[reportlab-users] PyQt Visual Editor

Rajeev Joseph Sebastian rajeev_jsv at dinamis.com
Mon Nov 28 16:59:06 EST 2005

On Tuesday 29 November 2005 02:15, Markus Meyer wrote:
> Rajeev Joseph Sebastian schrieb:
> >There is also an issue of licensing: PyQt is available only under 2
> > licenses: GPL and a paid commercial license. But it is well worth it.
> > PyQt is also available for a majority of OS, and as you may know, Qt's
> > strengths is its graphics capabilities (as evidenced by the various
> > customer success stories on Trolltech's website [1]).
> I don't want to start a flamewar here, but I think it is problematic for
> open-source projects to depend on Qt if they want to reach a commercial
> (and that often means closed-source) audience. I don't see a problem for
> closed-source projects, because you just buy Qt like, say, Microsoft
> Visual Studio or Intel CC, and be done with it. For GPL'd open-source
> projects it isn't a problem either, since Qt itself can be licensed
> under the GPL, problem solved.
> The said report generator, on the other hand, would be a good candidate
> for either BSD (in the spirit of ReportLab being BSD-like-licensed, like
> Python) or LGPL, since that would allow incorporating the report editor
> into closed-source apps. Unlike many apps, a report generator is ideal
> to be incorporated into bigger projects, so the license really matters.
> The Python community, unlike other open-source communities, has
> traditionally been very friendly when it comes to tolerating
> closed-source use of their libs. Even Skencil is LGPL (not GPL), which
> is very uncommon for general application-type open source projects.
> Of course there's the standard argument that "commercial entities can
> still get a Qt license", but this hasn't worked well for other projects.
> E.g., many argue that KDE has long been superior to Gnome in every
> aspect, yet companies like Sun (Java Desktop), RedHat and Ximian (now
> Novell) favor Gnome. It's not that they couldn't afford a site-license
> for Qt (infact, they probably all have one already), but big companies
> don't like to depend on small companies for their flagship products.

I'm no lawyer, but as far as I know, one could very well write this report 
editor under LGPL, which allows linking to GPL libraries such as Qt.

I don't understand your comment about "dependencies". If big companies depend 
on a loose band of software programmers (GTK/GNOME developers), instead of an 
organized commercial entity such as Trolltech, then I would question the 
quality of their product :) 

I doubt RedHat, etc made the choices they did for the reasons you state, not 
to mention that there are companies/products which favor KDE instead of 
Gnome: Mandrake for instance, and BizLinux (a company in India). Ubuntu and 
Novell both provide alternate distributions with KDE instead of GNOME. Your 
argument thus, doesn't hold water.

The only difference in this respect between Qt and GTK (i.e., considering only 
GNOME's toolkit of choice), is that Qt is under GPL, whereas GTK is under 
LGPL (as far as I know). This allows anyone to make closed source apps with 
GTK but not so with Qt. If I were to extrapolate in the manner you did, then 
I would say "yes, big companies like to exploit legions of unpaid 
programmers". But I won't go so far, because the issues are more complex than 
it sounds.

The only reasonable statements you made, were that:
1) RL/Python/Skencil is licensed under BSD-like/LGPL license, which is a 
2) a report editor would be useful if it were embeddable
3) traditional commerce prefers close-able codebase

To those, I do not provide an answer. I guess, like anything else, whichever 
project comes up with the best implementation in the shortest time and is 
acceptable to all persons (which is not to say the lowest-common- 
denominator), would, as already mentioned, be accepted by all :)

Rajeev J Sebastian

Dinamis Corporation
3266 Yonge Street, Suite 1419
Toronto, ON
Canada  M4N 3P6

+1 416-410-3326

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