[Interest] Digia to acquire Qt from Nokia

Charley Bay charleyb123 at gmail.com
Tue Aug 14 17:48:35 CEST 2012

> >>  most of the commercial licensees are sticking with the commercial
> license
> > because of the ambiguity
> >>  with the LGPL and how to apply it; and the fact that while Nokia did do
> > that, they have not provided any
> >>  clarity to its use.
> >
> > ... while developers of proprietary software, which are not commercial
> > licensees, use LGPL license :)
> >
> Some may yes, but I think the general ambiguity left by the LGPL
> requirements still pushes most towards commercial licenses.
> So I don't think it has really changed anything in terms of business.
> I could be wrong - only someone familiar with the various deals within
> Nokia/Digia could really answer that, but that won't likely happen.
> Ben

Agree with Ben, we're in a similar position:  Commercial licensee, LGPL
requirements sufficiently ambiguous with "unquantified-risk" that
purchasing the "commercial-license" is "cheap-insurance".  For us, the
"Unquantified-risk" relates to (1) LGPL compliance under various scenarios,
and (2) incremental costs associated with configuration-control of the

Those are likely "resolvable", and probably not-a-big-deal.  But,
addressing them is not free (it will cost something.)

For example, we have added concern for "configuration-control":  Embedded
medical devices, we need to maintain factory/manufacturer-control of the
user-configuration.  FDA and other process-related validation protocols
make user-replacing of LGPL binaries problematic.  We could probably figure
it out, but it would cost, including updates to the IFU (Instructions For
Use), user-access to our embedded configuration, additional
validation/verification protocols, etc.  There's a possible "explosion" in
factory-supported configurations as a result (most customers have ongoing
service contracts).

As an aside, though:

*- IMHO Digia has been quite responsive/responsible as a vendor

*- IMHO Digia has had positive impact for both the commercial and
open-source Qt libraries

*- IMHO it's good to "provide cash" to support the Qt communities, as this
visibly manifests in development, servers, new Tier-1 platforms, CI,
bug-fixes, future versions, and an ever-improving Qt quality

We are the Qt-community -- all of us.  People gotta eat, and somebody needs
to run the servers, and somebody needs to do the "not-fun" stuff to keep
the code alive.  I think it's great that we have KDAB, ICS, and other
vendors supporting Qt, and IMHO Digia also adds value to the community with
their Commercial-license offering.

And, the presence of "Digia's-Commercial-License" takes nothing "away" from
the community:  We're looking at outsourcing some Qt-related work, and all
of those vendors are on-the-table for consideration (and others, including
smaller Qt-specific contract-houses).

Similarly:  If I had the cash, I'd bankroll the Brisbane kids for the great
work they were doing down there (Qt 3D, CI servers, etc.)  I see "value" in
what they were doing, which is why I think it's ok to send cash to where
value is being created, no-matter what we want to "name" that
"cash-transfer" (e.g., "license", "consulting", "support", "tip-jar", etc.)

Yes, of course, if Digia someday became "evil" or no longer delivered
value, then we would re-visit our Commercial license purchase.  But, from
what I've seen thus far, I see nothing that concerns me (quite the

Quite the contrary:  We recently *renewed* our Commercial licenses because
we see Digia's active role at this current time as a "stabilizing-activity"
for the Qt community -- the *whole* community.  (Our licenses were
otherwise not set to expire for months.).

Digia recently announced targeting "Tier-1" explicitly for iOS, Android,
and Win8 ... This is great stuff!!  For the *whole* community, not just
Commercial-licensees!  Who doesn't want that?   ;-))

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