[lsb-discuss] Re: [lsb-futures] Re: KDE representation

Matt Taggart taggart at carmen.fc.hp.com
Wed Aug 10 15:07:37 PDT 2005

Olaf Schmidt writes...

> > 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.)

But GTK and libqt aren't drop in replacements for each other. You couldn't 
easily build Gnome on libqt and KDE on gtk. Applications would require 
quite a bit of porting to move from one to the other.

I think what was meant rather than "free" is something that meets the LSB 
license criteria. So for example in the case of libqt, a LGPL'd Harmony 
would work, the GPL version of libqt wouldn't. I don't think an LGPL'd 
version of gtk could be considered a replacement for a commercial libqt, is 
that what was being proposed?

> 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.

The LSB has to walk a thin line between the Free Software community and the 
Propriatary software community. If we stray to far to one side we risk 
alienating the other. Consider these two examples,

A) We add an interface that is patented and the patent holder requires 
royalty payments for usage (for example a RAND clause). The Free Software 
community would object and dismiss the LSB as a tool of the propriatary 
world. They abandon the LSB, they create a different standard, the LSB 
loses, everyone loses.

B) We add an interface where the only implementation is covered by the GPL. 
The propritary community can't use it without also GPL'ing their 
application, they dismiss the LSB as a tool of the Free Software world. 
They abandon the LSB, they create a different standard, the LSB loses, 
everyone loses.

Do you understand why the LSB has taken this position? Do you agree with it 
or do you think we should do something different?


Matt Taggart        Open Source & Linux Organization R&D
taggart at fc.hp.com   Hewlett-Packard

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