[kde-community] Request to join the Kde incubator for GCompris

Aaron J. Seigo aseigo at kde.org
Fri Feb 14 08:05:11 UTC 2014

On Friday, February 14, 2014 07:26:45 Laszlo Papp wrote:
> Hi Aaron,
> On Thu, Feb 13, 2014 at 10:02 PM, Aaron J. Seigo <aseigo at kde.org> wrote:
> > On Thursday, February 13, 2014 21:16:27 Laszlo Papp wrote:
> >> On Thu, Feb 13, 2014 at 8:59 PM, Aaron J. Seigo <aseigo at kde.org> wrote:
> >> > On Thursday, February 13, 2014 20:32:36 Laszlo Papp wrote:
> >> * Before GPLv3, GPLv2 was a commercial friendly license. As far as I
> >> know GPLv3 made it untenable.
> > 
> > This is false. Samba (which you mention below) is used in many commercial
> > products and is licensed under the GPLv3. So obviously it is not
> > "commercially untenable".
> > 
> > There are specific markets (which I already named) which have issues with
> > GPLv3 due to their business models. This is not a generic issue with the
> > GPLv3, but one that comes into play in specific areas of the stack for
> > specific types of companies. Is GPLv3 as commercially-friendly as GPLv2?
> > No, it is not. Is it commercially untenable? No.
> Yes, that is what I meant. There are cases where it is "untenable",
> but it is not globally like that. I agree that it would have been
> clearer to write "less commercial friendly".

Noted :)

> > This is true of other GPL versions as well, so nothing really new.
> Sure, it is not new, but disadvantegous due to flexibility. Should one
> decide one day to prefer code sharing, this limitation would block it;
> at least in my current understanding.

Relicensing is a possibility, and one that happens a fair bit in git.kde.org 
to allow for code sharing (GPL -> LGPL being the common change)

> > Well, yes, we agree that GPLv3 code can not be shared with code released
> > under licenses. It sucks when that happens, and I wouldn't encourage
> > everyone to run to the GPLv3 due to that. The question is whether we can
> > accept developers who choose to do so for their own code, however.
> I respect maintainers for their decisions, but I am also trying to
> consider from KDE point of view as a whole. Currently, if a maintainer

Yes; it is a balance between being hospitable to individual creators and 
maintaining a healthy community. We’re probably in fierce agreement on that 
point :)

If we were to make a policy change, we could outline the challenges of GPLv3 
code in a largely-GPLv2-world in the policy page while still allowing creators 
to individually opt for it.

> decides to go for GPLv3+, and then leaves the project, it is possible
> that a rewrite would need to happen for the new people getting
> involved to avoid the limitation of GPLv3 which is not present in
> GPLv2. This would impose an additional overhead for the project.

This is not limited to GPLv3, of course, but also GPL->LGPL (for instance). 
This is one of the reasons KDE e.V. introduced the FLA agreement, so that if 
people do go away we can continue to manage the licensing of the code within 
the boundaries set out (must be Free software, stick to the licenses in our 
policies, etc.) I hope that a large % of KDE community members have signed it 
by now as it resolves this exact issue.

> >> * One could ask LGPLv3+ in the future (someone consistently after this
> > 
> > Personally, I don't think we should adopt LGPLv3[+] as an acceptable
> > library license: it creates too many issues that are not easily
> > resolvable, as you note; however, this is not about libraries but
> > applications. We already have different policies for libraries vs.
> > applications.
> I agree with you. My concern here is that many KDE applications start
> off as a monolithic codebase without clear library and application
> separation, hence the growing "library" code internally will manifest
> as GPLv3 or LGPLv3, and then you have the issue later unless there is
> a nice trick to get around it.

We already have this issue today. As I noted in a previous email just a couple 
days ago I received an email requesting that I approve a relicense of come 
code I wrote from GPL to LGPL as it was moving from an application (that was 
GPL) to a library (which obviously needs to be LGPL). Relicensing applications 
as they grow and differentiate is part of what happens. There are also 
libraries that are GPL in git.kde.org, btw, they just don’t make it into the 
base KDE libraries due to our (imho sensible) policies in that area.

> Yes, I agree. I was just referring to that I oppose to the GPLv3.

Ok, understood.

> I would also like to note that making such a significant change in the
> base values of KDE is more than just including a new project appearing
> to have this license already in place.

I honestly don’t see the base value that is changed here: it’s Free software, 
etc. It would be a change in application licensing policy.

> That being said, I am fine with exceptions for existing code to also
> remain inclusive because I think that is also very important for KDE.


> PS2.: There are further drawbacks of the license itself. I only
> mentioned a small portion of it. Bottomley and T'So have cogent
> arguments against GPLv3, too. Google for it, or just check out this
> for starter: https://lkml.org/lkml/2006/9/22/217

Yes, the Linux kernel runs full-on into the patent and tivoization issues 
which make GPLv3 undesirable for them.

Aaron J. Seigo

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