[Development] Changes to Qt offering

Marcus D. Hanwell marcus.hanwell at kitware.com
Wed Jan 29 18:47:05 CET 2020

On Wed, Jan 29, 2020 at 8:52 AM Kyle Edwards via Development <
development at qt-project.org> wrote:

> On Wed, 2020-01-29 at 13:44 +0000, Cristián Maureira-Fredes wrote:
> > Hey Kyle,
> >
> > thanks for your answer,
> > out of curiosity, are there some past business models
> > that failed inside Kitware? or it has been support only since
> > the beginning?
> >
> > What I'm trying to find out is that if maybe some aspects of what
> > you tried, could be similar of what TQtC is trying now,
> > so we have more information regarding the positive and negative
> > aspects of such decisions.
> As far as I know, it's always been an open model funded by support and
> research contracts. What has changed is that we have significantly
> expanded our areas of research - in the beginning it was primarily
> scientific visualization, but we now do a lot of work in computer
> vision, data/analytics, and software process (CMake + CDash).
> I  would say that I came from the KDE/Qt community, but have been with
Kitware for over ten years now. I did a Google Summer of Code with KDE on
Kalzium in 2007, was a Gentoo developer before that. I am a physicist by
training, and am working at Cornell's CHESS synchrotron right now on aa
PySide2 based application looking at high energy X-ray diffraction. I am a
"domain guy" by many definitions, but also a principal investigator on a
number of projects. We use Qt in some fairly specialized settings, with
some pretty niche areas of research.

As far as I am aware in my work, and work I have been involved in, most of
our revenue is from collaborative research and development on tough
problems. Some are government funded, some are industry, and then we have
some support and training but it tends to be quite a small amount of the
total. I work on chemistry and materials science, building Tomviz using Qt
on top of VTK/ParaView for example, and Avogadro that came from that KDE
GSoC project all those years ago. I was a Qt Ambassador when it was a
thing, and have been an internal and external advocate for Qt having worked
with TrollTech, Nokia, Digia, and marginally The Qt Company. I have given
some talks at some KDE meetings, and met Bill at Camp KDE in Jamaica.

I have been saddened by recent developments, and think it will make it
harder to advocate for Qt in the future. I hope that some of the positions
taken will be reconsidered, but my role has evolved from PhD student
working in my spare time on Gentoo/KDE, GSoC, postdoc, industry and I am
quite involved in thinking about sustainability of software for scientific
research too. I understand that Qt needs to make money, and be sustainable,
and very much want it to be. I think Qt offers amazing APIs, and when I
develop new APIs I often ask myself how it might be developed in Qt, or
what would Lars do :-) Qt has helped me to produce better software for many
years, and I am grateful, the move to LGPL made things much easier from my
side but I was aware it made commercial licenses harder to sell.

I am just speaking as me, not necessarily in any official capacity, but
hoping to offer a view of how I have been using Qt since about 2003. It has
been a constant source of help, and wherever reasonable I usually try to
use it.
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