[Development] Renamed (again): Qt licensing shenanigans (again)

Rui Oliveira ruilvo at hotmail.com
Fri May 21 19:26:19 CEST 2021

Every conversation ends up in what is already the C++ subject of the year :D

I've been vocally critical of what has happened, same as everybody else, 
even though I'm a mere passive observer, for now...

But lemme say some things:

I agree with Jason: Doing the "no LTS for FOSS" at the moment of the 
5.15->6.0 change was really a foul play, imho.

Everybody knew 6.0 was a subset of Qt, and that 6.x would be that way 
for a long while... It happened at the most harmful time, really... If 
it was on 6.2 and I had to move to 6.3 instead of 6.2.3, fine, I prefer 
to do that anyway... Now 5.15.2 or... Nothing viable, really...

Other thing I noticed was this:


Over 300% year-over-year change. Whatever the Qt company is doing, it's 
resonating with its investors. And don't be fooled. A for profit company 
serves to generate revenue. Any product or service it sells is the means 
to achieve that revenue. This is what drives decisions. Not a bunch of 
angry programmers.

No official FOSS edition offline installers, no FOSS LTS binaries (and 
no source for 12 months), mandatory registration, are all aspects that 
don't particularly drive community contributions. I might be wrong... 
There's also the aspect if its in the interest of TQtC to have those 
contributions...  I mean, Qt has some commercial-only offerings, and 
embeded/auto seem to be the driver of the company right now... The 
income from buyers of the automotive suite maybe are worth the man-hours 
of hypothetical FOSS contributors? I wouldn't know, but that does cross 
my mind.

Honestly, and this is repeating myself, I look at other ecosystems like 
C# and I see webasm and desktop having renewed interest and new and 
interesting tech stacks... Even on the C++ world, we now have things 
like DearImGui... Of course the later is not for any half-reasonable 
desktop application (imho) but still...

It's so weird the situation around this library, its technology and what 
it stands to do...

We'll probably circle around this discussion again and again during 
times to come, so I'm just leaving my 2 cents.

Let's code.

Às 16:58 de 21/05/2021, Jason H escreveu:
>> Sent: Friday, May 21, 2021 at 8:57 AM
>> From: "Kai Köhne" <Kai.Koehne at qt.io>
>> To: "Benjamin TERRIER" <b.terrier at gmail.com>, "development at qt-project.org" <development at qt-project.org>
>> Subject: Re: [Development] Renamed: Running a service for Qt community
>>> From: Development <development-bounces at qt-project.org> On Behalf Of Benjamin TERRIER
>>> Subject: Re: [Development] Renamed: Running a service for Qt community
>>> On Thu, 20 May 2021 at 17:18, Jason H <mailto:jhihn at gmx.com> wrote:
>>>> 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)
>>> Since TQC alone can decide that the Qt Project won't release Qt 5.15.3+  without consulting the mailing list and going through the lazy consensus decision process, I think it's safe to say that Open Governance is dead.
>> I don't claim that the LTS decision was fully in line with the Open Governance process as stated in https://quips-qt-io.herokuapp.com/quip-0002.html .
>> But Open Governance is IMO serving the purpose of steering the development of the Qt code quite well. I think we can do better in also discussing designs etc on the mailing list, but well...
> It seems to be a fatal flaw that the licensing, and the changes to, are not part of the open governance. It looks like there is only the ability to change and vote on code... What if that code commit is a license file ;-) ?
>>> Can we conclude that contributions from outside the company are going to be nearly
>>> non-existent?
> I'd be more likely to contribute code if I was able to contribute it as LGPL it was available to users as LGPL.
>> I hope not 😊 You can check out some statistics about code contributions at qt-project.org . There's also Thiago's generated statistics : https://macieira.org/~thiago/qt-stats/current/
> Measuring the reaction to decisions like this change of license decision in terms of lines of code is surely a lagging indicator. And people may not be aware until they try to use the online installer to update, which they probably aren't. Or visit the blogs. I've been going over the history, the commercial release of 5.15 was announced in advance but was worded in a way as to not mention that there wouldn't also be an open source release.  ( https://www.qt.io/blog/qt-offering-changes-2020 )
> "LTS and offline installer to become commercial-only
> Starting with Qt 5.15, long term support (LTS) will only be available to commercial customers. This means open-source users will receive patch-level releases of 5.15 until the next minor release will become available. This means that we will handle Qt 5.15 in the same way as e.g. 5.13 or 5.14 for open source users"
> It is my understanding after reading that, that open source users would still get patch-level releases (5.15.x) through the online installer. What actually happed though is as soon as Qt6.0.1 was released, the access to 5.15 patch releases were over. Access to the patch release vs support are different things though. As I read it, the /support of 5.15/ would end for open source users, who would only be supported on Qt6.0.1 at that time.  However this is not what happened, as access to 5.15 patches were cut off. This is a broken idea because not all the modules included at 5.15 were supported by 6.0. 6.0 is actually incomplete. 6.1 is also incomplete. This is hostile and unfair to open source user to deny them patches that already exist because of separate engineering/release decisions (which I also take issue with) to release an incomplete 6.0.  What needs to happen is Qt 5.15 needs to go back to open source patch releases until 6.x is at feature parity with 5.15.
> It's the right thing to do.
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