[Qgis-developer] import proprietary code inside a python plugin
giohappy at gmail.com
Mon Mar 26 15:32:31 EDT 2012
Ah, Tim, it's getting clear. Thanks.
The key point is distribution, as always with GPL.
In my case I won't distribute the ESRI geoprocessing libraries, they're
part of the ArcGIS distribution, which is only availbale to users having it
installed on they're computers.
The import satement will success only if the user have the ArcGIS product
installed, otherwise it will fail. As a consequence I felt I could freely
distribute my plugin as it doesn't strictly require the proprietary side to
Doesn't GDAL do the same with ECW?! Ok GDAL are LGPL. Is this the key
Moreover it doesn't expose the QGis APIs to ArcGIS, and viceversa, so it
only bridges the two world to interchange the data.
2012/3/26 Tim Sutton <lists at linfiniti.com>
> On Mon, Mar 26, 2012 at 4:52 PM, G. Allegri <giohappy at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Through the various considerations on this topic there are two positions
> > seems contradictory to me:
> > "I did some research on this, and the conclusion is that import is
> > functionally and legally equivalent to linking during compilation, so
> > everything that imports qgis must be GPL." 
> So if you plan to distribute although technically possible to link to
> a proprietary module, its not legall possible.
> > then
> > "you can import/link proprietary code into gpl code, provided you have a
> > license to do it."
> So if you have the license to ESRI etc. to use their libraries you are
> welcome to make yourself a QGIS frontend to ArcSomething, but you cant
> legally distribute that.
> > They probably mean different things and they're not in contradiction.
> > an important point to me, could you help in understanding it?
> Above is my understanding of those points anyway....
> > thanks a lot,
> > Giovanni
> > 
> > 
> > 2012/3/26 G. Allegri <giohappy at gmail.com>
> >> I think you're right but watch the reality from a worldwide point of
> >> I work mostly with foreign countries, not EU/USA. National offices and
> >> agencies budgets are far beyond the license fees, so they don't care
> for it
> >> very much. They pay yearly for something that already do the work they
> >> without having to do contracts for development, define requirements,
> >> This is the reality. In my courses, even those based on ESRI software, I
> >> always introduce FOSS solutions. Sometimes it raises interest, most of
> >> they don't care. They want the job done, and they don't pay for the
> >> That's it.
> >> Anyway, if I wouldn't think that (most) of times a free solution could
> >> the best way, I wouldn't be here to talk about it ;)
> >> giovanni
> >> 2012/3/26 Sandro Santilli <strk at keybit.net>
> >>> On Mon, Mar 26, 2012 at 03:31:53PM +0200, G. Allegri wrote:
> >>> > I totally agree with you, but reality is a bit different. Many
> >>> > agencies,
> >>> > corporates, etc. are not considering to leave they're infrastructure.
> >>> It's their choice, they'll have to bear the consequences of that.
> >>> > I suggest solutions to interoperate, not to switch the whole thing.
> >>> What I'm saying is that it just costs more. And rightly so.
> >>> It is no interest of the free software users to make it any cheaper,
> >>> IMHO.
> >>> > It would be easier, and a lot cheeper, if everybody talked one
> >>> > language.
> >>> +1
> >>> > But we have hundreads of languages in the world, and we have to deal
> >>> > with
> >>> > this.
> >>> People grow up learning the language of their mothers.
> >>> Nobody has to pay a license to _use_ that language.
> >>> And anyone can learn.
> >>> We're really not talking about the same thing.
> >>> --strk;
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> Tim Sutton - QGIS Project Steering Committee Member (Release Manager)
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