[Interest] the path forward

Stottlemyer, Brett (B.S.) bstottle at ford.com
Thu Apr 1 16:58:32 CEST 2021

> On 4/1/21, 7:08 AM, "Interest on behalf of Turtle Creek Software" <interest-bounces at qt-project.org on behalf of support at turtlesoft.com> wrote:

Hi Casey, welcome to the ML.  I'd like to respond to some of your comments.  I hope you don't mind me addressing them out-of-order.

> Qt promises that, but the Qt team responses on this thread make me nervous about it being delivered. When folks get defensive, that's often a bad sign.

Having been on the ML for a long time (probably since the Qt 4 -> 5 transition), I think The Qt Company has been mostly quiet on this thread.  Most consider Roland a troll, with the general advice of "don't feed the troll" applying.  There seems to be no statement that mentions him that he won't write many paragraphs and emails in response to.  I think most of the replies have been from people that aren't employees of The Qt Company.  I don't work for Qt.

The following comment was made just yesterday on a `QtQuick over Qt3D (Qt 5.15)` thread (by Konstantin Shegunov):
> The Roland thread(s)™ are epic enough and I've been keeping quiet on purpose.

>  I'm new to the Qt world, but the mix of an open-source project and a profit-making company sounds extremely complicated.

The dual/multi license and the Contributors License Agreement allow for the same code to be used for both, so it probably isn't as complicated as you think.

>  Targeting everything from medical devices to desktops sounds very complicated.

Indeed.  And this is the crux of the discussion.  There is an inherent tension between stability and progress (whether progress is new features or keeping up with underlying changes - like Mac's M1).  If you've coded for 20 years, you'll understand that supporting something new while continuing to supporting everything old (without anything breaking) is hard.  As with all tensions, compromises need to be made, in this case which new features are supported and how far back stability is maintained.  These are choices, and they get discussed - here, on the developer mailing list, and in the Qt Contributor's Summit.

>  In general, I agree with Roland about the need for stability.

What drew me to Qt _was_ its stability - the stability of APIs.  While MS changed their UI technology every few years (MFC, WPF, Windows Forms), Qt didn't (I thought there was a cool video of someone porting Qt1 or Qt2 code to Qt5, but I can't find it).  Porting code to new versions of Qt is painless in many cases, and where there are challenges, there are valid reasons for them (RHI, QList/QVector, etc).

Roland's view is extreme.  It may _sound_ reasonable, but if you look, you will find it isn't reasonable.  His definition of "stable" is being able to update the Qt version, but on a 15 year old piece of hardware that is using a 15 year old OS, and everything should build without any porting.

If you are updating Qt and the underlying OS, and _some_ porting is acceptable, you will find Qt meets that definition of stable.  There is an inherent tension between supporting M1 Macs and RHEL 6.  Specific issues do get discussed (more on the developer ML), and there are options for commercial support as well.


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