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    Qt and Open Source law qt.io
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    Oh come on, that’s a really bad submission.

    https://mail.kde.org/pipermail/kde-community/2020q2/006098.html is the interesting link (I didn’t check if it was submitted) without this the whole statement makes no sense at all.

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      Thanks for that; without context this is a really confusing submission.

      The financials for Qt aren’t desperate, but not great either. An income of €58.4M with 340 employees resulting in a €220k operating income with €9.7M in the bank. That’s about €171k/employee. I’m not a financial expert, but they don’t look like the kind of margins I’d be confident with right now. In other words, the concerns of Qt that are so easily brushed aside in that post seem entirely valid and reasonable. This isn’t some sort of “short term cash grab”, this is the leadership of a company being worried it may not be able to pay its employees.

      “Goodwill and contributions from the community” is nice and all, but it doesn’t pay the bills. I think many people vastly overestimate how important this is to the bottom line; I’m skeptical that the long-term income of Qt would be impacted negatively even if they would go 100% closed source tomorrow.

      At the end of the day, someone’s got to develop the software, and these people need to be paid real competitive wages. As one of the replies said: “we can’t fork Qt, because we lack the manpower to safely do so currently”.

      So it seems this is another variant of the same story we’ve seen several times in the last few years: a company tries to build a business making open source software, discovers this is actually quite hard and has to restrict it in some way.

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        I’m skeptical that the long-term income of Qt would be impacted negatively even if they would go 100% closed source tomorrow.

        I’m skeptical that the long-term income of Qt would be impacted positively even if they would go 100% closed source tomorrow. You act like their OSS users are going to switch to closed-source Qt if the free version disappeared, when it seems really obvious that they’d be switching to Electron or Gtk if that happened.

        They would also be sacrificing the hobbyist -> professional sales funnel.

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          But the GPL/LGPL allows commercial products to be developed with Qt, right? I don’t think Qt has any problem with community projects as KDE; they’re just looking for ways to ensure that commercial users pay their fair share, and unfortunately “asking nicely” doesn’t really work very well :-(

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          True, but you’re missing one important point. Usually it’s “company makes software and publishes under open source license, then anything happens”. But in this case there is a contract with the foundation and they’re bound to publish their stuff. Now they seem to be backpedalling.

          I fully understand that they need to make money, but I’m pretty sure Qt would’ve long died out (or had been relegated to an unimportant position in the ecosystem) if it wasn’t for the open source offerings and especially the KDE folks using and promoting it.

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            I fully understand that they need to make money, but I’m pretty sure Qt would’ve long died out (or had been relegated to an unimportant position in the ecosystem) if it wasn’t for the open source offerings and especially the KDE folks using and promoting it.

            I’m not so sure about that; there is plenty of commercial closed-source software that makes much more money than Qt. This sounds a little bit like the “I am an Instagram influencer, please give me free stuff for exposure”-argument. I don’t think this kind of “exposure” is completely worthless, but I don’t think it should be overestimated, either.

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        I’ve been thinking about something being up with Qt for some time now, mostly due to the increasing focus on driving people into buying the corporate licenses…

        When running the Qt installer, you’re asked to create an account. It used to be, there was a button (non-obviously positioned, but it was there) to skip that, allowing you to install Qt without requiring an account.

        It seems that in recent “official” releases, that is no longer supported and you’re required to enter account details when installing.

        I have taken to installing once and tar’ing up the resulting files for repeated installation, though that is probably against some point of the license agreement if done on wider scale.

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          yes, this was announced at the start of the year and they quickly followed suit to implement this

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            I haven’t built with Qt on Windows since the Trolltech days. Last time I installed it on Mac via Homebrew (last summer, I think) that didn’t mention any account. (Sounds like that’d have been before they decided to force account creation upstream.) I’ve installed Fedora, Ubuntu and Manjaro packages from the respective system repositories for all of the open source Qt dev kit over the past 45 days. There was no mention of an account there either.

            Is the installer you’re talking about mostly just used for Windows builds? Or is it packaging some closed source commercial trial version along with the open source edition?

            I should add that I don’t do any of my own projects with Qt; there are just a few that I irregularly contribute to. So my experience comes only in the context of wanting to build/modify/debug/submit a patch every once in a while. Maybe people who do more regular/heavy OSS work with Qt need something in the upstream installer that I just wouldn’t.

            It strikes me as a real head-scratcher that they’d take the publicity hit from requiring OSS users to create an account if most of them just use it from a package manager and never run across the requirement anyway, while at the same time I don’t see why an OSS user would need to touch the upstream installer, except possibly on Windows.

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              Is the installer you’re talking about mostly just used for Windows builds? Or is it packaging some closed source commercial trial version along with the open source edition?

              Qt provides installers for the runtime including the open source components, headers, QTCreator, etc. I use them to provide specific versions that may not yet (or no more) be available via the system’s package repositories. The newer ones seem to require an account, the older ones didn’t (with my test points being 5.9.3 and 5.12.3)