[Interest] [Development] Windows 7 support will be dropped in Qt 6

Roland Hughes roland at logikalsolutions.com
Fri Jun 12 14:01:17 CEST 2020

On 6/12/20 4:01 AM, Scott Bloom wrote:
> For CentOS 6, I understand it was for enhancements in the Qt functionality.  However, I think it’s a major mistake for any MAJOR version to drop an OS.  Adding is fine, but dropping shouldn’t happen.

You can't drop an OS as long as there are paying customers for it.

This is where we get into the evil underbelly of OpenSource vs. 
commercial. It's also the point where Qt Company watches the ball fly 
past without even trying to catch it.

If they are collecting support/royalty money from you it is their 
responsibility to maintain the platforms you are paying to have 
supported. This is the galaxies of difference between the home hobby x86 
world and the land of real computers. IBM will maintain and support you 
for an ever increasing support contract fee. I watched shops hang onto a 
System 36 even after the annual support contract climbed high enough to 
pay cash for a shiny new AS/400 four times the size of their current 
computer and five years of maintenance for it.

There is an FDA regulated company in California that is _still_ running 
a PDP 11, not an emulator, and actual PDP 11, because that's what they 
used when they got the approval process and it has never been worth it 
to go through that process again.

These systems we create for the world of real companies are tools. Like 
a carpenter's hammer, as long as it does its job it doesn't get 
replaced. Sure, they may buy a framing hammer and a roofing hammer, but 
their general purpose claw hammer won't be replaced until something 
happens to it.

> If I were king for a day, if its "mostly source compatible" then the OS (and compilers) should still be supported.  In this case, unless it’s a patch required on the compiler (to fix a bug) I should be able to build Qt 5.X even if it requires a dev-tools patch.  Same for Win7 and VS 2013.
> Moving from Qt5 to 6, I am ok with dropping Win7 and/or CentOS 6.  I disagree with Roland here.  Yes, it would be "better", if I could easily build against the latest version of Qt, and build it for an ancient version of any particular OS. But in order to do that, I would expect the configuration options would go insane.  Any item that doesn’t build for that OS (it might not have that functionality that code was added for a newer version of the OS) would have to be ifdef'ed out via configuration. It’s a possible but expensive solution.
> However, I do think, and from a commercial license holder POV (which my current company is), in general it is really painful when an OS is dropped from one LTS to another.  We are actually hitting that issue right now.  We want to move to 5.15, but have a 20 million + a year, contract tied to CentOS 6.  We really can't even consider  dropping centos 6, instead we have to port Qt to CentOS, or stay on the last version of Qt that built on it.  It’s a really crappy position to be in.
> Telling a customer such as us, for Qt 6, you cant build for CentOS 6, would mean, we would simply stay on the Qt 5 tree even longer, and likely pay for extended support until we could move off of CentOS 6.  But we know of bugs, that directly affect us that have been fixed in newer versions of Qt, and we wind up having to back patch them to the Qt we are using, so we can still support our OSes

I respect your point of view. Don't quite agree with it, but respect it.

My first question would be "Why are you still paying support if they 
keep dropping the platforms you need?" You can't make a vendor behave 
until you take away all their money.

To some extend my point was that the latest and greatest should continue 
to support the active and installed base, you are correct about that. 
The larger point is this incessant habit of Qt for making sweeping, 
non-backwardly compatible, API changes with major releases. Qt3 code 
doesn't have a prayer of compiling under Qt 5.x.

This isn't like COBOL. You can learn COBOL using the latest standard and 
if you have to work in a shop using COBOL-85 or 70-whatever standard, 
you can still do it. There are just some new things that aren't there.

If you learn Qt 5.x then get a call from one of these medical device 
places needing you to develop using Qt 3.x under OS/2, you haven't got a 
prayer. You can't even rent a hope. Adding insult to injury many of 
today's "Qt Developers" only know QML and JavaScript so they know less 
than nothing about Qt itself.

It isn't just that medical device company either. Diebold main train 
cars full of cash station machines running OS/2. There is a small 
dedicated band keeping the GCC stack relatively current on OS/2.



Don't get me wrong, I haven't used OS/2 since IBM sunset it after Warp. 
Some people are just screwed. I know you understand that given the big 
dollar CentOS 5 situation you are/were in.

Real business needs a 15-30 year LTS, not 5. I guess in the case of 
those companies still running PDP 11 hardware or emulators it would be a 
60 year LTS.

I really feel your pain man. I went and looked at the support platforms 
chart for CS


I only see Centos 8. It "looks" like they must just have one user on 
that platform. I make that grand assumption based on the chart showing 
really old versions of GCC on other platforms. It "might" be an option 
for your older Centos versions, you would just have to try building it. 
I mean, if you are going to have to fix Qt yourself and stay on an 
unsupported version, why pay for support?

I would personally hope those making the decision to drop Windows 7 
actually considered the implications of forcing people to a perpetual 
privacy violation in a post GDPR (and soon many more such laws) world. 
Windows 10 collects an astonishing amount of data on its users. It is 
going to run afoul of global and/or country specific privacy laws. The 
governments looking for money won't stop with Microsoft. They will 
pursue the "enablers" who put applications on the platform as well.

There was another post on here about companies and users trying to move 
from Windows 7 to Linux and Mac OS to avoid the privacy invasion of 
Windows 10. They are not wrong. Everybody else is air-gapping Windows 7 
just like your clients air-gap their Centos systems.

Just my 0.0002 cents.

Roland Hughes, President
Logikal Solutions


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