[Interest] Well there goes Nokia

BRM bm_witness at yahoo.com
Thu Aug 2 16:19:48 CEST 2012

> From: Bo Thorsen <bo at fioniasoftware.dk>

> Subject: Re: [Interest] Well there goes Nokia
> Den 01-08-2012 20:32, Jason H skrev:
>>  Would I?
>>  I'm no expert at making money, however I think that if there was an
>>  organization staffed with people who could modify Qt and interested
>>  companies that companies could contract for the desired modifications.
>>  The problem is playing nice with the open governance. And you could also
>>  offer sponsored development projects. Heck, use some crowd funding to
>>  cooperatively bust through some barriers. True, companies could contract
>>  directly, but they would have to be more hands-on and if there was a
>>  company they could centrally manage development so there is no overlap
>>  during simultaneous projects.
> It's difficult to really do this for several reasons:
> 1) The open governance is great for everyone using Qt, but it makes a 
> Trolltech business model more difficult. You can't just promise anyone 
> to get code into Qt anymore. It's still possible, of course, but you 
> have to argue the case for the code.

True. TrollTech and then Nokia had an exclusive on that. Much like MySQL AB/Sun/Oracle do for MySQL.
> 2) Digia has the right to sell commercial licenses. This means a *big* 
> chunk of the revenue stream Trolltech had is gone. I haven't heard 
> anything about this reverting right to Nokia so others could pick it up.

Assuming this doesn't change...
> 3) The copyright of the code is still Nokia owned. This means you can't 
> do anything with Qt that's not GPL or LGPL. So another possible revenue 
> stream - selling custom developed close source versions to customers - 
> is also gone.

Wouldn't the Commercial License available via Digia solve that issue?
That is, as a Commercial Licensee one can make closed source versions for customers.
So long as the Commercial License can be purchased that remains viable, no?

And also assuming that the CLA stays in place such that modules continue to be dual licensed.
Commercial Licensees do still have to be careful about GPL/LGPL only licensed modules.
> Those three were big parts of Trolltechs business model. There are still 
> some left - for example certifications. Anyone can set up a 
> certification system, the trick is convincing people it's worth 
> anything. I have all three Qt certifications from Nokia, and you would 
> have a *really* hard time convincing me I'd need one from you.
> What you have left is something I do every day in Fionia Software: Qt 
> expert contracting. All the things you have left is about coding - 
> either on Qt itself or with Qt. And that's the definition of what we 
> consulting companies do.
> It's very much a possibility that the consulting companies will be the 
> biggest commercial driving force behind Qt. If you look at the numbers 
> of git commits (excluding Nokia), that's already the case. Digia is far 
> behind. And now KDAB and ICS is hosting Qt conferences this winter.
> In this scenario, we'd be working in a pure open source project where 
> there would be no benevolent dictator. That's still a viable and working 
> model. Meaning even if Nokia goes poof today, Qt will still live. And 
> possibly even better than today - impossible to know.

Regardless of what happens, I think Qt will continue to thrive. If anything is means more business for the consulting companies,
and more opportunity for the consulting companies to employ the core Qt developers.

Aside from the Commercial licensing issue, I think that is probably a good thing overall though we might have a few hurdles to jump in the mean time as things get figured out.

$0.02 as an observer, FWIW


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