[Interest] What don't you like about Qt?

John C. Turnbull ozemale at ozemail.com.au
Wed Oct 5 01:33:37 CEST 2016

Thiago, it seems you have taken my comments as a personal attack on you and you have responded (naturally) in a defensive way.

Well, I tried to make it very clear from my opening sentence that this was *not* a personal attack on you (or anyone else for that matter). In fact, I *thought* I made it obvious how much I am aware and appreciative of your own massive and positive contributions to Qt in general.

So, if I failed in my communication skills and caused you to feel "attacked" then I am sorry. But please know, that was most definitely not my intention.

The remainder of your comments are, as I also said before, most likely absolutely "spot on" in terms of their level of accuracy.

But I think the key point here that perhaps you are missing is that for me and I suspect for many "customers", Qt is a commercial product and a support contract that we pay for. I see the entity that I am paying that money to as "The Qt Company".  Whether or not the Qt *project* is "open source" is neither here nor there in the context of one business paying another for a product and support.

So, your extensive commentary on the ins and outs of maintaining an open source project are probably very relevant in that context and I am sure you know far more about those kind of matters than most (including me).

Further, your motivations for contributing your time and expertise to this project are indeed honourable and, I have never suggested anything else.

So, please, understand that I am not in any way even trying to be critical of *you* and, on the contrary, I'm actually singing your praises!

I think we at crossed paths here and perhaps this is not the appropriate forum for me to put forward the comments I am making.  If that's the case then, again, I am sorry and please direct me to a more appropriate forum.

To summarise, I am speaking from the perspective of a paying customer of a commercial entity.

And I suspect I am not the only one.

> On 5 Oct. 2016, at 10:09, Thiago Macieira <thiago.macieira at intel.com> wrote:
> Em quarta-feira, 5 de outubro de 2016, às 08:13:38 CEST, John C. Turnbull 
> escreveu:
>> Thiago, with all due respect, and I'm very aware of the significant
>> contribution you personally have made to both the Qt product and the
>> community, there is clearly a high degree of dissatisfaction with various
>> aspects of Qt and the management of the SDLC.
> What's SDLC? Software Development Life Cycle?
> The Qt Project actually has a very good cycle for an Open Source project. It's 
> certainly of much higher quality and stricter standards than 95%+ of other 
> open source software out there. I can tell you that we run more unit tests a 
> day than the Linux kernel does in a month (or maybe a year).
>> Your comments may be accurate but I'm not sure they have appeased many of
>> the disgruntled customers.
> That may be, but facts and truth often don't serve to appease people. They're 
> more often than not a harsh reality.
> I could have stayed silent, though, like I've done with the rest of this 
> thread.
>> My advice (for what it's worth) would be to not ignore the swelling
>> negativity that is building amongst paying customers and to see that there
>> are some very genuine concerns out there that are making the task of
>> putting food on the table more difficult than it need be for some people.
> I'm not ignoring the negativity and I doubt anyone is. But people who complain 
> often have trouble putting their issues in the context of everything else that 
> is going on.
> Also, I don't have any customers. I don't receive a penny, directly or 
> indirectly, of licensing fees or support contracts. Other people and other 
> companies involved may have a financial incentive. I don't. All I care are the 
> Open Source principles and the technical quality.
>> It is troubling that you say that often developers simply don't *know* how
>> to fix bugs. That does not engender a high degree of confidence in
>> customers who have focused their entire business strategic plans on such a
>> product.
> Again, that may be, but what would you rather I said? That developers are 
> magic geniuses that can fix anything, with little information, in no time at 
> all and twice on Sundays? C'mon, we're all limited, no one is perfect.
> But note I wasn't saying either that the developers are stupid. Far from it. 
> The most likely cause of not knowing how to fix is that the bug report is 
> incomplete or the issue is not reproducible. I had one recently that attached 
> a very nice testcase, with even a shell script that ran everything and set up 
> properly. And yet, after running for several hours, I couldn't reproduce the 
> issue.
> I also have two pending patches to QtDBus that fix some regressions introduced 
> in 5.6.0 that I still haven't been able to get integrated because they trigger 
> another regression somewhere that doesn't happen for me. How can I fix that?
> Sometimes we can reproduce the issue, but then we end up with a situation that 
> is so thorny that there is no good solution. Change something here and 
> everything unravels over there. Or the bug fix introduces regressions.
> And then there are people depending on the buggy behaviour. Example: I noticed 
> that the QFile::created() function did not give you the file's creation time on 
> BSDs (including Apple OSes), but the file's ctime. The fix was simple. But if I 
> applied it the way I wanted, I would break people's applications that depended 
> on created() returning the ctime.
>> Further, appearing to be somewhat dismissive of the constructive criticism
>> regarding the absence of Agile methodologies within the Qt processes and
>> basically saying "that's the way it is", again, may not be seen as helpful
>> by some customers.
> You can ask for transparency. You can ask for more attention to bug reports 
> with high priority. You can demand that all bug reports be triaged. I support 
> you on all of those.
> But you can't tell us how to do our jobs. Agile doesn't work for us and I 
> don't know a single, large open source project with contributors from multiple 
> companies and across multiple geographies that uses Agile. Trust me when I say 
> that our methodology actually works: we fix hundreds of bugs per release, we 
> catch almost all serious regressions and yet we still have time for 
> innovation.
>> You know the old saying "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".
>> Well, sadly, it *is* "broke".
>> And even though I personally don't know how, its way past time to "fix it".
> Give me an example of a comparable open source project and we'll emulate.
> -- 
> Thiago Macieira - thiago.macieira (AT) intel.com
>  Software Architect - Intel Open Source Technology Center
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