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Re: Cathedrals - was Re: [Fsfe-uk] Free software book?

From: Tom Chance
Subject: Re: Cathedrals - was Re: [Fsfe-uk] Free software book?
Date: Sun, 3 Feb 2008 11:34:10 +0000
User-agent: KMail/1.9.6 (enterprise 0.20070907.709405)

On Saturday 02 February 2008 18:43:06 Dave Crossland wrote:
> However, does it matter than KDE is controlled by a single corporation
> by proxy of QT?
> Until the Nokia purchase of Trolltech, I wasn't convinced it mattered;
> if Trolltech did something dumb for the software freedom movement, QT
> was all GPL so that wouldn't matter, right?

Controlled is pretty strong, Dave. Trolltech and Nokia have _no_ control over 

They provide Qt as a basis for KDE with a good licensing agreement that covers 
eventualities like Qt 5 becoming proprietary, or the development focussing 
entirely on embedded devices with no focus on desktops. If Nokia did decide 
to take Qt in that direction you can bet that the KDE community, along with 
many other Qt users, would take the latest release off and work on it 
themselves. It may not develop at the pace that it can with Trolltech's 
support but then again Gtk does alright.

Trolltech also pay some KDE developers like Aaron Seigo to do what they want, 
and a lot of their employees are significant KDE contributors. The worst case 
scenario? They go and work elsewhere, get sponsored by other companies, and 
KDE loses some of the contributors.

The KDE community is pretty robust, with key figures, funding sources and 
infrastructure spread over many different companies small & large. A good mix 
of a cathedral to keep it all together and a bazaar stretching our from core 
svn modules to kde-look etc.

Isn't GNOME "controlled" by a few corporations who dominate its board and 
employ many of the core developers? Well not really, no!

If you think the KDE community is controlled by Nokia then you need to 
seriously re-evaluate your opinion of the four freedoms!

Kind regards,

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