corection qt is open source but gtk has no restrictions on use

ZIYAD A. M. AL-BATLY zamb at
Sat Jul 23 20:41:09 UTC 2005

On Sat, 2005-07-23 at 13:00 -0400, Ed Cogburn wrote:
> ZIYAD A. M. AL-BATLY wrote:
> > On Fri, 2005-07-22 at 15:32 -0400, Ed Cogburn wrote:
> >>
> >> ...that come up with this crazy stuff have nothing bad to say about
> >> the Linux kernel which is released under the GPL rather than a "freer"
> >> license...
> >
> > If you want to use the Linux Kernel you don't need to *link* against it!
> > You only call some functions from "libc" (which is LGPL) or any other
> > library to do your work.  So, personally I fail to see the connection
> > between comparing the Linux Kernel with Qt or GTK+ (license wise).
> You must have missed all the license debates which have gone on since Linus
> made that decision.  In any event, the connection exists, IMO, because the
> original arguments against the GPL then are similar to those now being used
> against Qt.
No comment.  I didn't catch such arguments against the Qt.  All I wanted
is to clear things _I_ *thought* were not correct.

> >> ...(which to the FSF folks is a joke in itself), as many wanted it to,
> >> yet it has succeeded far more than the "more permissively" licensed
> >> BSD clones have.
> >
> > I'm a Linux fan (and I don't hate FreeBSD or any other flavor of the
> > BSDs) but to know better why Linux had so much success compared to the
> > BSDs you need to dig into history.  BSDs originally were *not* Free
> > Software, not by a long shot!  They had a *lot* of propriety code back
> > then that can't be released under a Free license.  At that time, a young
> > OS was emerging that *is* 100% pure Free Software.  It's name was Linux.
> > Hackers (not crackers, but hackers) were so delighted to have a
> > Free/free OS that they can tinker with it's internals and was supported
> > by a very good and open minded maintainer: Linus Torvalds.  *After* the
> > huge success for Linux among hackers, geeks, and nerds around the globe,
> > it starts to penetrate it's way to corporate markets (with the influence
> > of those people of course).
> I'm sorry, but I don't think you know the history well enough.  BSD Unix has
> been free and clear ever since the original lawsuit by USL vs. University
> of California at Berkley was settled, and the details of that settlement
> have remained sealed to this day (rumor has it that USL had to settle out
> of court because they were very likely going to lose their entire case in
> court - suggesting that Unix, by this point, was essentially seen as public
> domain or close to it in the eyes of a judge).  Because of that, the BSD's
> have always been Free, and more importantly, have a clear legal standing
> (SCO has no basis to go after the BSDs because of this - but can go after
> Linux because it doesn't share the legal history of the BSDs).  This isn't
> the reason Linux started, grew, and then passed them so quickly, IMO.  The
> only difference was the license.  With a BSD license any contribution you
> made could be used by anyone else, even a competitor taking it out of the
> BSD OS and putting it in proprietary software (MS took networking code from
> the BSDs for Windows early on).  With the GPL, IBM, for example, doesn't
> have to worry about their contributions being used against them by
> competitors, because their contributions, once released under the GPL, must
> stay Free.
I stand corrected.  Thanks for the information.

> > Personally, I beg to differ!  GPL _is_ the best license out there for
> > applications but not for libraries!  For those, the best license in my
> > humble opinion would be LGPL.
> > 
> > ...
> >
> > I know this post might start a new Holy War (that's if it isn't started
> > already!) but all I meant of it is to explain why I believe that the GPL
> > is great for applications but not for libraries.
> > Ziyad.
> I understand your perspective, but this is where the Free Software and Open
> Source folks part company on.  Philosophically, the FSF would prefer people
> use the GPL for libraries as well.  RMS has said so himself, despite them
> being the ones to invent the LGPL for their glibc (with glibc being at the
> core of a system where *everything* has to use it, its a much different
> situation compared to other typical application libraries).  I'm not really
> in one camp or the other, though I lean to the FS side, but I think I
> understand both sides, which is why I'm so cynical of the claim that
> cross-licensing somehow makes something less free, if anything it makes it
> *more* free, because the software is now available in more possible ways. 
> This argument would likely be objected to by *both* sides, but for
> different reasons.
I still believe the LGPL is best for libraries and underlying frameworks
and the GPL for applications and front-ends for such libraries.
However, as you said:  This is a subjective matter and differ greatly
from one person to another.

Thanks for your insights and sharing your thoughts.

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