/etc/rant - The Spirit of Open Source

How dare Linus Torvalds recommend that people use what's best?


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What a Judgment

Anonymous's picture

Whew... gotta watch out for that /dev/rant device, Nicholas.

It can make a person say things like Qt is "evil" because
Trolltech charges for their product and also find "good"
were Sun to ask you for a payment. I must say that the name,
rant, is a perfectly appropriate name for your column.

Rant Rant (r[a^]nt), v. i. [imp. & p. p. Ranted; p. pr. &
vb. n. Ranting.] [OD. ranten, randen, to dote, to be
To rave in violent, high-sounding, or extravagant language,
without dignity of thought; to be noisy, boisterous, and
bombastic in talk or declamation; as, a ranting preacher.
[1913 Webster]

Many Misconceptions! BAD LINUX JOURNAL!

Derek P. Moore's picture

The whole point of the LGPL is to allow you to add something to GTK without having to compensate the GTK developers with either money or source code.

This statement is 100% false. The LGPL allows you to link against the compiled library without having to GPL your application code. If you "add something to GTK" and distribute those modifications with your closed source GTK-based application, you are bound by the LGPL to release the source code of your modified GTK+ distribution. You are indeed bound by the LGPL to "give anything back to the people whose work you exploited in order to make your money."

Simple as that. I am terribly disappointed in Linux Journal. I am amazed their Editor in Chief is so blatantly reactionary and ignorant! This column sounds like O'Reilly Factor. Geeesh.

I won't even bother correcting your false presuppositions about the Qt side of the issue.

I will bother to point out your ignorance of the exception Linus gave to well-formed kernel modules (i.e., "user programs that use kernel services by normal system calls") from the GPL's definition of "derived works".

(Not only that, there are many typos in the $10 words Nicholas tries to throw around.)

QT under GPL doesn't automatically help OSS

magnus.therning's picture

I think you've missed a VERY important point when you're saying that QT, by being released under GPL, is better for OSS than GTK, which is released under LGPL. QT is available under two licenses. Please explain how it helps OSS when a company buys a license for QT that allows them to keep their application private, and if they make changes to QT itself keep those changes private as well (I haven't found the exact license that Trolltech sells QT under, but I suspect it allows private changes to QT as well)?

It seems you've been duped by Trolltech's FAQ ( http://www.trolltech.com/developer/faqs/index.html?catid=1953&id=159#answer). Their answer is rather silly if you stop and consider where they come from. Trolltech is a company that survives by _selling_ products. If they were to release QT under LGPL there would be no incentive at all for other companies to pay for a license since they'd be able to create applications on top of it with no obligation to release the source. However, by releasing it under GPL they allow the OSS community to benefit from QT while still keeping their paid-for license attractive for companies who want to keep their source private.

In the end I think a closed-source application based on GTK is better for OSS than a closed-source application based on QT--any changes made to GTK must be fed back to the public.