[PyQt] LGPL license.

Giovanni Bajo rasky at develer.com
Thu Feb 12 13:37:54 GMT 2009

On 2/12/2009 12:44 PM, Sundance wrote:
> Giovanni Bajo wrote:
>> You're basically restating your previous point, without debating mine.
>> The language choice affects companies much more than £350 /
>> programmer.
> Hi Giovanni, hi Phil, hi everybody,
> Giovanni, I'm... a bit uncomfortable writing this because I generally 
> agree with you, and don't want to come across as confrontational, but I 
> think there is still something worth pointing out that I feel you left 
> out from your reasoning.
> In my (limited) experience, a major parameter in language choice in 
> medium- to large-size companies is developer availability. Languages for 
> which developers are easier to find get a significant advantage (hence 
> the commercial success of PHP, for instance).
>>From this, it follows that fostering a broad ecosystem of developers 
> does help your language in the end, so those small-scales developers for 
> whom £350 is a big deal do actually matter to you, indirectly. Actually, 
> I think it goes even more so for those developers that only start 
> dabbling for whom the option of eventually relicensing their product and 
> selling it might make a difference.
> So, no LGPL for PyQt might mean less small-scale developers picking up 
> Python for their Qt development, which in turn means less Python 
> developers out there as a whole and a lesser chance for bigger companies 
> to eventually settle for Python as their chosen tech.
> Or something to that extent anyway. Hard to tell how much weight that 
> reasoning actually carries in practice. Not too much, I hope (but I dare 
> not be optimistic).
> Sill, that's why I, for one, *hope* PyQt will eventually end up LGPL in 
> a commercially sustainable manner (the best option being sponsorship 
> from Nokia... one can dream!). But that's only a hope, one I barely dare 
> voice at that, and is no way a demand. :)


I hear your voice loud and clear. I understand your point. I myself 
would like very much a LGPL version of PyQt, but I just feel that what 
you are describing is a really small fraction of non-customers which 
simply won't have an incentive to become... non-customers but simply 
free users of PyQt -- on the other hand, a LGPL of PyQt would surely 
means existing customers and potential customers that stop being so for 

In other words, there is no winning balance here; and if a choice is to 
be made, I wouldn't base it on that fraction of small non-customer 
developers which would just contribute to create a slightly larger 
ecosystem of developers.

Anyway, I'm just expressing my (commercial) opinions on the matter, but 
it is Phil that knows better his customers and what would happen with a 
license switch.

As for myself, I would strongly prefer a change in the development 
workflow to make it more open (as discussed in a previous mail of mine) 
rather than a change in license. I believe this would contribute it more 
to safer and widely adopted library than the license change itself.
Giovanni Bajo
Develer S.r.l.

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