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Trolltech Releases Qt Windows Under Non-Commercial License

By John Milton in MLP
Sat Jul 07, 2001 at 04:15:52 PM EST
Tags: Software (all tags)
Software

Trolltech has announced that they will be licensing Qt Windows freely for non-commercial applications.


Under the new license, developers will be able to develop Qt apps on Windows at no charge. They will also be allowed to redistribute them to others.

The restrictions are:

  • Developers may use a Non-Commercial License of Qt for evaluation purposes; and
  • Developers may use a Non-Commercial License of Qt on a personal basis to create free programs, and the source code must be made available.

The FAQ is here

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Trolltech Releases Qt Windows Under Non-Commercial License | 18 comments (17 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
gpl (4.80 / 5) (#2)
by enterfornone on Sat Jul 07, 2001 at 12:38:05 AM EST

However it will be useless for porting KDE and other GPL stuff over. You'd think they would have learnt from the last time they did this...

I don't see what they have to lose by GPLing it, since anyone could take the time to port the X version to Windows if they were so inclined.

--
efn 26/m/syd
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and a link (4.00 / 3) (#3)
by enterfornone on Sat Jul 07, 2001 at 12:45:06 AM EST

Half way down this page.

I beleive QT also needs MFC. The web page says MS Visual Studio 6 is required, which while OK by the GPL is still not something many free software advocates would want. So I guess the fact that their licence is not GPL compatible isn't that biga deal.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]

Not at all (4.50 / 4) (#4)
by MSBob on Sat Jul 07, 2001 at 01:06:50 AM EST

QT does not depend on MFC. It only relies on Win32 libraries. I'm sure that a borland compiler would also suffice. It's just that TT most likely compiled it with VC++ and since C++ libs are compiler dependent (name mangling issues) they can only be used with that compiler (unless you have the sources of course).
I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

[ Parent ]
oh (3.66 / 3) (#7)
by enterfornone on Sat Jul 07, 2001 at 01:52:58 AM EST

Perhaps they removed the need for MFC with version 2. I'm fairly sure it needed MFC at some stage.

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efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
if you're right... (3.66 / 3) (#12)
by boxed on Sat Jul 07, 2001 at 09:30:40 PM EST

trolltech would have to be idiots. MFC is a poor attempt at being what QT is: an object oriented approach to GUI programming. (Yea, QT is much more but let's keep it simple). Using anything but pure win32 api would be madness for many reasons, not least performance

[ Parent ]
A mistake (4.16 / 6) (#13)
by John Milton on Sat Jul 07, 2001 at 09:42:47 PM EST

This is a little misunderstanding. The page actually says that they are only supporting the VC compiler for the free version of Qt. They also mention that the Enterprise Edition supports many other compilers, and they say they may support other compilers in the future. I'm sure you could actually get this to work with other compilers.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
Doubt it (5.00 / 1) (#15)
by MSBob on Sun Jul 08, 2001 at 07:33:42 PM EST

Since QT draws its own widgets using the basic API calls such as PutPixel there is absolutely no need for them to make a dependency on MFC. Toolkits that wrap widgets (such as wxWindows) do benefit from using native widget sets because they don't draw their own widgets.

I worked with QT for windows since version 1.4 and never had to link in MFC with it. It does depend on gdi32.lib obviously as it depends no ws2_32.lib and a bunch of other basic OS libraries. MFC is big and hideously ugly and it does nothing that plain vanilla win32 can't do. I don't think TT guys would be silly enough to use that monster as the basis of their toolkit.

I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

[ Parent ]
More than there was before (3.40 / 5) (#5)
by John Milton on Sat Jul 07, 2001 at 01:13:06 AM EST

I'm sure the existing GPL projects wouldn't be able to use this, but any new projects would be allowed the option of dual licensing. It wouldn't be hard to write a license that basically says everything the GPL does with one exception. I'm sure RMS would have a cow, but it would be an option. More freedom can't be too bad.

I'm sure you're right though. Most GPL developers wouldn't consider using any other license. I figure this will be interesting for non-GPL developers. The BSD license is still okay, and most Windows freeware developers will be fine with it.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
BSD (4.00 / 4) (#6)
by enterfornone on Sat Jul 07, 2001 at 01:44:08 AM EST

I'm not sure. Most Windows freeware is closed source. Do they really have any incentive to move to BSD in order to use QT?

When the original Unix FreeQT because popular there were no good free toolkits for X (Athena and Xforms were the main ones and they both sucked). QT is still the only C++ under Unix toolkit with any sort of popularity.

Under Windows you have a lot more choice. In particular you have MFC which comes with your MSVS licence.



--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
This is what they're web page says (4.00 / 3) (#8)
by John Milton on Sat Jul 07, 2001 at 02:04:30 AM EST

If you wish to port one of the many GPL'd Qt-based Unix applications to another operating system using the Qt non-commercial edition, you need to get that application's copyright holders to add an exception to its license. Similarly, if you develop a new application with the Qt non-commercial edition and wish to license it under the GPL you may wish to add such an exception to your license. The Free Software Foundation has provided the following wording for such exceptions:

As a special exception, <name of copyright holder> gives permission to link this program with Qt non-commercial edition, and distribute the resulting executable, without including the source code for the Qt non-commercial edition in the source distribution.

I assume that RMS is okay with this since the FSF provided the wording. So the GPL isn't out. It's just a little looser. I'm sure you're right about freeware developers.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
KDE? (4.00 / 3) (#9)
by psicE on Sat Jul 07, 2001 at 11:46:49 AM EST

KDE is mostly under the BSD and Artistic licenses now, not the GPL. This way KDE can link to QT; when they made this licensing change, QT was still not licensable under the GPL for Linux. Now that part is mostly insignificant, but KDE is still BSD-licensed.

[ Parent ]
Unh? (3.66 / 3) (#10)
by regeya on Sat Jul 07, 2001 at 12:31:11 PM EST

Dunno about that.

All's I've got installed right now is kdebase, which as you know is pretty much required...I've not done an exhaustive search of the tree, but what I've found is mostly GPL and LGPL.

Care to qualify your statement, or am I going to have to do your research for you?

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
[ Parent ]

KDE Licensing (4.50 / 4) (#11)
by PresJPolk on Sat Jul 07, 2001 at 07:19:06 PM EST

It is true that KDE is moving away from the unfortunate GPL, but there's still a lot of old GPL code around.

It's a rule that kdelibs must be licensed at least as free as the LGPL, and new things like DCOP are even more free. Other than Konqueror, a similar trend is being seen in kdebase.  At least KWin, Kicker, and the KStyles are all under the BSD license.

The KOffice apps are GPL, though, as are Konqueror and KMail. Licensing changes in large projects with many contributors are difficult, and probably won't happen unless something happens with the GPL that requires it.

There's only one place in all of KDE that uses the Artistic license though - some Noatun plugins. libnoatun itself was Artistic, but has been moved to the more free BSD.

[ Parent ]
They won't GPL it until Windows is free, but it is (none / 0) (#16)
by pin0cchio on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 02:08:48 PM EST

From the FAQ:

The GNU GPL and the Trolltech QPL are open-source, respectively Free Software licenses. Note the capital "F". We are not talking "free" as in "free beer", but "Free" as in "Free Speech". We released Qt/X11 under those licenses, because it runs as major component on totally Free operating systems, such as GNU/Linux and FreeBSD. Once Microsoft Windows is completely open source, we will reconsider [releasing Qt/Windows under GPL].

Trolltech forgets that WINE, a version of Windows that runs on top of FreeBSD or GNU/Linux86 instead of on top of DOS, is free software under the X11 license. And the existence of a popular proprietary implementation (Microsoft® Windows) shouldn't diminish the fact that Windows is free now; Solaris (under non-free SCSL) runs Qt/Free apps just fine.


lj65
[ Parent ]
Yay (none / 0) (#14)
by DJBongHit on Sun Jul 08, 2001 at 03:38:53 PM EST

I love Qt, and I write all my GUI code using it nowadays; GTK+ and Gnome are just painful to code for. And this news made me very happy, since I can now release stuff for Windows (if only to get a larger userbase).

I was kinda pissed that this story got stuck into the Developers section on Slashdot and not on the front page... it's fairly important, IMHO.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

what about speed? (3.00 / 1) (#17)
by labradore on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 09:44:42 PM EST

I like the "look and feel" of QT apps as much as the next guy and the API is very nice too but there are two problems:

  1. Compiling is slow.
  2. Running is slow.
I run Debian on a 1.2G Athlon w/ half a gig of ram, so I'm fairly sure my machine is not causing the slowdowns. All of the packages are very recent. `Top` says most of the processor time is userspace so I can only conclude that QT apps are inefficient speedwise. I tried compiling all of KDE 2 w/ athlon optimizations & no debugging, etc. (everything worked except for KIllustrator and some of KSpread ... dunno why) but still it took 30 seconds to a minute to start everything up intially (kdeinit). I just don't like waiting 30 seconds for kmail (which is great!) to load when balsa or mutt load in less than one. Maybe you have some tips for getting the speed back. I'd love to hear them.

On the compiling side: I went through the nightmare of compiling Gnumeric and gnucash myself and and found that though it was insane trying to find all the 50- or 60- odd libraries that each requires and they did take a while to compile, it was not as lengthy as compiling QT and QT apps (kde mostly) from scratch. Perhaps there are G++ can be tuned?

I like the KDE apps a lot and I like a lot of the ideas in C++ but it just isn't, in my limited experience, proving to be acceptable to trade a little ease of use for so much sluggishness.

[ Parent ]

Compilation/Execution Speed (4.00 / 1) (#18)
by DJBongHit on Fri Jul 20, 2001 at 02:52:05 PM EST

Compiling Qt apps is slow, yeah, but it's the same for any complex C++ application with gcc. As for execution speed, Qt/KDE libs hit a limit in Linux' ld.so which cause them to take an excessively long time to start up (although KDE apps still start in 2-3 seconds on my P2 350). It's not the application itself, but it's the linker which is slowing things down. Apparently this is fixed in gcc 3.0 (and is why C++ apps need to be recompiled - they changed the name mangling scheme to be more efficient, among other things), but I haven't tried it out.

On the compiling side: I went through the nightmare of compiling Gnumeric and gnucash myself and and found that though it was insane trying to find all the 50- or 60- odd libraries that each requires and they did take a while to compile, it was not as lengthy as compiling QT and QT apps (kde mostly) from scratch. Perhaps there are G++ can be tuned?

Yeah, like I said, supposedly this is fixed in gcc 3.0.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
Trolltech Releases Qt Windows Under Non-Commercial License | 18 comments (17 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
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