Why GTK+ will prevail, and what needs to be done

Kevin Krammer kevin.krammer at gmx.at
Sun Jan 30 20:37:16 GMT 2005

On Sunday 30 January 2005 21:30, Andy Teijelo PĂ©rez wrote:

> I know that Trolltech and KDE e.V. have an agreement that assures the
> availabilty and continued development of the free version of Qt for KDE to
> use it. I know it's good to have a company making money out of the product
> they also give us in a free form to develop with. But, through time, I've
> seen comments in this list that have made me think that a completely free
> "community developed" version of Qt would be better to KDE.

There has been such a project before Qt became licenced under a free licence 
but abandoned.
While being a nice idea it is very likely a huge task, developers with enough 
knowlegde are IMHO more likely to work on KDE than on something already 
available just for the sake of doing it.

> That's my point. Why should we wait for Trolltech to add a feature we
> already want in Qt? Don't you think that, even though it's GPL licensed, Qt
> is out of our hands? Don't you feel that Qt could better response to the
> community desires if it were developed the very same way that KDE or other
> free software is?

It is like depending on another free software project, for example like any 
KDE application depending on KDE's release cycle.
Often improvements are created by developers and then sent to Trolltech. but 
as they are, speaking in FLOSS developer terms, the maintainers, they decide 
which patch goes into which version and when a release happens.

KDE application developers might already have a huge list of improvements they 
want in the KDE libs but where KDE core developers decided to no include them 
in the next release, sometimes not even in the KDE3 era.

Distributors wanting to enable certain postponed improvements could always 
release a patched Qt like they often do with their kernels.

> - There's no free Qt in Windows: I've seen a lot of free software from
> Linux ported to Windows. I feel glad every time I find a new free software
> sample that is ported to Windows. How many of those free applications use
> Qt? I don't remember a single one. 

For example SIM http://sim-icq.sourceforge.net/ or PSI http://psi.affinix.com/
There is even a Windows port of Kexi available at kexi-project.org

> I think I read once about an idea of
> some day porting KDE to Windows. I haven't been able to find the place
> where I read it, and perhaps I didn't, or the idea has been dropped.

http://iidea.pl/~js/qkw/ (main site is on KDE wiki but it is currently down)

> How would that be accomplished? I know about KDE-Cygwin, and
> that's ok, but that's not the way to use Qt in Windows that I would like to
> see.

Using cygwin is only considered a transitional state to a fully native Win32 
port of Qt/Free by its developers.

> Haven't you thought of making a cross-platform application with Qt? 
> How would you do that, if you won't sell your application? How do I make a
> free-as-in-freedom cross-platform application? Qt isn't the way to go now.

You can always use the non commercial version if you have an extension in your 
licence allowing to link agains non-free Qt on Windows.
For example most KDE PIM sources have this added rule to make porting possible 
at least licence wise.
If I remember correctly, PSI, as mentioned above, even got a gratis commercial 
licence from Trolltech.

Of course a Qt/Free for Windows supplied by Trolltech would be really nice, 
but if the community can't even get enough developers to work on their own 
port (kde-cygwin), how do you expect a community developed Qt for all 
platforms to work out?

Actually I think this is one of the advantages of Qt being developed and 
maintained by Trolltech.
Other toolkits have to maintain and develop their code for all platforms 
themselves, while we (as in developers using Qt) could cheaply get away with 
only maintaining the Win32 port, but we don't even manage that.

Kevin Krammer <kevin.krammer at gmx.at>
Qt/KDE Developer, Debian User
www.mrunix.de - German Unix/Linux programming forum
www.qtforum.org - Qt programming forum
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