[Interest] Interest Digest, Vol 101, Issue 3

Roland Hughes roland at logikalsolutions.com
Wed Feb 12 14:21:00 CET 2020

On 2/4/20 12:43 PM, Thiago Macieira wrote:

On Tuesday, 4 February 2020 01:41:42 PST Benjamin TERRIER wrote:

>>     - What about the risk of having a community fork i.e. a community
>>     maintained LTS branch, possibly outside of Qt official repos meaning that
>> this branch may be GPL/LGPL only, without the possibility for
>>     The Qt Company to sell under commercial license commits pushed directly
>>     to this branch.
> That's permissible today and will continue to be. The proponents of such a
> fork just need to gather enough developers to maintain it and sufficient
> computing power to run a build CI like the one Qt Company does.
As we have discussed many times before, that is exactly what is 
happening in the medical device world. One company that bottom feeding 
Harman agency calls about every year or so is maintaining a fork of Qt3 
on OS/2. A former client of mine is maintaining Qt 4.8. They were 
recently bought by a much larger medical device company so now there are 
even more maintainers.

What you have to realize is the legitimate medical device world cares 
little about idiot phones. The fake medical devices (never gone through 
FDA regulated development, testing, and approval) like Fitbit, sure, 
they probably care about idiot phones. Medical devices cannot. They can 
push out to something in broadcast mode, but by and large they cannot 
care about the idiot phone.

The other thing you have to realize is the FDA and most other medical 
device regulatory agencies in the world are now pushing/mandating the 
use of optically isolated external communication. The OS kernel has no 
direct access to communication hardware and said communication hardware 
has no direct access to the OS or any applications running on it. This 
means that Bluetooth and networking classes have become irrelevant. 
Applications communicate with COMM via a message queue, file/stream 
interface, or PPP over hard soldered internal serial. At least that is 
all I know about now.

An LTS for the medical device world is 15-20+ years. They don't give a 
rats back side about what Apple or Google are doing. They do care about 
more durable/higher resolution touch screens and better graphics engines 
but things like flicking and pinch scrolling, there are only a tiny 
subset of situations where such things could even legally be used.

I suspect we will have a great number of Qt forks after this new 
licensing announcement. I imagine most automotive and medical device 
companies will cease buying licenses and just maintain their own fork 
occasionally bringing in contractors if they need some maintenance help.

The reality is that Qt, trying to be all things to all people, got too 
big. Honestly, it stopped serving all its markets well a while back. We 
"make do" but as "that guy again" points out every so many months, lots 
of bugs simply rot.

The medical device world wants a completely bug free library maintained 
for 15-20+ years.

The idiot phone market wants whatever is rumored to be working on this week.

I have no idea what the FTSB regulations are on software. Somehow auto 
makers got the FTSB to let them breach the great CAN-BUS barrier which 
was strictly verboten last I touched automotive.

Roland Hughes, President
Logikal Solutions


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