[Development] Renamed: Running a service for Qt community

Jason H jhihn at gmx.com
Thu May 20 17:16:42 CEST 2021

> So, how many people and entities do we have in the Qt community that have the capacity, competence, and credentials to run a service? I personally would very much like to see certain aspects of the community at large to be less entangled with The Qt Company. The qt-project.org page is a good start. But that requires that someone actually steps up and says “I’ll do it”. Funding can always be discussed.
> So Jason, how about it? :P

In the past, I'd be all for it. My current thinking about the situation is it would help a for-profit company, who as of late, has been hostile to open source users, and that this would be free labor for them to bolster their ecosystem. Back when Qt was released by Nokia, I would have totally done it. I'd still be willing to do it, but Digia would have to formally freeze and/or revert some of their practices. But as I see it, Digia is going out of their way to destroy/limit/hinder the OpenSource users of Qt. I'd be doing it for the open source users, which I think are in decline, turned away from the increased friction across the board, from the installer itself, to not providing LTS releases to open source users.  (I am not in any way critical of them using OpenSource to create commercial customers - that's how it has always worked - but the denying open source users bug fixes is actively hostile and not for any legitimate open vs commercial license issue, as I see it anyway.)

Again, I still think Qt is great tech. I just think Digia'a actions of late will lead to the collapse of open source Qt usage, so why maintain a service that no one will use? One that gives the facade of openness? That may be a seem hyperbolic, but I need to know Digia will continue to respect opensource users, which lately, they have not done. And I say this as a dual-license user. I use Qt OpenSource for my hobbies, but I also have a commercial license. (I've had several) I have no problem with Qt cmaking money, and I want the developers to have jobs, benefits, and families. I find the commercial license costs reasonable and their support worth it. But it just seems that a lot of the actions being taken are to harm OpenSource users into getting commercial licenses, and that's not cool with me. 

I am open to being mistaken, and to be be convinced otherwise. But I know I am not alone in feeling this way. 

As a long-term Qt user I have to say I'm not liking the direction.
I was a commercial customer for TrollTech
I was there when Harmony was started, then abandoned. 
I was there for Arthur.
I was there when Qt got invaded by Aliens
I was there for the Nokia N9, which I bought _because_ of Qt
I was there when QML was created (which is awesome). 
I was there when Nokia open sourced Qt. 
I was there when Digia bought Qt.
I was there when Qt was extended to mobile platforms (which was great) (including the ill-fated Windows phone) 
I was there when Digia renamed themselves to the Qt Company*. 
I was there when tQtCo* "locked things down".
Will I be there for the next milestone**? I really don't know.

If my answer to that had been yes, I would have said yes to running a service (I'd need help with the infrastructure costs unless it also works on my amazon free tier.)

Anyway, these issues aren't insurmountable, apparently they can be changed with the stroke of a pen. (Where is Qt's Open Governance? - still think I misunderstood what that was about) 

*if you wonder why I keep calling them Digia and not the Qt Company, it is because the actions of late don't really feel like Qt of old (Nokia, TrollTech) would have treated opens source users that way. Looking at the management: https://investors.qt.io/governance/management/ only 2 came from Nokia, the rest are from Digia or have been hired since. To me, this explains the change of behavior by Qt's controlling entity.

**What would the next milestone be? Not Qt6. It's just a version. I'd like to see Qt take on the web, the pieces are there, with WebAssembly and QHttpServer. The web meanwhile has gotten more Qt-like with webpack and other compilation-step tools. I think this would really embiggen the Qt community, but the release practices would have to be brought inline with like, say Node's: https://nodesource.com/blog/understanding-how-node-js-release-lines-work/ which means no commercial-only LTS releases, or releasing an incomplete major version.

But I've said about all I can about this. If Digia doesn't want to play nicely with the open source community, then I have to accept that, adjust my perceptions, and decide where to go from here. Personally, I hope they reverse course and release the remainder of 5.15 as open source. There was no transparency for this decision, so I am hoping it is just a matter of them deciding to do that. (What was that process, the reasoning, was there any community involvement? Where can I find this out?)

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