PyQT installation

Alex Martelli aleaxit at
Fri Dec 31 19:08:23 CET 2004

Steve Holden <steve at> wrote:

> I presume the non-commercial edition is for people who want to use Qt
> but don't want to pay licensing fees or open their source? Or is the GPL
> version only available on non-Windows platforms? Of all the GUI 
> platforms I know about, Qt certainly has the murkiest licensing picture.

I don't find it murky, myself: GPL is available for good platforms (such
as MacOSX and Linux), if you insist on using/releasing for Windows, you
have to pay, period.  

Non-commercial edition is NOT for release or ANY commercial use, just
for learning.

Basically: if you want it on Windows for free, forget Qt (I hear the
cygwin people are trying to make a GPL Qt available for Win+cyg+XFree,
but I suspect trolltech ain't happy about that -- anyway, I don't think
it would be "native", X11 being still required).  That's how Trolltech
chooses to finance their development -- make money from firms which want
to release for Windows (or ones which want to release closed-source for
Unix or Mac, but I suspect there's few of the latter), use some part of
that money to support and encourage free software on free platforms or
platforms _close enough_ to free (Mac OS X itself ain't free -- but its
underpinnings, Darwin, are... a nice variant on open-source BSD...).

There _WERE_ (4 years ago? 5?) some licensing hassles, and some kind of
stand-off between Trolltech/Qt on one side and the FSF on the other
(which resulted in the birth of Gnome as an alternative to Qt-based KDE,
if I recall correctly).  But that WAS a long time ago, and now that the
GPL version is available (though not for Windows) and has been for quite
a while I'm pretty sure not even Stallman has bones to pick with
Trolltech's licensing any more.

Fairly or not, it does seem Trolltech is paying in terms of mindshare
for their not-for-free attitude to Windows among the
free-as-in-free-beer software crowd -- if a GPL version was available
for Windows I'm pretty sure PyQt would be the default de facto Python
GUI toolkit today, rather than having wx and Tk vie for the crown (with
GTK as a somewhat-distant third, it appears to me, and Qt nowhere in
sight because "it ain't free for Windows").  But really, there hasn't
been anything murky about it for _years_... take it or leave it, it's
rather clear and well-defined, it seems to me!


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