Open Moko - GPL?

Corey corey at
Mon Nov 27 22:23:47 CET 2006

On Monday 27 November 2006 13:34, Steve Salazar wrote:
> 3. Why did you not use opie or gpe?

I don't know anything about gpe, but opie uses QT, and QT is GPL - so
anything written that uses the QT libraries must therefore also be GPL.

GTK is LGPL, so you can use the gtk libraries in your application(s), and
are not obligated to releasing the source, which is a crucial pre-req for
anyone desiring to sell commercial (non-GPL/Free) applications.

Seeing as a major aspect of the FIC/OpenMoko plan is to bring forth a
flourishing ecosystem around the OpenMoko platform, it was in their
( and everybody's ) best interest to use a toolkit with the lesser gpl, 
which will enable both commercial _and_ Free software to thrive on the 

This is precisely the same reason why Sun went with the GPL + GNU Classpath
exception in their licensing of java's class libraries. Just imagine the uproar
if every single piece of software written using Sun's new jdk _had_ to
be released under GPL! It's a similar exception that allows you to use
gcc and friends to write/link/compile closed-source software if you so desire.

I, personally, much prefer qt over gtk - however if TrollTech were to have
released their most excellent framework under LGPL, there would be very
little incentive for people to purchase commerical licenses of QT - and 
TrollTech would not likely be in business for long.  So even though I think
qt is technically more advanced than gtk, the licensing angle is extremely
important and I can totally understand why OpenMoko went with the less
confining option - if OpenMoko was "confined" to a 100% Free software
model, there would be 0% commercial interest in the platform.

More information about the community mailing list