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Nokia Makes LGPL Version of PyQt 263

EtaCarinae writes "Nokia didn't succeed in convincing Riverbank to change its licensing terms on PyQt, and so decided to create their own LGPL'ed version of it. From the FAQ at the PySide site: 'Nokia's initial research into Python bindings for Qt involved speaking with Riverbank Computing, the makers of PyQt. We had several discussions with them to see if it was possible to use PyQt to achieve our goals. Unfortunately, a common agreement could not be found , so in the end we decided to proceed with PySide.'"
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Nokia Makes LGPL Version of PyQt

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  • Re:Kudos to Nokia (Score:5, Informative)

    by piquadratCH ( 749309 ) on Sunday August 30, 2009 @04:58AM (#29250109)

    If you cannot get the source to open-source, open-source the source.

    PyQt [] is open source. Or isn't the GPL considered open anymore?

  • Re:Kudos to Nokia (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 30, 2009 @05:25AM (#29250187)

    Riverbank provided superb Python bindings

    While I'm not disputing the usefulness of their bindings, I'd describe them as "working", but not necessarily "superb". Their API is not very pythonic or concise and feels pretty much like writing C++, without the segfaults :P

  • Re:Kudos to Nokia (Score:2, Informative)

    by lokpest ( 1136949 ) on Sunday August 30, 2009 @05:25AM (#29250189)

    Not if you want to write commercial software on top of it...

    s/commercial/proprietary (or non-free)

    The GPL is a commercial license. It clearly permits the licensed software to be sold.

  • by omar.sahal ( 687649 ) on Sunday August 30, 2009 @05:29AM (#29250197) Homepage Journal
    Don't forget to give credit where it's due.

    OpenBossa is a division of INdT, a nonprofit research institute in Brazil that was founded by Nokia and the Brazilian government. OpenBossa has close ties with Nokia and is well-known in the Maemo community

    Taken from the arstechnica [] web site that also carried this story

  • by speedtux ( 1307149 ) on Sunday August 30, 2009 @06:08AM (#29250321)

    You're confusing the GPL and the LGPL. The LGPL is a perfectly fine license, and it happens to be what Nokia chose.

    The BSD/MIT/... license has specific problems and pitfalls relative to the LGPL; in particular, it raises the possibility of a proprietary fork. Both Apple and Microsoft have made proprietary forks of BSD/MIT-licensed projects, with arguably worse outcomes than if they had been forced to open source under the LGPL.

  • Re:Kudos to Nokia (Score:4, Informative)

    by FooBarWidget ( 556006 ) on Sunday August 30, 2009 @06:25AM (#29250361)

    "Not if you want to write commercial software on top of it, which is what Nokia wants to enable. Just as they did with releasing Qt under the LGPL."

    Bullshit. PyQT also has a commercial license. [] You're just being a freeloading leech right now.

  • Re:Kudos to Nokia (Score:2, Informative)

    by rohan972 ( 880586 ) on Sunday August 30, 2009 @07:09AM (#29250495)

    Just because GPL allows selling commercial software, it doesn't mean that it is very feasible.

    I hear that said, yet it happens. [] [] []

  • Re:Kudos to Nokia (Score:3, Informative)

    by Jurily ( 900488 ) <jurily@g m a i l . com> on Sunday August 30, 2009 @07:34AM (#29250569)

    In addition to providing the signals and slots mechanism for communication between objects (the main reason for introducing the system), the meta-object code provides the following additional features:
    QObject::metaObject() returns the associated meta-object for the class.
    QMetaObject::className() returns the class name as a string at run-time, without requiring native run-time type information (RTTI) support through the C++ compiler.
    QObject::inherits() function returns whether an object is an instance of a class that inherits a specified class within the QObject inheritance tree.
    QObject::tr() and QObject::trUtf8() translate strings for internationalization.
    QObject::setProperty() and QObject::property() dynamically set and get properties by name.
    QMetaObject::newInstance() constructs a new instance of the class.

    It is also possible to perform dynamic casts using qobject_cast() on QObject classes. The qobject_cast() function behaves similarly to the standard C++ dynamic_cast(), with the advantages that it doesn't require RTTI support and it works across dynamic library boundaries.

  • Re:Kudos to Nokia (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 30, 2009 @08:00AM (#29250653)

    You might be interested in an upcoming debate entitled Which Open Source Licence is best? [] being held by the Free and Open Source Learning Centre []. You can register and pose questions [] with the moderator (javascript required) but be quick I think the last day for that is tomorrow..

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 30, 2009 @08:05AM (#29250667)

    It is...there was an article recently that proclaimed that the Apache license is applied to more newer projects in the commercial realm. []

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 30, 2009 @08:10AM (#29250687)

    with no modification, claim it's my own and get merit even trough i didn't do anything.
    sorry, but i'll work for other people only if they help me, or at least if they use, but don't steal my code.

    Maybe you should RTFL. You can do what you want with BSD licensed code except claiming it as your own. You can do what you want, but you need to keep the credits in.

  • by janwedekind ( 778872 ) on Sunday August 30, 2009 @08:20AM (#29250731) Homepage

    Licensing software under GPL does not restrict the ability of companies to develop products. But the GPL does restrict the ability of companies to prevent other competing companies from developing products.

  • by mabinogi ( 74033 ) on Sunday August 30, 2009 @08:55AM (#29250883) Homepage

    even close source it and sell it, with no modification

    That is utterly false.
    The BSD license gives you no right to relicense it. It gives you an unrestricted right to distribute it in source or binary forms, but NOT any right to relicense it.
    It also gives you utterly no right to claim it as your own work, in fact, it explicitly states that you must leave the copyright notice intact - the copyright notice which will contain the name of the original author.

    The terms of the BSD license are:
    You must acknowledge the source by retaining the copyright notice (the GPL requires this too) - either by leaving it in the source, if you distribute source, or by putting it in the docco, or similar if you distribute the binary.
    You mustn't use the author's name to promote software based on this software.

    If explicitly grants you the right to distribute the source or the binary with or without modification, if and only if those conditions are met.

    A company distributing a BSD licensed product that does not include the copy of the BSD license from the product they distributed is in violation of the license.

    So when you BSD license your code, you are not allowing people to steal it. You are giving it to anyone to use for any purpose, but they must acknowledge where they got it from. (For as far as their derivative works still meet the Copyright Law definition of derivative work)

  • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 ) on Sunday August 30, 2009 @10:15AM (#29251291)

    The LGPL does that. The GPL forces me to offer my software for free, and that may very well be an important factor for a company deciding whether or not to develop a product.

    If I don't want to offer my software for free, I may very well write up a library to take the place of a GPLed library. After doing that, I may very well license that library using a BSD/MIT or LGPL license, illustrating the original point, that if licenses tend to evolve toward the GPL then they will continue to evolve toward something even freer.

  • Re:Kudos to Nokia (Score:5, Informative)

    by iamwahoo2 ( 594922 ) on Sunday August 30, 2009 @10:27AM (#29251361)
    It appears that Nokia most likely wants to bundle the PyQt package into their phones. The problem arises that when the binding is linked against both Python and Qt, the GPL then extends to those products (according to the GNU website). Nokia is a business, if Riverbank had offered their product under a desired license to Nokia at a price that is less than what they could have developed it themselves, then they would have gotten paid for PyQt.

    Put yourself in Nokia's shoes. They need a scripting interface to encourage development on their platform. How much would you pay riverbank for a product that does not exactly meet your needs? The GPL is simply not going to work in the phone environment because not everybody is going to want to license their apps under the GPL. The LGPL has proven to be a far superior compromise as evidenced by the fact that Qt (when it was GPL) previously lost traction to inferior products due to their GPL licensing.

  • Re:Kudos to Nokia (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 30, 2009 @11:29AM (#29251729)

    How did this get modded up to 5? There's no indication anywhere that Nokia demanded PyQt for free.

  • Re:Kudos to Nokia (Score:2, Informative)

    by Joutsa ( 267330 ) on Sunday August 30, 2009 @12:03PM (#29251969) Homepage

    My current phone is a Nokia (E71), and it's bloody annoying. What they deserve is a kick up the arse.

    E71 has Avkon and Symbian. They are pretty impossible to develop for, and it shows in the end result. There is a reason they are switching to Qt, Linux and Python.

  • Re:Size and speed (Score:5, Informative)

    by mairas ( 102089 ) <> on Sunday August 30, 2009 @12:04PM (#29251973) Homepage


    I'm the Nokia guy responsible for the project.

    It looks like PySide are huge (3x the size of PyQt and 6x the size of SMOKE-generated bindings!) and there is very little improvement they can do if they keep on using Boost::Python to generate PySide.

    You're right: the current size of PySide is an issue, especially if you consider mobile environments such as Maemo, let alone the S60 platform. However, that's also why we are working on Shiboken, an alternate binding component which would create CPython extensions directly instead of using Boost.Python as an intermediate layer. Shiboken is still in its infancy, but we expect we'll be able to solve the size issues for once and all, while retaining full Python-level compatibility with the current bindings.

    Unfortunately, there's not much info on this yet, but check our repo for the source code: [].

  • Re:multiplatform? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Svartalf ( 2997 ) on Sunday August 30, 2009 @12:09PM (#29252017) Homepage

    Because Linux isn't just a desktop or server's a bit more than that.

    Symbian's not where Nokia's going, apparently- it's Maemo/Qt. Symbian may be a slightly "tighter" OS where the codespace for the OS is concerned, but coding applications for it is an unmitigated pain.

    Maemo's much, much easier and only requires slightly more resources (most of which checked in with the Cortex-A8 class SoC's being fielded for most modern smartphones and handheld devices right at the moment...)- so with the current crop of smart handhelds, it's a winner for them to consider that path. Moreover, it's easier to sell people on making applications (like games, for example...) on the platform than with something like Symbian. The N900 will have versions of the stuff I'm currently porting over to ARM Linux, as will the Pre, G1, etc.

  • Re:Kudos to Nokia (Score:3, Informative)

    by 7-Vodka ( 195504 ) on Sunday August 30, 2009 @01:37PM (#29252795) Journal
    You must be genuinely retarded.

    How does having the GPL as an option rather than not having it at all inconvenience ANYONE? Also ANYTHING under the GPL can be forked. Don't be a tool.

    The only point you can make is that people might refrain from contributing to the project under the GPL because the company can then use their hard work to profit.

  • Re:Kudos to Nokia (Score:3, Informative)

    by mweather ( 1089505 ) on Sunday August 30, 2009 @01:42PM (#29252853)

    Such as a declarative one.

    Such as... ? If it doesn't exist yet, it's not modern, it's futuristic.

  • Re:Size and speed (Score:2, Informative)

    by maceru ( 801644 ) on Monday August 31, 2009 @12:28PM (#29262305)
    > Unfortunately, there's not much info on this yet, but check our repo for the source code: []. Mairas, I have just written some explanations about Shiboken on my personal blog: []

The party adjourned to a hot tub, yes. Fully clothed, I might add. -- IBM employee, testifying in California State Supreme Court