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Not using QT anymore July 25, 2004

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.
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A lot of people have asked me why I dont use QT anymore for development and why I dont contribute anymore to QT projects anymore. First of all, for those of you that do not know QT is a toolkit to design GUI’s for applications. I used to be a heavy user and believer in QT and yes to the point I would shell out money for the QT license. I quit using QT for a few reasons:

1. I disagree with certain stands Trolltech has taken and the limitations it put on QT.

2. It no longer made feasible sense to dish out licensing fee’s since there are many freely available GUI toolkits available.

What stands do I disagree with? Their stand on not supplying a Free Edition of QT for Windows for no reason other than they just dislike the Windows operating system. I say that because of a statement that Trolltech made:

Now that you have Free editions of both Qt/X11 and Qt/Mac, why don’t you also have a free edition of Qt/Windows?

Trolltech supports free software development on platforms where contributing to Free Software/Open Source development is part of the platform strategy. At the time being it does not seem natural for us to release a free edition for Qt/Windows.

If Trolltech does not want to support Platforms ” where contributing to Free Software/Open Source development is part of the platform strategy. ” why oh why did they do a port of the Free Edition to the Mac, Apple does not fit into Trolltechs own criteria as a platform strategy. Apple builds their OS on an Open Source foundation but they are not an Open Source company and they clearly are a commercial company. I dont know why Trolltech is so anti-Windows on this issue but I very much dislike this. If I create GPL software using the QT Toolkit I should decide who gets to use my software and not be limited by the lack of tools provided. If Trolltech relly wishes to portray themselves as an “open company” and play fairly then Trolltech needs to provide the same tools for all the major platforms and put the QT 3.3 Free Edition for Windows or QT 3.3 Non-commercial for Windows on their website for download. I could actually port the QT Toolkit from the free editions from Linux to Windows but the quirk is if I do so I can not redistribute the port according to their licensing. Sure I could do it for myself but I see no reason to go through the time or the trouble. By the way, I love the way Trolltech can use the forking and creating incompatible versions of QT excuse for not placing QT under the GPL, but when Sun uses the same reasoning everyone says its an unacceptable response.

If I wish to develop cross-platform applications now I use either Java or Mono. They are both free and there are no limitations on their license. I can take Mono and compile it on UnixWare if I so desired and that would be my right and I can redistribute my software without any major gripes from the Mono community, sure they would undoubtedly offer no official support but if I get it working so much the better.

I have no problems with the QT technology in itself. It is a wonderful toolkit and I used it for many years. But the way it inhibits the developer community. I find it unacceptable.

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