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Ubuntu and the price of Unity

Jan 03, 2011, 21:19 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Richard Hillesley)

"Disagreements about the shape and form of the free software interface, and issues around the politics of licensing are not new. GNOME itself came into existence in the late 90s when problems were identified with the licensing of the Qt toolkit used by KDE, which was the first truly integrated desktop environment for Linux.

"Qt was open source in the sense that the code was visible, but the license wasn't approved or compatible with the GPL. Since nearly all KDE applications were written under the GPL, this meant that the applications were in violation of their own licences.

"Miguel de Icaza, at that time a rising star of the free software movement and co-creator, with Federico Mena, of the GNOME project, expressed the mixed feelings of many users and developers. 'KDE was an inspirational project,' he told Linux Journal, 'but at the time, the Qt toolkit on which KDE was built was a proprietary toolkit.'"

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