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

Jonathan Purol contact at folling.de
Sat Jun 13 18:34:07 CEST 2020

I am not nearly as invested with big business as the rest of the people
here and lack the experience most of you have.
However what currently seems to be happening is a back and forth of
"We need to progress, because technical debt and X"
"Yes but big companies can't progress because Y"
This has been repeating for the last few threads without seeming to go
anywhere. Don't get me wrong, I found it fascinating to read through but
I don't think it furthers the discussion at the moment. It would
surprise me greatly if Qt wasn't aware that some of their largest
clients are intrinsically depending on Windows 7.

So to get my naïve and inexperienced opinion in here:
Instead of continuing on the aforementioned cycle, why don't we see if
there could be some alternative route. Some sort of compromise.
It seems that neither continuing support for win7, nor dropping it is
satisfactory for any side.
To go by what Roland Hughes said, companies of that scale often want to
keep software for up to 30 years which would mean carrying win7 around
for up to 2039+, which is another 19 (!) years of maintenance. And at
some point this decision probably has to be made. As Oliver Wolff said:
> [...] dropping support for an OS is never ideal [...]

One possible solution that came to mind is that after the LTS is dropped
for Qt 5.15 it could be opened to the public for contributions with some
elected people as the maintainers, perhaps from larger companies that
are in close contact with the Qt company.
That way there would still be support for Qt 5.15, basically
indefinitely, without every single company needing to invest the same
amount of effort just to have a maintained version of their software
That said, I am unsure if this would be a choice the Qt company would,
and even could make. There might be licensing issues or other things
prohibiting it.
Additionally there could be problems with the direction of the project.
Version 5.15 being controlled by few big players might lead to some very
off-scope specific features being implemented which could cause hassles
for less influential groups of people.

Jonathan Purol

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