[lsb-discuss] Re: KDE representation

Olaf Schmidt ojschmidt at kde.org
Wed Aug 10 09:27:06 PDT 2005

Hi Rajesh!

Thanks for the summary. Will there be minutes for the meeting?

I am adding to your notes from memory.

> Let me try to summarize our discussion in yesterday's plenary session:
> There are few options we can consider:
> 1. Trolltech changing their licensing
> 2. LSB changing their licensing criteria
> 3. All Qt applications to link statically if interested to get LSB
> certification.

Someone (who was it?) made a very reasonable suggestion:
If we include both Qt and Gtk, then it would be still possible for ISVs to 
develop LSB-confirming proprietary applications without the requirement of a 
commercial Qt license. He said that we only need to ensure that there is a 
"free" version available for all the specified functionality. (I agree with 
his point, but not with his choice of words, which implies that GPL'ed 
software like Qt is not free.)

He said that the FSG board would accept this position if the desktop working 
group makes a statement according to this.

Rajesh also mentioned a forth possibility: We could standardise Qt outside of 
the LSB. I replied that I don't like this idea, because it would mean we also 
have to standardise kdelibs outside of the LSB, forcing us into a competing 
desktop standard.

I strongly believe we should work on a common desktop standard for Linux. For 
this reason I will not forward this idea to the other KDE developers at this 
point, but I will keep it in mind as a last resort in case it turns out to be 
impossible to find a solution for LSB 3.0

> Also note, LSB being an apolitical body and does not take any sides nor
> defines new standards, I don't think it should drop a library since some
> other library does not match licensing criteria. So dropping GTK
> certainly should not be considered as an option (which does NOT mean LSB
> prefers one library over another).

I agree with Stuart and Matt here: LSB is an apolitical body, so it should 
never standardise a library while another popular GPL-licensed alternative 
with the same purpose is blocked.

The reason is simply that otherwise the LSB would change from standardising 
de-facto-standards only into a political body forcing the Linux community to 
abandon the copyleft idea, which is the root of the Linux movement.

Note that I am not attacking the LSB's license criteria here. I simply stress 
that we need to take "best practise" criteria seriously, and describing a way 
to deal with multiple "best practise" libraries serving the same purpose, but 
having different licenses.

> As we decided, we will continue this conversation going forward during
> the LSB desktop conference calls (9am every Tuesday).
> Also note, it is too early to talk about higher level libraries like
> gnome and KDE as we do not have any requirements analysis done.

It is quite obvious that both Gnome and KDE will fail the "best practise" 
test, since none can be shown to be a "clear de-facto standard". But the same 
it true of all Linux toolkits, so discussing them as part of our long-term 
strategy makes sense.


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