Home > Qt > Interview: Trolltech’s Eirik Eng and Matthias Ettrich Interview: Trolltech’s Eirik Eng and Matthias Ettrich Submitted by Niek 2004-04-12 Qt 10 Comments Eirik Eng, CEO of Trolltech, and Matthias Ettrich, founder of the KDE project and CTO of Trolltech, were interviewed by Philippe Fremy, KDE enthusiast. This interview was conducted in August 2003. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 10 Comments 2004-04-13 2:18 am Their licencing scheme says that you can use the GPL for free software, but not to create commercial software. That isn’t possible. The GPL doesn’t cover works created with the program. That’s why I could use emacs to create a commercial program. At the same time, you aren’t allowed to add restrictions to the GPL (like saying that something is GPL for non-commercial use). Am I missing something here or is Trolltech oblivious to open-source licencing? 2004-04-13 2:31 am Hi Trolltech is saying that you cant develop proprietary software with a gpl’ed toolkit. this is the model used to license their software so they are fully aware of the licensing 2004-04-13 2:36 am Well, the way I understand it, the gpl does not allow for the linking of closed source programs with gpl’ed libs. There are 2 different ways to get around this. GTK uses LGPL libs so anyone can link to them, however a buisness wouldn’t survive long with no sellable product. The gpl allows you do use multiple licenses, so what happens is Trolltech licences QT under the GPL(so other oss software can freely use the libraries) and under another license which allows propritary companies to link to their license. Trolltech isn’t adding a restriction, infact they are allowing a company to create closed source software with their libs, however, the company has to pay them for a license, thus supporting Trolltech so they can create better versions of the libraries. 2004-04-13 5:28 am Trolltech’s licensing is all screwed up – even their resellers (TheKompany, Riverbank) don’t have a clue what’s going on! I think it’s bad enough there’s no free Windows license, but with no true GPL license either, where are they going to get? I know most of their customers are from the EDA industry, so can afford to pay for commercial licenses, but if they had true OSS licensing, they could completely kill off wxWidgets. 2004-04-13 5:38 am Eh? Qt/X11 and Qt/Mac are 100% GPL’ed (there is no such thing as 99% GPL’ed). Are you claiming that the GPL isn’t OSS? 2004-04-13 8:33 am What about linking to closed-source libs with a GPL program (as long as the GPL program is not completely dependant on the closed-source library) ? Trolltech says it can’t be done. But that would mean a lot of windows GPL programs compiled with VC++ (and linking to msvc60.dll) would be illegal. 2004-04-13 8:38 am Then maybe Gnome would have never happened and all that effort would have gone into KDE instead. 2004-04-13 12:37 pm Then maybe Gnome would have never happened and all that effort would have gone into KDE instead. But then maybe KDE wouldn’t be so good, with no “competition” to push it. And strecthing a bit the crystall ball, probably the “keep it simple” people (who like Gnome) and the “make it cool” people (KDE) wouldn’t get along very well and a fork would happen, or the people who now work on Gnome would have gone to IceWM or whatever, and at the end we would end up with 2 or more DEs anyway…hard to make everyone agree on a single project. 2004-04-13 4:36 pm There is a provision in the GPL for linking to ‘system libraries’ (which are properly defined in the GPL, read it) which stems from the fact that originally there wasnt a 100% complete free platform/development stack like there is today. It took time to develop all the pieces, the compiler, the libraries, the kernel, the editors etc. etc. 2004-04-13 8:45 pm This is from last year. Why is this posted on a news site?