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[GNU-linux-libre] I am starting a review into whether QtWebEngine is fre

From: Andreas Grapentin
Subject: [GNU-linux-libre] I am starting a review into whether QtWebEngine is free software
Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2019 10:45:44 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.11.4 (2019-03-13)

Hello Everyone,

You have read the subject line of this email, so you know what's up.

What is the situation?

As you all know, in the past, the freedom of QtWebEngine has been
questioned repeatedly, to the point that parabola (and I believe most if
not all the FSDG compliant distributions) was forced to remove it from
its official repositories.

As a consequence, many programs that directly or through their
dependencies depend on QtWebEngine needed to be blacklisted as well, or
be modified to use the -- arguably outdated -- QtWebKit instead. At the
moment, this impacts dozens of packages on parabola, which takes away
from the experience of the distributions users. It also creates a
considerable amount of work for the us maintainers to keep the modified
programs up to date, which gets increasingly difficult as the developers
move away from QtWebKit.

What is the plan?

What I am now trying to do is organize the existing allegations made
against QtWebEngine, and conclusively determine whether or not
QtWebEnigne is free software, and if it is deemed to not be entirely
free, what steps need to be taken towards liberating it and towards
creating a version of QtWebEngine that can be packaged and distributed
by FSDG compliant distros.

I will *not* be investigating whether Chromium is free software, at
least not right now. This review is only for QtWebEngine, and the subset
of chromium that it embeds.

Do you want to help?

If you want to help me out, please forward me any existing allegations
against QtWebEngine that I might have missed. I want this review to be
conclusive, and it can only be complete if all complaints are
sufficiently addressed.

If you want to get involved more actively, I am currently in the process
of setting up a local fossology instance, but I could easily set up a
public instance for a collaborative investigation instead. I am also
setting up a git repository to organize the results of the review. If
you want to get access to any of these, let me know.

Come find me in #parabola on freenode for a chat.

Andreas Grapentin (oaken-source)

for the parabola GNU/Linux-libre distribution.


my GPG Public Key:       

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