Re: [Gimp-developer] [Gimp-user] GIMP should fork babl and GEGL


On Tue, Nov 4, 2014 at 7:27 PM, Elle Stone
<ellestone ninedegreesbelow com> wrote:

Skipping all the main contents, since I don't know enough to be able
to tell what is "the right thing to do" or not.
Just a comment on the license and forking part.

Another advantage to forking babl and GEGL for GIMP is that GIMP's fork of
babl and GEGL could be GPLed, thus freeing the GIMP devs to add FFTW
(Fourier transforms, and other new functionality to
GIMP. FFTW is GPLed. At present, GIMP is somewhat hobbled as to what GPL
code can be used for new editing functions because the babl/GEGL code is

You can't just relicense a whole program just because you forked it.
Unless you asked a copyright assignment from contributors when they
contributed code (which the GIMP project doesn't do), each piece of
code still belongs to every person who contributed it. Which means
that to be able to relicense GEGL or babl, you'll have to ask
permission to every single person who contributed code over the years,
and if you can't get it, delete or rewrite all the pieces of code that
still exists and you could not get relicensing permission for. Well
that's a huge and laborious work.

Also LGPL is usually used for library to allow a wide range of
software to use the library. If the forked version was to become GPL,
it would become very limited as to which program can use it.

In any case, I don't believe a fork is any kind of solution here (or
at least not the best one). If there really is a problem (I don't deny
nor acknowledge it; as I said, I don't know enough), I would really
hope for a real in-code solution to be found for all kind of software
to be able to use GEGL/babl with the various use case and no broken
workflow. A single library being shared by a wide range of software is
a real strength. In particular it allows the library to gain stability
since we can get a lot of feedbacks and patchs from various downstream
program (such as GIMP or imgflo). I would be really sad if we were to
lose this strength.
If things were becoming too bad for GIMP somehow and we need to fork a
library we use, I am not 100% against the possibility, but this should
really be the last last possibility to consider. Working in harmony
with upstream and helping each other should really be the way to go.


With kindest regards,
Elle Stone
Color management and free/libre photography
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