[Kde-accessibility] IBM TTS SDK

Gary Cramblitt garycramblitt at comcast.net
Tue Jan 17 01:34:02 CET 2006

On Tuesday 10 January 2006 10:14, George Kraft wrote:
> FYI, this past December I released an open source IBM TTS SDK for TTS
> dependent projects to compile with.  This SDK project only provides the
> ABIs for compiling and no runtime logic.
> http://ibmtts-sdk.sourceforge.net/
> The eci.h header file and libibmeci.so stub library will enable your
> open source packages to be built to use the Linux IBM TTS Runtime.  The
> Linux distributions could precompile various components with the SDK so
> that the runtime will work when installed.

I'm looking at creating a plugin for KTTS that would enable KTTS users who 
have the IBM TTS runtime package to use it with KTTS.  In order to write such 
a plugin, I must compile and link against the library supplied in the IBM TTS  
SDK George mentions above.  I want users and packagers to be able to build my 
plugin regardless of whether they have the commercial IBM TTS runtime 
installed or the IBM TTS SDK installed, which means I must distribute the IBM 
TTS SDK with my plugin code.  The SDK is licensed according to the IBM Common 
Public License


This license confuses me.  There is a FAQ here


There seem to be several issues.  

1.  The current KDE licensing policy


does not list the CPL as an approved license, which means I cannot distribute 
CPL code with the rest of KTTS in the kdeaccessibility module.  Hence, I 
cannot include the IBM TTS SDK in the kdeaccessibility module.

2.  Number 12 of the FAQ mentioned above seems to say that I cannot license my 
plugin code under the GPL or LGPL.  Yet, Janina tells me that a similar 
derivative called ttsynth_say is licensed under LGPL.  ??  If my code has to 
be licensed under the CPL, then I cannot include my code in the 
kdeaccessibility module either.

3.  The CPL seems to obligate commerical distributors who distribute 
derivative works to "edemnify" recipients.  This part of the CPL has me 
totally confused, but it would seem to indicate that commercial distributors 
of my plugin would have to indemnify recipients of my plugin?  That hardly 
seems "right" to me.  Very confused.

4.  It isn't clear to me what the implications of my plugin are to downstream 
distributors, such as Debian.  In the past, Debian packagers have excluded  
KTTS plugins that rely on non "free" components.  For example, the KTTS  
Hadifix plugin is not included in the main kttsd package.  Instead, it is in 
a separate non-free repository as kttsd-contrib-plugins.  Now this is done 
despite the fact that all the code in the KTTS Hadifix plugin is LGPL.  The 
Hadifix plugin does not link against Hadifix; it runs it as a subprocess.  In 
the case of my IBM TTS plugin, it is even worse because my plugin needs to 
link against CPL'd code.  The status of the CPL with respect to Debian is 


Given all these questions and obstacles, I'm think about giving up on an IBM 
TTS plugin for KTTS, but perhaps someone can clarify the situation for me?  
How is Gnome handling this, for instance?

I think one way to avoid all these issues is to write my plugin so that it 
runs IBM TTS as a subprocess (because I assume I could then license my plugin 
code under the LGPL).  To achieve that, the IBM TTS would need to be 
distributed with a command-line utility similar to ttsynth_say.  There would 
need to be some enhancements to ttsynth_say before I could do that 
effectively however.

Gary Cramblitt (aka PhantomsDad)
KDE Text-to-Speech Maintainer

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