Eric3 + Qt licensing [was Re: The IDE question]

Michael Sparks zathras at
Sat Oct 16 14:19:32 CEST 2004

On 15 Oct 2004, Ville Vainio wrote:

> >>>>> "Phil" == Phil Thompson <phil at> writes:
>     Phil> To be pedantic for a second...  Eric3 is free on all
>     Phil> platforms. However it requires PyQt and Qt which are not
>     Phil> free on all platforms. The idea of a commercal .exe version
>     Phil> of Eric3 is a possibility which wouldn't require PyQt and Qt
>     Phil> licenses and would be priced to compete with the
>     Phil> alternatives.
>     Phil> Let me or Detlev know if you would be interested in this.
> Wasn't there a cheap Windows version of PyQt+Qt that came with some
> Blackadder-book? Couldn't it be used to compile and distribute the
> windows version of eric3 free of charge? Alternatively, isn't it
> possible for someone that has already bought the license to Qt to just
> compile and distribute the Eric3 binary?

The closest you can come is to do the same as the people working on
porting the GPL version of QT to windows. Specifically they're taking the
GPL source of the windows version and rewriting all the X calls to win32
equivalents. They also seem to be getting somewhere.

The question as to whether this is morally a good thing to do is another

> This Qt licensing thing is way too messy, I'm not surprised that so
> many developers are doing their best to avoid it...

Depends on the developer. If you are a commercial developer on windows
willing to stump up the cash, Qt is very pleasant to work with IMO.

If you're a developer who's just developing for unix, linux then there is
no licensing issue for you - as far as you're concerned, it's just GPL.

The only problems occur for people who use windows who want the advantages
of a free software OS (I say free in this case because the amiguity is
useful - something free (as in toys in cereal packets) under unix/etc
isn't free (as in buy 2, pay twice as much!) for them).

Is that a good thing or bad thing? For win32 users I would say bad. For
Trolltech/etc it's a good thing. For free software groups, it could be
argued as being good, since it gives and incentive to change OS.

Being more specific though... It also frustrates me that I can write
something I find useful and then cannot afford to pass it onto friends
who use windows, even if there's no commercial value in it.


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