Good news for all developers! QT will be available under the LGPL starting with version 4.5. The GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) is a free software license published by the Free Software Foundation. The LGPL places copyleft restrictions on the program itself but does not apply these restrictions to other software that merely links with the program. There are, however, certain other restrictions on this software. The LGPL is primarily used for software libraries, although it is also used by some stand-alone applications, most notably Mozilla and OpenOffice.org.
This option could increase Qt usage and adoption. You may see more cross platform commercial application on the Linux desktop. This is huge news for cross-platform developers.
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OpenGL (Open Graphics Library) is a standard specification defining a cross-language cross-platform API for writing applications that produce 2D and 3D computer graphics. The interface consists of over 250 different function calls which can be used to draw complex three-dimensional scenes from simple primitives. OpenGL was developed by Silicon Graphics Inc. (SGI) in 1992 and is widely used in CAD, virtual reality, scientific visualization, information visualization, and flight simulation. It is also used in video games. Now OpenGL is released as free software. From the press release:
As software developers the world over prepare to mark the 25th anniversary of the GNU System, Silicon Graphics, Inc. today announced it is releasing a new version of the SGI Free Software License B. The license, which now mirrors the free X11 license used by X.Org, further opens previously released SGI® graphics software that has set the industry standard for visualization software and has proven essential to GNU/Linux® and a host of applications.
Today’s announcement affects software created by SGI that forms the building blocks of many elements of today’s gaming, visual computing, and immersive experiential technologies, including a wide range of proven visualization solutions provided by SGI.
Previous SGI contributions to the free and open source community are now available under the new license. These contributions include the SGI® OpenGL® Sample Implementation, the GLX™ API and other GLX extensions. GLX provides the glue connecting OpenGL and the X Window System™ and is required by any OpenGL implementation using X. GLX is vital to a range of free and commercial software, including all major Linux distributions.
SGI first released the software under a licensing model in 1999. But now SGI is pleased to release an updated version of the license that meets the free and open source software community’s widely accepted definition of “free.”
A software license agreement is a contract between a producer and a user of computer software which grants the user a software license. Most often, a software license agreement indicates the terms under which an end-user may utilize the licensed software, in which case the agreement is called an end-user license agreement or EULA. EULA is very common under Windows and other oses like Mac OS X.
A free software license grants the right to modify and redistribute the licensed software for any purpose, both of which would ordinarily be forbidden by copyright law. So you get considerably more rights than most EULAs provide. Now Mozilla asked Ubuntu to display EULA first time you launch Firefox. From the bug page:
Mozilla Corp asked that this be added in order for us to continue to call the browser Firefox. Since Firefox is their trademark, which we intend to respect, we have the choice of working with Mozilla to meet their requirements, or switching to an unbranded browser.
I don’t see a big deal here. If you don’t like EULA in Ubuntu, try Iceweasel – rebranded version of the Mozilla Firefox program.