay@pathways.sde.state.sc.us>
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   On 16 Jun 1997 jfm2@club-internet.fr wrote:

   > KDE is free.  It is even GPLed.  But it is based on the non GPLed Qt
   > library.  Programmers can use this library for free as long it is for
   > developping free Unix software.  They must pay if they develop
   > commercial or non Unix software.  I don't think users of software
   > based on KDE must pay for having the shared libs.  This licence is
   > very reasonnable but the problem is than one day the authors of Qt (or
   > the company having bought their company) can revert this licence (I
   > don't think it is possible with GPLed software).  I am no lawyer but I
   > don't think they can cancel the licence for an existing version only
   > for future releases.

   You missed the point.  Regardless of the licensing of KDE, it requires Qt,
   which is non-free software.  There are at least two good reasons not to
   make SEUL depend on non-free software.

   1) Principal: Free software is good.  Supporting free software is good.
   If we choose to base SEUL on non-free software, we are choosing not to
   support free software.  This is a Bad Thing.

   2) Pragmatism: Basing SEUL on non-free software places real restrictions
   on how SEUL can be used.  It means that if commercial developers want to
   write software for SEUL that uses the 'standard' KDE gui, that must pay
   Troll Tech.  Establishing standards and forcing third-party vendors to pay
   to implement them may be fine for Microsoft, but I don't believe we should
   promote this practice in the Linux community.

I don't understand.  KDE is not a library, it is not an operating
system I do not understand how you write apps for KDE.  At worst we
could speak of KDE compliant apps.  And I still think Qt has a very
reasonable licence: you CAN build free apps without being forced to
non-commercial ditribution (you can put them on CDs).  The only
restriction is than if you are building software with Qt and making
money with this software they want a share of it.  I would have
objections if due to Qt people would have to pay for previously free
software.  I do not have any objection for developpers having to pay
for making money.  If they write commercial software for SEUL then
SEUL users will not be able to get it for free Qt or not Qt.  The only
difference is than trolltech will make a little money at the expenses
of developpers not users.

KDE is a very good GUI.  The best non_commercial I have seen and the
most user-friendly.  I showed it to Windows users and it made them
jealous :-)  I would have preferred another library as Qt not for the Qt
licence but because Qt licence can be changed by trolltech.  GPLed
software probably cannot be reverted because a new version is work
based on GPLed sofwtare and in all cases you have to hunt every
bugfix, patch or additional feature your users sent to you because
THEY have the licence for it.  So basing KDE on nonGPLed software like
Qt is probably a bit dangerous.  But the people of KDE say than they
had no other library of such quality: Motif is not free, Athena is
ugly, Xforms is still more restrictive, V is too limited to give only
a few examples.

   Of course, if as you suggest KDE won't be an option for SEUL until 1998,
   we may have time to write a free implementation of Qt, which would make
   KDE an acceptable option.  FreeQt may happen anyway - there was some
   suggestion on the gtk (Gimp tool kit) mailing list of using the Qt API for
   the C++ wrapper for gtk.

We will have to do it the day trolltech changes policy.  But Qt is
huge.  Writing a replacement will be no piece of cake so i don't want
we write FreeQt until the day we are forced to do it.  Lets
concentrate our programming forces on more urgent tasks like writing a
boot manager than you can put in inexperienced hands or a good network
configurator for the home user.

			Jean Francois Martinez

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