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From Ralph Goers <>
Subject Re: [NOTICE] corinthia PPMC+committer -= dortef, franz, gbg, ianc, jani, louis, pmkelly
Date Sun, 06 Sep 2015 18:16:03 GMT
Licensing is always a thorny issue.  

In general, <>
says that you can use libraries under licenses such as the LGPL for optional dependencies.
This is so that user’s can use your project in its base mode with no “surprises”.

However, if the library is something that you would expect to be already installed on the
platform(s) you support that is a different story. See

If someone can take your work, modify it, and then attach whatever license they want to the
combined work then whatever you are doing is probably OK. 


> On Sep 6, 2015, at 10:43 AM, Peter Kelly <> wrote:
>> On 6 Sep 2015, at 11:22 pm, Jochen Theodorou <> wrote:
>> Am 06.09.2015 04:22, schrieb Dave Fisher:
>> [...]
>>> Also Apache needs a release policy for binaries that would allow the best UX/UI
API for the platform to be used even if it is GPL. If you have subscribed to legal-discuss
the last few months you know why that discussion was impossible. If that can be worked out
then at least it would help other projects.
>> can you explain the case a bit? Do you link statically? What is the license?
> We wanted to use Qt, the open source version of which is LGPL. All other suitable candidates
we could find were similar; GTK is LGPL, and wxWidgets has a license that is very close to
LGPL. We also needed to use WebKit, regardless of the toolkit involved, and that is (mostly
I think) LGPL also.
> There was some debate about whether or not it was ok to write an application which used
Qt, though we did not propose including any of the actual Qt source code in the release artefacts.
It would be used as an external library, dynamically linked, similar to how many programs
use glibc.
> An assertion was made in the discussion that if we cannot develop our app without using
Qt, it should not be part of the project (I assume this same argument would have been made
if we had chosen one of the others above). Given that this app was a major component (though
by no means all) of what we planned to do, it seemed that if that argument was valid (and
I don’t think it was, but I’m still not sure), we would have to do so outside of ASF.
> There were numerous other factors involved with our design to resign, mostly involving
personal disputes among PPMC members which I won’t get into here out of respect for all
involved. But the discussion about licensing and implications for the project was one of the
factors, and certainly caused a division in the community.
> If it’s not possible to write apps using LGPL libraries as part of apache projects,
then this seems to pretty much rule out any cross-platform native desktop apps, unless you
write your own toolkit. I realise OpenOffice has it’s own custom toolkit which is still
used for historical reasons, but I don’t think that can adapt well to mobile platforms,
so other than that that there don’t seem to be any viable choices which could work with
the policy.
> —
> Dr Peter M. Kelly
> PGP key: <>
> (fingerprint 5435 6718 59F0 DD1F BFA0 5E46 2523 BAA1 44AE 2966)

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