[Development] Changes to Qt offering

Ville Voutilainen ville.voutilainen at gmail.com
Wed Jan 29 08:05:03 CET 2020

On Tue, 28 Jan 2020 at 20:03, Tim Murison <tim.murison at gmail.com> wrote:
> > The Qt Company is a public company; we are not yet profitable, but things are getting there. Given how significant the Qt Company contribution to Qt is, making it a sustainable business should be in the interest of anyone that wants to see Qt continue to be a successful and evolving technology.
> I’d imagine most people on this list are sympathetic with this reality. Making money from open source software is challenging, from what I can tell there are probably (broadly) 3 options:
> 1) Cripple the open source product and sell licenses to a closed source premium version.
> 2) Sell support.
> 3) Sell a service related to the open source product.

Or perhaps (4) add something to the commercial offering that the
open-source offering doesn't have. Make no mistake, I'm not
saying that removing free LTS support is an example of that, I'm
merely pointing out a fourth possibility. Our biz folks are in
a never-ending struggle to make buying a license an attractive option,
considering that they're saying that our open-source
offering is a major competitor of our commercial offering. But, it's
important to point out that that's not about free software
developers, it's about companies with relatively deep pockets that
thus far haven't decided to go for a license. That's
what this change is aiming for, and it's unfortunate that there's
collateral damage caused by that attempt.

> From my perspective Qt has gone from a technology I considered as my first choice for basically all dev in 2005-2010 to a tool that I now consider primarily useful for UI development. Part of this is due to Qt failing to branch into relevant spaces (QML -> HTML seems like an obvious miss, to me) and part is due to the rise of tooling that is (IMO) superior (Rust for most non-UI programming, for example) or if not directly superior provides serious competition where there wasn’t before.
> Asking the community to consider this change as an attempt to allow “Qt to continue to be a successful and evolving technology” rings hollow when it seems like Qt is already falling behind and failing to evolve. Viewed in that light, this change seems very much an attempt to get some money out of existing users without doing any of the evolving technology work. To be clear, I’m sure that ISN’T the intent, but that’s what it looks like on the receiving end.

I have seen the beans that the beancounters count. Maintenance work,
including backporting fixes to older releases,
is an unattractive (and unattractively large) cost item among the
beans. So in that sense, yes, the change *is* an attempt to get more
out of existing users. But I don't think it's an attempt to do so
without doing evolving technology work. In some ways,
it's an attempt to allow us to do what we've done before, and do more,
without the cost-effectiveness people constantly
being in our hair.

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