"This guest editorial by Jerry Epplin reviews and discusses the
history of Trolltech's open source licensing of Qt, Qt/Embedded,
and the Qt Palmtop Environment (QPE), and draws an interesting
comparison with customary practices in "free market" economies.
Epplin writes . . ."
"Most Linux users are aware of Qt, the GUI framework on which
the KDE desktop environment is based. In the Linux desktop
application development world, Qt competes with Gtk+, which forms
the basis for the Gnome desktop environment. Until recently
developers were faced with a choice between the pure open-source
licensing of Gtk+, which has what many consider to be a less
elegant programming model; and the somewhat more proprietary
licensing of Qt, which has a clean, intuitive, object-oriented
"The proprietary Qt license complicated the licensing of KDE,
which is distributed under the GPL and LGPL -- no one was quite
certain whether it was strictly legal to link it with the
proprietary-licensed Qt. But recent licensing changes by Trolltech
have removed the licensing issues, somewhat tipping the scales
toward Qt -- and, by extension, toward KDE in the desktop world."