News wrap-up: Google and OIN, new btrfs versions, Qt and licences

Recently Google joined the Open Innovation Network. Also, Btrfs saw two new development versions these days, and Qt’s licence terms were modified to allow linking to other licences as well.

Google and the OIN

Some days ago Chris DiBona announced that Google became a Open Innovation Network licensee.
Just like Orcale (which became a licensee in March) Google now promises to not use their (maybe Linux related) software patents against any of the other licensees. In return they don’t have to fear the patents of the other licensees. I wonder if Google has so many patents in this area – I never read anything about Google patent portfolios.

Nevertheless, with Google the list of licensees just got another important name. But some names I’m still missing are Yahoo, SAP and Amazon. Microsoft won’t join anytime soon as long as they follow their ridiculous patent strategy.

New Btrfs releases

Chris Mason has just released the versions 0.6 and 0.7 of his file system Btrfs.
The 0.6 release introduces an improved way of deleting old snapshots and a function to defrag the file system to improve the performance. The defrag code unveiled a performance bug which led to the release of 0.7 which is now much faster:

Time to create 1 million files, 512 bytes each:
v0.4: 3m17s
v0.7: 2m32s

Time to run find . on the directory:
v0.4: 21.60s
v0.7: 3.27s

Nice numbers indeed. But of course Btrfs is still in an Alpha state, and first stable versions are not expected before next year.

Qt 4.3.1 was released with GPL extensions

Qt 4.3.1 was released recently. As usual for these minor releases the changelog of this version contains bug fixes and performance improvements but no new technical features, except for the new Intel Compiler 10 support.

However, in political terms one feature was added: beginning with Qt 4.3.1 Qt can now be used together with other licences due to GPL exceptions. The additional rights granted by Trolltech are pretty handy for any Open Source developer:

The right to use Open Source Licenses not compatible with the GNU
General Public License: You may link software (hereafter referred to as “Your Software”) against the Licensed Software and/or distribute binaries of Your Software linked against the Licensed Software

There is no need now to release your software under the GPL, you can also use another licence if you have to/want to.

Interesting in this regard is however also that the GPL 3 is not included. This is already a bit of a problem for the KDE project since the next versions of Samba will be released under the terms of the GPL 3 while KDE is – due to Qt – GPL 2 only. But there are rumours that the next Open Source Qt version might already be released under the GPL 2 and GPL 3.
I do wonder however if KDE could switch to GPL 3 – several hundred developers contributed over the year, making such switches difficult.


2 thoughts on “News wrap-up: Google and OIN, new btrfs versions, Qt and licences”

  1. Heya there, quick typo:

    This is already a bit of a problem for the KDE project since the next versions of Samba will be released under the terms of the GPL 3 while KDE is – due to Qt – GPL 3 only.

    It’s actually GPLv2 only.


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