Digia forking Qt?
I was looking in to getting an LGPL Qt support contract from Digia, but the Digia sales rep said they are planning to move ahead with their own closed-source Qt development. Thus, I need to forget LGPL and just buy a Qt Commercial license.
This sounds suspiciously like they are going to effectively “fork” off a Qt lineage for all future commercial work.
Can someone from Nokia clarify what actual obligations (if any) Digia has to keep the Qt Commercial releases tracking the new official Qt Open Source mainline?
Our preference is naturally for you to use Qt Commercial, which always comes with full support. We see Qt Commercial the best choice for making commercially deployed solutions with Qt.
Digia is actively working with improving Qt for both commercial and open-source users. For example the work we are doing to improve 4.8 on desktop and embedded platforms, will be contributed to open-source. Our primary focus are the Qt Commercial users, but we want to continue keeping aligned with the open-source community.
As another example, we have contributed earlier this year the new release of 4.6.4 also for the open source users.
Thank you for replying. It really shows your support for the community, and this is greatly appreciated.
Since Digia is the “Single Source” for Qt Commercial, my worry was that this offering may start to diverge from the LGPL version being developed by the new Qt Project.
To rephrase my original question:
Regardless of what Digia chooses to do with it’s development efforts, does Digia have the obligation to offer “commercial” licenses to the otherwise GPL/LGPL versions of Qt published by the new Qt Project?
Our intention is not to fork away from the open source version.
However, there already are and will be some differences. Let’s take an example from Qt Commercial 4.7.4. In open-soure version of Qt 4.7.4 Mac OS X Carbon support was depricated (and thus broken), we however have customers using that and need to keep it working. Thus we fixed the issues for Qt Commercial 4.7.4. Similarly the open-source version of 4.8 no longer supports platforms like Solaris and Embedded Linux, which are important for our customers, but we will continue to support them in Qt Commercial 4.8 resulting in some differences between the releases. Additionally the may well be certain areas that are not even possible to provide to open source due to our restrictions with 3rd parties.
For the error corrections we make, of course we want them to be available for open-source users as well. For new functionality, yes in many cases, but not necessary in all. We see it very beneficial to keep the good the co-operation with open-source community working. Qt is a great example of dual licensing, and we do not want to discontinue it. But our targets are primarily the needs of commercial customers, and then the needs of the community.
And, as said earlier, we truly believe that when making commercial products with Qt, choosing Qt Commercial is the best way to go.
Hello Tuukka, (And Nokia people….)
Thank your again for clarifying. I think I see our misunderstanding.
The examples you mentioned are cases where “Qt Commercial” (as a product) exceeds the capabilities of the open source version.
My question was about the reverse.
To use a hypothetical variation of your platform example… what happens if:
- Nintendo ports Qt to the Wii, and their changes are accepted by the newly formed Qt Project and made available to everyone. (All legal paperwork is done to assign copyrights, etc.)
- Digia, under pressure from Microsoft, decides not to roll these patches in to the Qt Commercial distribution.
- Valve Software wants to use Qt on the Wii via a Commercial License.
My question is: Can Valve Software purchase such a license?
Is Digia/Nokia compelled to sell a commercial license (even with no support) to whatever has been accepted in to the main Qt Project distribution?
I am not a lawyer but I think when contributing code to the Qt Project you will grant rights to redistribute the code under the terms of the dual license model Qt currently uses. This way Digia will always have access to the Qt Project code base. Everything else won’t make much sense.
What makes you think that Microsoft will put pressure on Digia and that Digia will bend under it? This is a bit farfetched, isn’t it?
2. Digia, under pressure from Microsoft, decides not to roll these patches in to the Qt Commercial distribution.
It’s Nokia that has an agreement with Microsoft about WP7, not Digia. AFAIK this is only about WP7 for their Smart Phones, not about not supporting other systems than MS on any other product…
For your question if Digia must make the assumed new wii port available commercially, the answer is no, there is no such oblication. This decision can be done by Digia alone.
OK, that’s what I was wondering. It would seem unfair to force Digia to support all aspects of a project whose direction and content are now going to be under “Open” control.
This leads to the follow-up question:
Will the non-profit “Qt Foundation” (for lack of a better name) be given the power to sell a “commercial license” to Qt?