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RMS on the QPL

Nov 22, 1998, 10:51 (2 Talkback[s])

Author: Richard Stallman
Email: rms@gnu.org
Date: 1998/11/21

The latest news about Qt is that Troll Tech has proposed to rerelease it under a new license, the QPL. This license would make Qt free software; there would no longer be a principled reason to reject using it, and thus no principled reason to reject using KDE. Indeed, if Qt is Troll Tech's only product (which might be so; I don't know), then by a strange reversal, this would actually make them a free software company.

However, the QPL has major practical drawbacks: source modifications can be released only in the form of patches, and it is incompatible with the GNU GPL. This means that linking existing GPL-covered software with Qt would require giving special permission.

With Qt being free software, there would be no fundamental reason to refuse this special permission, but it remains better if we can avoid it. As a practical matter, it will be preferable to use Harmony, both to avoid the need to make special exceptions, and to avoid the practical inconvenience of the requirement to distribute modifications patches.

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