[Interest] Oops! Somebody's got a bad case of dependency bloat!

Michael Jackson imikejackson at gmail.com
Thu Apr 11 03:18:55 CEST 2013

Now that I have your attention let me explain my philosophy. I am a *user* of Qt, not a developer of Qt. I am a "customer" although not a paying customer of Digia, but a customer none-the-less. It is your job (as we both agree) to make your customer's lives easier, ergo, my life easier. Not harder. 

At some point during the careful discussions of mandating Perl this scenario had to have popped up. Those that used to simply download the Qt source, decompress and compile will now have a rude awakening when that does not work. And at some point somebody decided something along the lines of ".. I guess those people will just have to install perl.. ". So at some point a conscious decision was made to make current customers unhappier, and therefor their lives more difficult. Yes, I am in the majority on this one but the Qt devs put me here because of other choices they made.

I require 64 bit Qt apps. Period. I build Scientific software that regularly crunches data that uses 20 to 30 Gigs worth of ram. Some of that is in large contiguous chunks that are above the 32bit limit (which is why QVector is out). Until recently (qt 5) Nokia, then Digia then Qt-Project have steadfastly refused to post a prebuilt binary for a 64 bit Qt. Even though the market for 64 bit Windows operating systems even in the last year was available and active. So with NO precompiled 64 bit Qt I am forced to build it myself, on Windows. And because of other Qt build system issues (Can NOT move the install) I simply can not build it and then give it to my collaborator for use on his machine because he is locked to just his home directory unless I want to start calling myself by their name? So we have to build Qt on their system. Well now we have more developers who want to start working with our code base. Each and every one of them I have to tell them how to download Qt, invoke the configure script and wait for several hours while it builds.

Again. all of this because Qt steadfastly refuses to build a 64 bit version for Windows. You give me a 64 bit Qt prebuilt that I can download and install and I'll shut up.

I need the prebuilt for VS 2008, 2010 and 2012 because whether you want to believe it or not there are lots of us that still MUST use those versions. This is not what we want, but what is dictated to us. Upgrading costs money. The money must be procured. Then we have to get the newer versions of Visual Studio cleared for use. Then we have to get it installed. Then we have to get it updated to SP1. You simply have no idea of what it is like to work in a completely controlled environment because you have been lucky enough in your job selection to NOT have to work in places like that. You need to open your eyes to the trials and tribulations that some of us go through to use Qt on your systems. But this also says something about Qt. There are definitely other alternatives that could be used but those alternatives just suck for lots of reasons for which Qt is way above average. I strive to make my own documentation much like Qt's documentation. I use Qt as the Target when I am creating my own APIs. This is like the question that why do Mac buyers spend more on Macs? Because it is just _that_ good. Qt is the same. I go through great pains to make sure I can continue to use Qt and develop with it because I believe it is just that much better than all the alternatives that I am willing to spend extra time to get things compiled up for all my collaborators.

I have been writing software now for more than 14 years. I have to make the same sorts of decisions about my users and my developers that you are making with Qt. I know the process. At some point you have to cut off users when they want your program to run on ancient hardware or they have that one oddball system that just doesn't want to work, or that odd-ball linux distribution that I have never heard of. We all have to make these tough decisions to say to them "I simply do not have the resources to support your system" and that is tough for anyone who has ever had to make those decisions. So when I say "MY" life I mean the life of your Qt users. And if I am that lone person who is the only one having this issue then I fully agree with the decision to not support/fix my issues. But clearly, in this case, I am not the only one which is why I am speaking very loudly today.

I think you need to fully understand that comments like "No developer in their right mind would use Visual Studio" does not sit well with us. I am a developer. I am in my right mind but I didn't have a choice as to what I have to use. So if effect berating my for a choice I had no control over usually doesn't sit well.

Oh and when Qt decides to actually do a 64 bit prebuilt binary make sure the installer does NOT require Admin privs to install. That will also sink us and force us back to compiling for ourselves.


On Apr 10, 2013, at 8:01 PM, Thiago Macieira <thiago.macieira at intel.com> wrote:

> On quarta-feira, 10 de abril de 2013 16.05.40, Michael Jackson wrote:
>> And just because a "majority" download the installer does not mean "ALL". It
>> is YOUR JOB AS A Qt DEVELOPER/MAINTAINER to make MY life easier. That is
>> your job. 
> Hi Mike
> This thread is getting overheated...
> I with most of what you said, but I disagree on one small but important 
> detail.
> Let me explain:
> I agree because my job as a Qt developer is to make Qt better. Qt's philosophy 
> is that it makes developers' lives easier. Therefore, we both conclude that my 
> work on Qt should have an end goal to improve your life, mine and every other 
> user's.
> I'm not doing Qt work as a volunteer. I'm paid to do it, by Intel (not Digia). 
> Therefore, the OSS argument of "you can't tell OSS people what to do" does not 
> directly apply.
> I'm also a Qt Project Maintainer, by choice and with the support of my 
> employer. As a Maintainer, I have a duty to the project, to uphold its values 
> and further Qt.
> However, I disagree with you when you put emphasis in "MY life easier". I'm 
> not here to make your life easier to the exclusion of everyone else. So 
> whenever you or anyone else requests a feature or a modification, I and anyone 
> else in the Qt Project need to put that through a filter, deciding what the 
> priority of such a request is. It's easy to get lost and think one's own bugs 
> are more important than all others.
> As I said in two emails already, we made a conscious decision to put more 
> effort on the binary installers and to make our lives easier in the source 
> ones. We're prioritising things differently. I'm sorry that our priorities do 
> not match yours.
> And note: priorities can change. Even though the best way to accomplish a 
> change is to *do* it, rest assured we are paying attention to suggestions and 
> especially to a flame war like this one.
> -- 
> Thiago Macieira - thiago.macieira (AT) intel.com
>  Software Architect - Intel Open Source Technology Center
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