JAN
2
2004

Native KDE Port for Mac OS X

A few days ago Benjamin Reed, a.k.a. RangerRick and Benjamin
Meyer
, a.k.a. icefox, succeeded in making Konqueror, the KDE swiss army
knife, run
natively on Mac OS X
. Now they have an update: KOffice, Kate,
Konsole, and a few other KDE
applications work natively on Mac OS X. That means, they don't
use an X server, like the GUI apps such as those ported
from Unix and Linux to Mac OS X by the Fink project do, but they base on the native Qt/Mac library to run KDE in the
native Aqua environment. They have solved all major porting problems,
with only a few rough edges left to polish. Congratulations on this
milestone achievement!

Screenshots of KSpread ,
KWord,
Konsole,
various
KDE games
,
KDE Wallet,
KTips as well as Konqi
look pretty cool on Mac OS X.
Note that the KDE icons also appear in the Apple equivalent of Kicker.

It seems that RangerRick and icefox have not only satisfied, but have
heightened the expectations now: Mac people seem to be rather keen on also seeing
KDE killer applications like KDevelop and Quanta ported to Mac OS X... ;-)

Comments

Actually, Safari also uses Qt. Not for it's main interface, but for rendering the parts of its interface introduced by HTML.


By Steven Fisher at Sat, 2004/01/03 - 6:00am

Actually, Apple made a wrapper library that emulates Qt string types using native types and such without having to use Qt. KHTML doesn't really have any GUI code in it in the first place.


By Ranger Rick at Sat, 2004/01/03 - 6:00am

Safari does *not* use Qt at all. This is what it uses:

otool -L Safari
Safari:
/System/Library/Frameworks/Cocoa.framework/Versions/A/Cocoa (compatibility version 1.0.0, current version 9.0.0)
/System/Library/Frameworks/Carbon.framework/Versions/A/Carbon (compatibility version 2.0.0, current version 128.0.0)
/System/Library/Frameworks/WebKit.framework/Versions/A/WebKit (compatibility version 1.0.0, current version 1.0.0)
/System/Library/Frameworks/AddressBook.framework/Versions/A/AddressBook (compatibility version 1.0.0, current version 300.0.0)
/System/Library/Frameworks/ApplicationServices.framework/Versions/A/ApplicationServices (compatibility version 1.0.0, current version 19.0.0)
/System/Library/Frameworks/Security.framework/Versions/A/Security (compatibility version 1.0.0, current version 163.0.0)
/usr/lib/libSystem.B.dylib (compatibility version 1.0.0, current version 71.0.0)

Since I was curious, I also checked WebKit

otool -L WebKit
WebKit:
/System/Library/Frameworks/WebKit.framework/Versions/A/WebKit (compatibility version 1.0.0, current version 1.0.0)
/System/Library/Frameworks/ApplicationServices.framework/Versions/A/ApplicationServices (compatibility version 1.0.0, current version 19.0.0)
/System/Library/Frameworks/Carbon.framework/Versions/A/Carbon (compatibility version 2.0.0, current version 128.0.0)
/System/Library/Frameworks/Cocoa.framework/Versions/A/Cocoa (compatibility version 1.0.0, current version 9.0.0)
/System/Library/Frameworks/WebKit.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/JavaScriptCore.framework/Versions/A/JavaScriptCore (compatibility version 1.0.0, current version 1.0.0)
/System/Library/Frameworks/WebKit.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/WebCore.framework/Versions/A/WebCore (compatibility version 1.0.0, current version 1.0.0)
/System/Library/Frameworks/Foundation.framework/Versions/C/Foundation (compatibility version 300.0.0, current version 500.1.0)
/usr/lib/libSystem.B.dylib (compatibility version 1.0.0, current version 71.0.0)

And, finally I checked WebCore

otool -L WebCore
WebCore:
/System/Library/Frameworks/WebKit.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/WebCore.framework/Versions/A/WebCore (compatibility version 1.0.0, current version 1.0.0)
/System/Library/Frameworks/ApplicationServices.framework/Versions/A/ApplicationServices (compatibility version 1.0.0, current version 19.0.0)
/System/Library/Frameworks/Carbon.framework/Versions/A/Carbon (compatibility version 2.0.0, current version 128.0.0)
/System/Library/Frameworks/Cocoa.framework/Versions/A/Cocoa (compatibility version 1.0.0, current version 9.0.0)
/System/Library/Frameworks/WebKit.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/JavaScriptCore.framework/Versions/A/JavaScriptCore (compatibility version 1.0.0, current version 1.0.0)
/usr/lib/libSystem.B.dylib (compatibility version 1.0.0, current version 71.0.0)

Those are the most likely places for it to be linking to Qt, if it used it, and as you can see, it doesn't use Qt at all. It does, however, use Cocoa and Carbon, which are the native Mac libraries.


By Tanner Lovelace at Sat, 2004/01/03 - 6:00am

I just love how QT is licensed.
You want to write GPL software using it? Go ahead and use the free versions.
You want to develop commercial software using it? Pay trolltech a few dollars and go ahead.

The only problem I see is the lack of a native (no X) free version of QT, but hey! I can live with it and develop to linux or to choose another toolkit.

And KDE? Well KDE is a *nix desktop, so why should it care that isn't a free-non-X version of QT for windows?


By Iuri Fiedoruk at Sat, 2004/01/03 - 6:00am

okay, here is one simple example you cannot do with a lib that is NOT free of GPL:

- free app but no src
- or free Kapp but no src
- or even whatever free app + src but BSD

seems that all crossplatform libs/frameworks/langs (except GPL/Qt) support it, i can do this with:
- java
- wxWindows
- Mozilla/Gecko
- OpenOffice.org libs
- VCF
- GTK

but i cannot do with KDE and not because of the best Linux desktop but because of the GPL. It's sad that KDE is a nice desktop but it's hardly to write something that is 100% free from GPL.


By Anton Velev at Sat, 2004/01/03 - 6:00am

Yes, that's what I like about GPL, you MUST give the source.
If you don't like this fact, use another thing, develop for windows, whathever.
The fact is that this simply promotes KDE plataform as a opensource (GPL) platafform.

And you still can make those free-without-source apps, but you have to pay the QT license to trolltech. Isn't great way of promoting GPL software? I belive so.

I really really can't understand why people don't opensource things. I belive most of them dream to someday sell the software.

Now you can say that your company dosen't like opensourceing things, ok, well tell them to buy a copy of commercial QT or use gtk, java, wxwindows, win32api, etc.


By Iuri Fiedoruk at Sat, 2004/01/03 - 6:00am

> Yes, that's what I like about GPL, you MUST give the source.

ok, so then don't mess the GPL with the definition of freedom, while using words like "MUST" or "PAY". True freedom is Apache, BSD, X, MIT etc (and is some metrics LGPL) because I am "FREE" to choose the license of my opinion for my work without asking or sponsoring anyone, being my work licensed under BSD, GPL or whatever.

>The fact is that this simply promotes KDE plataform as a opensource (GPL) platafform.

I am happy to use KDE when booting Linux, but when using UNIX prefer the OSX. However Linux looks to me as a more properitary platform (at least KDE) even more than OSX and Windows, since I don't have the freedom I already mentioned.
(just to make a note, I am free to make a native OSX apps - in whatever license I prever, without asking or sponsoring someone or some company)

You see the difference KDE, OSX and Windows are all very nice but only KDE lacks the freedom we are talking about, and to be more exact again "freedom from GPL".


By Anton Velev at Sat, 2004/01/03 - 6:00am

>> True freedom is Apache, BSD, X, MIT etc (and is some
>> metrics LGPL) because I am "FREE" to choose the license
>> of my opinion for my work without asking or sponsoring
>> anyone

Mr. Velev,

we have a very differeent point of view here.

You are in effect saying that true freedom is if you can ask to receive a gun as a gift from anyone and are free to choose the terms of its usage on your own, even to point it at the donator, solely at your own will and if you like.

No-no-no, Mr. Velev! True freedom can only persist if it is protected. The GPL guarantees that all derived works remain under the GPL, thus: remain Free and remain under GPL protection.

As you very well know, the BSD license doesn't guarantee that all derived works remain under a Free license. You even acknowledge that indirectly because you are asking for a change of our prefered license: you insist on getting something from us which you want to receive without any exchange value.

In fact, you do it even receive for free *now*. KDE is for you today "without any exchange value" for your personal use. But you keep asking for more... Therefor you are what I'd like to call a truly unmodest and barefaced guy.

Yes, the KDE project has chosen the GPL license for many parts of its "product". KDE wants to be "sponsored" by those who use our work and build their own work on top of ours. We do admit to this...

After all, KDE generously plays an "in advance" sponsoring role in the first place: you are free to use KDE without payment, without saying Thankyou and without asking us at all. Only if you try to build your own product (commercial or not, gratis or not) on top of KDE source code, only if you want to found your own personal fame or create cash profit by writing software of your own which you want to distribute. -- only then we want "something back": the source code of your derived work. We think this is a very reasonable and very modest expectation.... Do you forget that this source code would contain *our* source code to a large part?

And this our claim you dare to call unreasonable?

I find your continuous demand, after providing you with an initial gift, to now provide you with an even larger gift which you are free to use against us... well, really impertinent!

Since we, the KDE contributors are the creators of our product, please leave us our freedom to decide about our licensing terms.

We do leave *you* the freedom to use a different license yourself, and to derive your own work from the work of developers who choose BSD, X or MIT licenses. We respect your decision. Please do also respect ours.

In the meantime, have fun to use KDE, make any profit you like by using KDE -- but give us the sources back if you use our world-class quality sources to create a derived product of yours!.


By Kurt Pfeifle at Sat, 2004/01/03 - 6:00am

Ok, just don't speculate with the word 'FREEDOM' because
"enforced freedom is not freedom"
and freedom is something more than that, and is more like:
- freedom of choice
- free market
- free speach
- freedom to innovate
and i will something from myself:
- freedom from GPL


By Anton Velev at Sat, 2004/01/03 - 6:00am

Mr. Velve, the GPL is not about the freedom to take (like BSD) but the freedom to give. The concerned audience is not the one you are representing by asking and begging for specific features, but the audience which actually gives away their own work for free, that is programmers and other kind of contributors. Those have no interest whatsoever in others having the freedom to take away their work for free, instead they are concerned to see their work to stay free. This is exactly what the GPL does. You are clearly wasting your time here.


By Datschge at Sat, 2004/01/03 - 6:00am

>>GPL is not about the freedom to take (like BSD) but the freedom to give

I would modify that sentence to read like this:

GPL is not about the freedom to only "take" (like BSD), but the freedom to "give and take"


By Kurt Pfeifle at Sat, 2004/01/03 - 6:00am

I chose "give" since GPL is strictly a source distribution enforcement license.


By Datschge at Sun, 2004/01/04 - 6:00am

OK -- I can see your point

My "give and take" is meant to express that the GPL is more "balanced", in that it asks, in a way, for a return from the receiver of Free Software, should he more than just use it (re-distribute modified or un-modified).


By Kurt Pfeifle at Sun, 2004/01/04 - 6:00am

>Mr. Velve, the GPL is not about the freedom to take (like BSD) but the freedom to give. ... they are concerned to see their work to stay free.

Sorry, the GPL is not just about seeing the existing work stay free. That's an acceptable summary for the LGPL, AFSL 2.0, and quite a number of other open source licenses. If all you are concerned about is preventing open source software from being usurped, then there are plenty of licenses beside the GPL that will achieve this goal.

The GPL is about taking and increasing the amount of software bound by the GPL. This is exactly what the GPL does. Merely linking to a GPL'ed lib makes your entire application GPL'ed. Please read the GPL FAQ: http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#IfLibraryIsGPL

You may like the viral aspects of the GPL. That's fine. Other's don't and for many of them, it is indeed a problem. But please, don't cast the GPL as just protecting open source and definitely don't portray it as the only viable option.

>You are clearly wasting your time here.

If you are chosing to ignore the reality of the GPL, or intentionally misrepresenting the GPL so it can infect other code, or actually feel that the work of others somehow automagically belongs to everybody, simply because they link to a GPL'ed library, then yes indeed he is wasting his time.


By Ray at Fri, 2004/01/09 - 6:00am

From a philosophical perspective all software functionality will eventually become "free". GPL is merely a catalyst for the inevitable. 1-1=1


By Mike at Thu, 2004/03/11 - 6:00am

Mr. Velev,

I clearly don't want to share the your kind of freedom: you are putting a lot of different things into the same bag and tell me that they belong together.

I am all for "freedom of choice". But I also am aware: any "freedom of choice" in our type of society and environments must have also "limits".

If you'd use your "freedom of choice" to do me harm, I will fight back. I assure you, that wouldn't be pleasant for you nor for me, nor for the rest of us.

That's why sane people voluntarily restrict themselves to not use freedom of choice to their own personal gusto and advantage alone. I am sure you are one of these sane people... ;-)

But not all are nice as you. There are not just sane guys and gals on this evil world. That's where rules and law and law enforcement comes into play. And the bending of rules and laws And power and even dictatorship.

We choose to use some rules under which our software may be used, and ask users to agree to these rules. These rules are *very* liberal. These rules even include a big degree of "freedom of choice", "free market", "free speech", "freedom to innnovate", believe it or not.

Your "freedom from GPL" would stop protecting the above freedoms. Your "freedom from GPL" denies my freedom to choose the GPL.

Your are wasting your time. And mine. I, for my part, will now stop wasting time.

Have a nice time with using KDE on Linux, *BSD, *nix or Mac OS X!


By Kurt Pfeifle at Sat, 2004/01/03 - 6:00am

Judging from your posts. Your "true freedom" seems like anarchism to me.


By Dude at Sat, 2004/01/03 - 6:00am

Freedom errrm. Speach is not speech. I get pissed off with the inability of the new world to speak english. Please -- doesn't KDE have a spell checker ?
I use Macos X. I love KDE.
sorry


By ghostdoguk at Sun, 2004/01/25 - 6:00am

> The GPL guarantees
Well, basically it guarantees that people don't behave like scumbags.
If you want to feed upon thousands of other peoples sweat, why not give them _something_ back? Of course, Novell/Sun/Whatever do not want to give. Basically, they are driven by the greed of their stock owners, which in many circumstances is good, and generates jobs etc, but now...well.


By OK at Sat, 2004/01/03 - 6:00am

I could (and didn't had patience) for saying it better.

Basically Trolltech have the freedom to choose the license they want for QT, and KDE have the freedom to choose the toolkit they wish, and we have te freedom to develop using libs, toolkits and plataform we like most.

Saying that KDE *must* change it's license because someone dosen't like how it works, is simply saying that KDE or Trolltech or me or you dosen't have the right to choose a license that they/we belive is better, what is cutting or freedom of choise.

I choise GPL for all my free/non-commercial software because I like the fact that no one can use or fork my code without releasing the code ahead.

So, let's live with the Trolltech and KDE team choises and respect their desision. If you don't like this, please, go ahead and use something else.

And about companies not using QT/KDE that not what I'm seeing, see The Kompany, IBM and Adobe examples. Yes, Sun and others are choising Gnome over KDE, but that's their choise that I respect, as I respect the users that get those systems and install KDE on it (see solaris example),


By Iuri Fiedoruk at Sat, 2004/01/03 - 6:00am

> Yes, the KDE project has chosen the GPL license for many parts of its "product".

While it's true that most KDE _applications_ are released under the GPL, the KDE _libraries_ (i.e. kdelibs) are (currently) all released under the LGPL (or similar licenses). So people who want to write proprietary KDE applications are free to do so provided they pay TrollTech for using Qt.


By Ingo Klöcker at Tue, 2004/01/06 - 6:00am

GPL protects the freedom of the app itself, not the derived app. E.g. when we say that Qt is under GPL, it protects the freedom of Qt and not the freedom of your app that uses Qt.


By Anonymous at Thu, 2004/01/08 - 6:00am

WRONG! If the lib is GPL'ed and you link to it, your app is now infected and GPL'ed. Like it or not, but using a GPL'ed lib, you have been forced to donate your app to the great Open Source community.

If the lib was LGPL'ed, then you're only obligated to return your changes to the lib back to the community.

The later is fair, because you're returning changes you've made to the open source lib back to the community. The former isn't, because the GPL has infected your app and the cost isn't keeping the lib and any improvements free and open, but a forced donation of your effort to expand the amount of free and open software under the viral GPL.


By Ray at Fri, 2004/01/09 - 6:00am

Yes, that's what I like about GPL, you MUST give the source.

And that's the problem with the GPL for many. It's viral. If I link my code with a GPL'ed library, my code is infected and become GPL'ed. I'll gladly give my changes to the GPL'ed library back to the community, but I won't have some GPL'ed code stealing my effort. I have no problem with the LGPL, but the viral effects of the full GPL make it something to avoid.


By Ray at Fri, 2004/01/09 - 6:00am

Yes, I understand that this is a problem for some people.
The good news is that you can choose not to use GPL libraries :)

Sure, this could lead to people not using KDE for business (qt should not even be discussed here because of the non-free version), but does it really matters? That's the thing, being GPL KDE promoves GPL software. As integration between KDE and QT is increasing, you can even write a non-GPL QT app that looks like a KDE app. (I know there are discussion to make even the file dialogs looks the same).

So, I see no problem with KDE licence. Yes you can't (in theory, I don't know how the kompany does) write a KDE app that's not GPL (that is not by all means a bad thing), but you can write a QT app that will look very like the KDE programs without it being GPL. So, what's the problem?


By Iuri Fiedoruk at Sat, 2004/01/10 - 6:00am

You can write BSD-licensed software and link to GPL'ed libraries. Just don't copy any GPL'ed code into your source.

If you're going to bitch, at least get your facts straight.


By Rayiner Hashem at Sat, 2004/01/03 - 6:00am

Pot-Kettle-Black. If you're going to defend, at least get your facts straight.

You can't do what you're claiming. See: http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#IfLibraryIsGPL

The GPL is viral. You link to a GPL'ed library, your entire program is now bound by the GPL. It's funny how many GPL supporters don't even know the GPL and can't be bothered to read the GPL FAQ.


By Ray at Fri, 2004/01/09 - 6:00am

> - free app but no src
> - or free Kapp but no src

If "free" means "as in beer" then you are right. But for most of us "free" means much more: http://www.fsf.org/philosophy/free-sw.html

If you anyway want to give an app away for free (as in beer) then I fail to see why you wouldn't want to give away the source code as well except for egoistic reasons. Why do you want to hinder other people from collaborating with you to make your app much better than you could ever make it on you own? Why do you want your app to be doomed to die if you someday stop improving it?


By Ingo Klöcker at Tue, 2004/01/06 - 6:00am

> ...a way out from the already very serious GPL issue...

What on earth are you thinking?
You can not seriously believe that LGPL:d libraries are good for open source software/community in the long run.

Yes, there are companies who prefer the LGPL to GPL, do you understand why?

These people wants to use what is free without giving back to the free community. In the future, their own applications, built on free libraries, will make competition impossible as they outrun the free/open source apps. Don't you see that this can possibly lead to a new Microsoft monopoly on the on Unix/Linux?

Is this really just and fair? Is this what you want?


By OI at Sat, 2004/01/03 - 6:00am

Okay, it seems that you obviously don't understand what I mean and some people seem to be right that I am losing my time on this.
Here is my vision again: kde is a nice desktop, but the GPL makes it uncompetitive (compared to some other toolkits (wxWindows, VCL, VCF, mozilla) and desktops (OSX, Windows, Gnome)).
Kde is the best desktop for Linux.
GDI+Explorer is the best desktop for Windows.
Panther is the best desktop for UNIX.

Although some may not want to share my vision again the issue is GPL and a better freedom and arguments like forcing and/or protecting freedom (which decreases the freedom) means to me selfishness and egoism.. anyway this is a free market and only the free market itself will prove what is right and what is wrong. Don't get me wrong, KDE is already a free in some way (in terms that kde libs are LGPL), and for example if someone ports it to GTK or other GUI toolkit will remove the GPL dependency (so it is not an issue about KDE itself). I am more worried of the fact that enterprise (mostly in US) is adopting GTK/Gnome instead of the supperior Qt/KDE and it happens not because of it's better technology but because of some GPL dependencies.

About this topic (freedom from GPL) I understand that it's not the right place right here to discuss, so may be there is a good forum about it somewhere else. At least some people are not happy with the vision and facts I share.. anyway.

No need to opose this (i am not going to respond), I know you know what I mean and that my arguments are strong. Being me right or not the free market will prove with the time, and I believe that the free market is the best way to adapt the right way (just my oppinion is that neither Monopoly neither GPL are the right way).

I am still around, and will use KDE when i boot Linux, and still will demonstrate my friends what is Linux by showing them KDE.


By Anton Velev at Sun, 2004/01/04 - 6:00am

You confuse too many things in a single sentence. And you present many facts in a wrong way. Your comment requires a response so that new reader aren't too easily confused, though.

["paraphrasing Mr.Velev"]
>>>>>>>>>>
--> countering Mr. Velev's point
(explaining a bit of background)

["KDE competes with wxWindows, VCL, VCF, Mozilla"]
>>>>>>>>>>
--> KDE is a Desktop Environment. VCL, VCF, wxWindows are toolkits. Mozilla is a Browser.
(KDE is built on the Qt toolkit. Mozilla is built on the XUL toolkit. VCF is still relatively new, immature and unknown: http://vcf.sf.net/. VCL is Borland's toolkit, used e.g. in Delphi.)

["The GPL makes KDE uncompetitiv"]
>>>>>>>>>>>
--> Currently KDE is the most popular Desktop for Linux users, because it is the best, it will remain so.
(All polls are proof to that. In Europe. In the Americas. In Asia. KDE achieved its leading position *with* the GPL.)

["KDE is uncompetitive compared to OSX"]
>>>>>>>>>>>
--> KDE doesn't even really *try* to compete on OSX.
(KDE's appearance on OS X has hardly begun. It will continue to make big progress on OS X. But this is a mere "side-effect" of KDE's overall success.)

["KDE is uncompetitive compared to Windows"], part1
>>>>>>>>>>>
--> It doesn't even really *try* to compete on Windows platforms.
(KDE's appearance on Windows platforms has hardly begun. However, you *may* see some progress here too. But this is a mere "side-effect" of KDE's overall success.)

["KDE is uncompetitive compared to Windows"], part2
>>>>>>>>>>>
--> The real competition is between *Linux* and Windows. KDE contributes a major part to make Linux competitve to Windows.
(Most migrations of companies and organisations away from Windows desktops and towards Linux desktops will be using KDE.)

["KDE is uncompetitive compared to Gnome"]
>>>>>>>>>>>
--> KDE is the leading desktop platform for Linux and will remain so.
(KDE will turn out to not only as the best *integrated* desktop, but also the most *integrative* desktop. You will see Gnome apps, OpenOffice, Gimp, Sodipodi, Mozilla etc. using KDE icons, KDE colors, KDE themes -- and more importantly! -- KDE print & fileopen dialogs and KDE ioslaves. User experience will become much more complete, smooth and pleasant. It will remove all "newbie-confusion" resulting from seeing different types of dialogs in different desktop applications.)

["Panther is the best desktop for UNIX"]
>>>>>>>>>>>
--> Panther is not running on all UNIXes, only on Apple's version (OS X).
(KDE is running on all UNIXes, including OS X.)


By Kurt Pfeifle at Sun, 2004/01/04 - 6:00am

Where cn I find KDE for Panther OS x (10.3)


By james coffey at Wed, 2004/02/11 - 6:00am

Look at http://kde.opendarwin.org/.

I am not sure if Panther is supported already, most work was on
Jaguar recently. Panther support will come soonish, I guess.
The port started only over X-mas, and possibly the developers
just don't own Panther yet.

Try to get in touch with them (mainly "the 2 Bens") over mail
addresses you find on that link above, or IRC.

Cheers,
Kurt


By Kurt Pfeifle at Wed, 2004/02/11 - 6:00am

Essentially the GPL is a way of getting payment in some way for one's code. It does limit, and take away freedoms by demanding a contribution if you change the code and distribute it.

What is interesting is how the big guys have adopted the GPL as protection. IBM contributes quite generously to the kernel, knowing that their competition, ie. Sun, Dell, HP, SGI and others will use the kernel to benefit their business. And in return, IBM benefits from the contributions of the others, and no-one can take anything and build a proprietary kernel. The protections are for contributors, users and the market as a whole. Seeing these hard-nosed competitors working in this arena is quite an accomplishment, and will be subject of thesis' I'm sure.

As for the desktop, it really does come down to technology. If Trolltech has a compelling product, people will use it even if it costs (money or gpl). The same with KDE and GTK. Everyone involved knows the stakes, and are furiously coding to get some advantage. Sounds like a healthy market to me.

Funny that you mention market. Right now, someone could correct me if I'm wrong, but Trolltech is probably the only linux desktop company that is profitable. SUN and Novell, who are claiming 'ownership' of the linux desktop are both shrinking and losing marketshare. This is an attempt by both of them to establish relevance in the marketplace. I'm very curious whether the Sun sales people, used to high margin hardware, are even making commissions on the very low margin desktop offerings. The linux desktop is just beginning to be commercially viable, and will probably have a solid place in three to four years. Who of these will still be around?

Derek (who, when hockey and BC politics get boring, watches the IT industry for entertainment)


By Derek Kite at Sun, 2004/01/04 - 6:00am

>Essentially the GPL is a way of getting payment in some way for one's code. It does limit, and take away freedoms by demanding a contribution if you change the code and distribute it.

It demands more than that. It demands that you donate your ENTIRE application to the GPL community. If you link to a GPL'ed library, your ENTIRE program is bound by the GPL. See: http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#IfLibraryIsGPL Even if you don't change a single line in the lib. The LGPL and other open source licenses protect the library, but the full GPL infects every application it touches. The only exceptions are applications that produce something (e.g. compilers, source code generators, etc.), in that case, the output isn't automagically GPL'ed, and a very few select sets of librtaries that have to be exempted (glibc, etc.), because otherwise everything built with these compilers, linkers, etc. would be GPL'ed and there would be no commercial software developed with gcc, etc.


By Ray at Fri, 2004/01/09 - 6:00am

I'm glad to use KDE *also* (not only) because it's a GPL-based desktop.
I think we must fight to build an ass-kicking ***free*** software desktop, not fight to make it another non-free desktop.
If you want an ass-kicking, non-free desktop, there's Aqua for you ;)


By cyclop at Fri, 2004/01/02 - 6:00am

Dumb question: Isn't QT supposed to be fully cross platform compatible? For the uninitiated, what sort of stuff needs to be ported?


By Anonymous at Sat, 2004/01/03 - 6:00am

>> Isn't QT supposed to be fully cross platform compatible?

It is.

But "mistakes" of a developer could have inserted Linux-specific assumptions into the code design. Or some bugs may only show up on a specific platform. Or the darn thing just doesn't compile on the first shot and needs fixing...

Probably very little needed to be "ported" in the strict sense of the word...

Why don't you ask RangerRick or icefox? ;-)


By Kurt Pfeifle at Sat, 2004/01/03 - 6:00am

AFAIK there were some direct xlib calls in the KDE libraries themselves, it has been a case of removing those. At least that's what I understood.


By agsnu at Sat, 2004/01/03 - 6:00am

While it is possible to write wholly cross-platform code with Qt, it's also possible to call X11 stuff directly, and that happens quite a bit in the KDE code. Those bits need to either be removed or reimplemented when porting to Qt/Mac (or, in theory, Qt/Win32).

Right now much of what we're doing is the "remove" part, hopefully soon things will be working enough that it's time to start filling in the "reimplement" part. ;)


By Ranger Rick at Sat, 2004/01/03 - 6:00am

For instance, I've been looking into kdegraphics and to just give one example, kuickshow uses the imlib library which links into X11 directly. That will have to either be replaced or reimplemented in order for kuickshow to work on the mac. I had hoped that imlib2 might offer some hope, but it seems to need the X libraries too.


By Tanner Lovelace at Sat, 2004/01/03 - 6:00am

The GPL Qt works only on X11 (and on a Unix-like system.) So you have to port at least the X11 part to the other window system.

(And to repeat another poster: that has nothing to do with the pay versions of Qt, which already exist for a few systems (and were ported by Trolltech.))

Have a nice day!


By Nicolas Goutte at Sat, 2004/01/03 - 6:00am

Forget what I have just written. Qt/Mac is indeed from Trolltech *and* GPL.


By Nicolas Goutte at Sat, 2004/01/03 - 6:00am

This could increase the number of potential developpers and users tenfold.
But people will only start to see the benefit of using Koffice when the import filters work as good as those of openoffice.


By Geert at Mon, 2004/01/05 - 6:00am

...By chance are you the Ben Reed from Bloomington, IL?


By Area Man at Mon, 2004/01/05 - 6:00am

I used to live in Bloomington, IL, yes. I moved to Raleigh a few years ago.


By Ranger Rick at Mon, 2004/01/05 - 6:00am

When you were a sophomore in high school, did you where a Janes Addiction - Nothing's Shocking shirt on a regular basis?


By Area Man at Tue, 2004/01/06 - 6:00am

Yeah, that was me. Who is this? =)


By Ranger Rick at Tue, 2004/01/06 - 6:00am

hah, freakish.


By anon at Wed, 2004/01/07 - 6:00am

Just an area man who enjoyed Mrs. Sutter's Chemistry class with you. Wasn't she nasty?

You know Matt Saulcy? If so, Know how to get a hold of him?


By Area Man at Fri, 2004/01/09 - 6:00am

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