GTK vs QTopia vs Android -

Dave Neary dave.neary at
Mon Nov 19 09:47:20 CET 2007


Lorn Potter wrote:
> If you look at the development, both Nokia and Openmoko 'runs the show'
> and has the last say on their respective platforms, not the community.

It is perfectly reasonable to me that Nokia and FIC get to decide the
software that's installed on their hardware. But that doesn't take away
from the fact that they have chosen free software as the basis for their
system. Nokia haven't tried, for example, to take over GTK+ development
and add lots of Maemo-relevant patches to the core GTK+ releases
(although many of those patches probably should be mainlined). I'm sure
that they could, if they chose to.

Instead they're working with the upstream community and maintaining
patches downstream for their hardware, while trying their best to get as
many as possible of those patches back upstream for community approval.

Isn't that a model of collaboration worth encouraging?

Compare to Qtopia, Trolltech decides the roadmap for the software, and
the community is welcome to participate (after signing a copyright
assignment) in so far as they agree with that roadmap.

> Contributing code to Qtopia is really no different than contributing
> code to FSF/GNU.

Equating the FSF, a non-profit which guarantees that software assigned
to it will remain Free Software ad infinitum with Trolltech, a company
who wants to make money off dual licencing by releasing my work under a
commercial licence to those who don't like the GPL... that's pretty funny.

Copyright assignment is all about trust - what do you want to do with
the work that I assign you? And do I agree with what you want to do? And
can I trust you not to decide to do something else with it later?

All these questions are important to a developer deciding whether to
sign a copyright assignment. Usually, the answer will be "not worth the
hassle of signing".


Dave Neary
OpenWengo Community Development Manager
Email: dave.neary at
Tel: +33 9 51 13 46 45
Mob: +33 6 28 09 73 11

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