[reportlab-users] Visual editor: Licenses

Rajeev Joseph Sebastian rajeev_jsv at dinamis.com
Mon Dec 5 18:34:02 EST 2005

On Tuesday 06 December 2005 03:57, Andy Robinson wrote:
> I think there's one more issue before going with PyQT.  We've never had
> a flame war yet on this list but who knows, maybe this will start one :-)
> It is available under a GPL and a commercial license.  This is
> very different to the ReportLab library so far.  So a PyQT GUI would
> have to be very carefully separated from our library itself to
> avoid 'GPL infection'.
Hmm, yes, careful thought and organization is needed on that one. I don't 
think there will be any such GPL infection. As far as I know, the BSD license 
is compatible with GPL, and so, may be used in GPL programs without a change 
in licensing (atleast for the "modified" BSD license mention on the FSF 
Licenses page). Then again, I might be wrong on this.
> GPL has turned out to be quite 'good for business' for TrollTech,
> BerkeleyDB  and MySQL.  This is because anyone who wants to embed it in
> a closed source product has to negotiate a license - and enough people
> want to use databases and GUI toolkits in their apps.  Other companies
> giving stuff away more liberally have often struggled and ended up
> as little more than support operations.
> So, one possibility is that we start a new 'reportlab2' package
> under GPL, with a graphical designer to go with it; and that we could
> then release more of our proprietary software like elements
> of RML and PageCatcher, offering much higher productivity.  This would
> provide an open source document framework which was easy to use, and
> easy to embed.  A market for embedding would incentivize us strongly to
> produce a packaged, easy-to-deploy library edition, rather than our
> current focus on enterprise solutions which tends to leave open source
> features undocumented :-(.  And if it did well then anyone maintaining a
> graphical editor would have a route to sell that too and thus to invest
> more time in it; I know of several specialist areas where it could be
> customised easily for a vertical market.
> On the other hand, this is not the way major Python libraries have
> worked in the past.  I have long liked the ability to just use code
> anywhere.
> How would people feel if the existing code base stayed available as it
> was, but a new version came out under GPL with a lot more functionality?
> I cannot promise this is likely, and it wouldn't be a community
> decision, but it would be interesting to get peoples' reactions...
I for one would welcome such a move (seeing the "lot more functionality" ;) ). 
It may also help you financially, as you had mentioned in the case of 
Trolltech, etc. As others had mentioned, a library of this sort is ripe for 
embedding in business applications/servers.

Rajeev J Sebastian

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