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Digia Spinning Off Qt Division Into New Company

Unknown Lamer posted about a month and a half ago | from the it's-a-long-way-back-to-trolltech dept.

Businesses 59

An anonymous reader writes with news that, after a six year journey, Qt will once again be maintained by a standalone company. From the Digia weblog: ... Even though the open source project and the commercial side of Qt are highly dependent upon each other, they have over the last years drifted apart. ... Because of the separation between the open source and commercial offerings, we often end up competing against ourselves instead of competing against other technologies. ... We are now starting a conscious effort to overcome these problems. As you might have read, Digia has decided to move the Qt business into a company of its own. Thus we will soon have a company (owned by Digia), that will focus 100% on Qt. At the same time we would like to take the opportunity and retire qt.digia.com and merge it with the content from qt-project.org into a new unified web presence. The unified web page will give a broad overview of the Qt technology, both enterprise and open-source, from a technical, business and messaging perspective.

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Can't beat the Micro$oft Machine (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47613133)

Seriously, anyone who invests in this technology is an imbecile. This war has already been fought, and won, by Microsoft. I don't know one single person who uses QT for a serious, money making program. As a hobby, or educational exercise, it's fine. To put food on the table and my kids through college - give me .NET.

Re:Can't beat the Micro$oft Machine (2)

halivar (535827) | about a month and a half ago | (#47613203)

I think I heard something like this 15 years ago when I first started using KDE. That's a pretty slow death, don't you think?

Re:Can't beat the Micro$oft Machine (4, Insightful)

Brandybuck (704397) | about a month and a half ago | (#47614461)

Qt is far easier to use and more elegant than .NET and other Microsoft solutions. The number of Windows-only apps leverage Qt is amazing. Your choice of desktop OS does not limit your choice of application development frameworks.

Re:Can't beat the Micro$oft Machine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47614631)

The problem with Qt is that it is C++, and C++ is not widely used by developers. .NET uses a virtual machine which many languages (including C++) can target.

Re:Can't beat the Micro$oft Machine (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47614945)

There are a number of language bindings so that you can build Qt applications without writing a single line of C++. I've built medium sized desktop applications with Python and the pyside module. And it is pretty easy to do so. It is one of the best toolkits available for Python.

Another example, TortoiseHG, uses PyQt.

Re:Can't beat the Micro$oft Machine (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about a month and a half ago | (#47616829)

Developers use lots of things. I still use C, some use C++, some Python, some Java, even a few still use C#. Certainly it may make sense as a hiring manager to look for people who only know the currently fashionable trends in languages, but that shouldn't drive a technology choice.

And besides, Qt has started moving away from fast and smooth compiled languages to a markup-style QML. There are bindings to many different languages.

The problem with . NET is that it is Windows only. Mono is just a partially working proof of concept that does nothing more than try to obscure the fact that .NET is Microsoft controlled and intended by design to only be for Windows.

Re:Can't beat the Micro$oft Machine (1)

halivar (535827) | about a month and a half ago | (#47615495)

This is probably subjective; I found the barrier of entry for Qt pretty significant, while mastering .NET seems almost trivial. Or maybe I'm just broken inside; all possibilities must be considered.

Re:Can't beat the Micro$oft Machine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47615885)

I've found it to be the other way around.

Re:Can't beat the Micro$oft Machine (2)

Kjella (173770) | about a month and a half ago | (#47616937)

What I liked Qt for is that before the mobile craze, Metro and all the other things happening recently was that it was a fairly simple way to create a functional UI on all the traditional desktops (Win/Mac/Linux) - all the platforms that mattered - and that looked native (where Java went horribly wrong) and did its best to follow platform conventions like button ordering and such. And it is a "standard" library that matches other modern platforms, you can get very far with only Qt. It wasn't very fancy but gave you all the windows, dialogs, menus, tool bars, status bars, buttons, checkboxes, radioboxes, lists, tree views, tables and so on and so forth. And file/network/database/i18n etc. support.

In the mobile world,. it just doesn't matter so much - every app is full screen and pretty much does their own thing. You'd rather have Angry Birds on Android look exactly like Angry Birds on iOS than following any kind of convention. If you want to do "real" graphics, it's OpenGL ES that is the Android/iOS cross platform solution. I guess not for WP, but that's more Microsoft's problem. If it'd been the primary development language for Nokia apps (pre-implosion) things might have been different, but now it just doesn't have many killer features.

Back on the desktop companies - or to be honest one company with something like 90% market share - is trying to throw away old paradigms that have been mostly the same since Windows 3.1, flame wars aside that's pretty bad news for a toolkit built on trying to make things work the same across all platforms while fitting in. And despite Qt fixing most issues, it still has inherited a lot of baggage from C/C++ that honestly could have been better. Java and C# has gone through several iterations, Swift is the result of a lot of ObjectiveC experience while C++ is changing very, very slowly by committee and a lot of bad behavior can never be unbroken.

Re:Can't beat the Micro$oft Machine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47615955)

"Qt is far easier to use and more elegant than .NET and other Microsoft solutions." - Citation Required

I've used Qt and love it, but C#, NET and it's Visual Studio integration beats it hands down on Windows platforms.

Re:Can't beat the Micro$oft Machine (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about a month and a half ago | (#47616865)

And while that's a significant platform, it's still just a fraction of platforms that developers use. In fact Windows is probably in the minority of target platforms that are out there, it's overwhelmed by the number of embedded and mobile devices. .NET may be ok on Windows but it's nearly useless for designing a cross platform application that can also work on MacOS and Linux (and mono doesn't solve that problem either).

Re:Can't beat the Micro$oft Machine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47613211)

I'd say you are the imbecile. QT is crossplatform, and it can be used from embedded systems to mainframes, with different OSs. Are you that fucking clueless, that you think microsoft is the only game in town? I'm working on a project, though personally not with QT, that uses QT and i can tell you it's a multimillion dollar project.

Re:Can't beat the Micro$oft Machine (1)

amalcolm (1838434) | about a month and a half ago | (#47613285)

Don't feed the trolls

Re:Can't beat the Micro$oft Machine (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47613945)

No, they haven't been called Trolltech for a while...

Re:Can't beat the Micro$oft Machine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47615389)

Sorry, i had a piece of sausage in my pocket and it was going bad.

Re:Can't beat the Micro$oft Machine (1)

HiThere (15173) | about a month and a half ago | (#47616535)

The GP is probably an astroturfer rather than a troll. OTOH, there really *are* idiots who believe that kind of garbage, even after being shafted by MS a couple of times.

Re:Can't beat the Micro$oft Machine (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47613501)

I don't know one single person who uses QT for a serious, money making program.

Off hand, I can think of at least three S&P 500 companies who disagree with you: Autodesk uses it for Maya. Altera uses it for Quartus. And Microsoft (according to you, they "won") use it for Skype. However, there are countless other companies out there who use it. They don't all advertise it, though, so you're probably running programs that use Qt without realizing it. Companies that purchase the commercial license aren't required to announce prominently that they use Qt, and Qt by default uses native widgets wherever possible, so it's not always obvious whether you're using Qt or not.

Re:Can't beat the Micro$oft Machine (1)

Microlith (54737) | about a month and a half ago | (#47613957)

Blizzard uses it for their integrated launcher application, just to name one that's probably extremely common.

Re:Can't beat the Micro$oft Machine (2)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a month and a half ago | (#47614219)

Off hand, I can think of at least three S&P 500 companies who disagree with you

CadSoft also use it for EAGLE.

Re:Can't beat the Micro$oft Machine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47617915)

Adobe Photoshop Elements Organiser, Bitcoin, Google Earth, Kindle Reader, Matlab, Mobile Partner for Huawei USB modem, OpenSCAM, ownCloud, Parallels, RouteBuddy, Stellarium, TaxCalc, VirtualBox. And that's on my mac, can't be bothered to boot the Windows lump to check.

Re:Can't beat the Micro$oft Machine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47614357)

I'm systems architect at a Fortune 50 business. Our division used to be so Microsoft oriented that their plaques still cover most of our lobby walls. We are moving at least most of our native applications to Qt. This process started several years ago, and one of our flagship product lines is already mostly Qt. We're removing MFC, WinForms, ActiveX, Silverlight and WPF and replacing with HTML5/CSS/JS and Qt. Most developers love it.

Re:Can't beat the Micro$oft Machine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47615231)

> use it for Skype

Small precision: only on Linux. It's native on MacOS and it's Delphi on Windows.

Re:Can't beat the Micro$oft Machine (1)

Ben Hutchings (4651) | about a month and a half ago | (#47615351)

Another example I noticed recently: LeCroy PETracer.

Qt by default uses native widgets wherever possible

I believe it imitates the look of native widgets but doesn't actually use them. This should allow for consistent behaviour on all platforms (unlike, say, WxWidgets).

Re:Can't beat the Micro$oft Machine (1)

Prien715 (251944) | about a month and a half ago | (#47615561)

I can name some more: Halliburton, Shell, and Pixar.* One application I worked on made over $1 million a week last I heard.

For anyone doing serious 3D scientific computing on Linux, Qt is the de facto standard. Motif is simply awful and Gnome doesn't solve portability.

(*I wrote code that shipped for 2/3 the three companies.)

Re:Can't beat the Micro$oft Machine (2)

sr180 (700526) | about a month and a half ago | (#47619553)

Confirmed. Much of the Oil and Gas industry software now runs on QT. Except for the old legacy cruft. And there's plenty of that. Here's looking at you Z-map.

Re:Can't beat the Micro$oft Machine (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about a month and a half ago | (#47616001)

How are Qt on Windows? On OS X, they look ugly and have loads of annoying trivial UI bugs (really simple things, like having the buttons the wrong way around in dialogs and having keyboard shortcuts in text fields do something different to every other text field in the system). On X11 systems I don't really expect any consistency, so they seem no more out of place than everything else (or, if you're using KDE, are the standard and so are at least self consistent). On Windows, do you get the same UI niggles, or does it integrate more cleanly?

Re:Can't beat the Micro$oft Machine (1)

rroman (2627559) | about a month and a half ago | (#47616275)

Qt by default uses native widgets wherever possible

Not true. Qt widgets appear to be native, but in fact they are not (but your post is proof that they made quite a good job with the appearance). This is a bit of problem on macos where Qt has some issues with appearance (or at least used to have).

Re:Can't beat the Micro$oft Machine (1)

labnet (457441) | about a month and a half ago | (#47616883)

We use it for GUI interface in industrial controllers.

Re:Can't beat the Micro$oft Machine (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about a month and a half ago | (#47616921)

I know quote a lot of big companies using Qt. I wonder who these people are who think nothing happens in the world unless it's on .NET. Are they sheltered inside of IT caves or something? Many of those companies use a variety of platforms and toolkits, so the same company that might be .NET in one area might be using Qt elsewhere. There are some very big companies that just about everyone in the world has heard of that uses Qt (including a company that dwarfs Microsoft).

Re:Can't beat the Micro$oft Machine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47617395)

Adobe uses it for Photoshop Elements, too. If you've got it installed you can look in the PSE install dir (at least for some versions) and see Qt4 libs. Not sure about proper Photoshop.

Re:Can't beat the Micro$oft Machine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47637731)

Spotify client is QT app also, albeit one could argue if they are "money making" =)

Most computers can use QT, can't use .NET (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about a month and a half ago | (#47614483)

Most hardware sold last year can run QT, and does not run Microsoft.net. "already been fought, and won, by Microsoft". How exactly is having a minority (and falling) market share "won"?

Here's a copy of QT that will run on most of the hardware sold last year:
http://qt-project.org/doc/qt-5... [qt-project.org]

Where's the .Net that will run on more than a small portion of currently sold hardware?

Re:Can't beat the Micro$oft Machine (1)

JohnnyLocust (855742) | about a month and a half ago | (#47615555)

Seriously, anyone who invests in this technology is an imbecile. This war has already been fought, and won, by Microsoft. I don't know one single person who uses QT for a serious, money making program. As a hobby, or educational exercise, it's fine. To put food on the table and my kids through college - give me .NET.

Well, there's this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C... [wikipedia.org] And I can assure you, that is just the tip of the iceberg. Every company I've worked for in the last 10 years have used Qt for some product or another.

Doing it wrong (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47613169)

we often end up competing against ourselves instead of competing against other technologies

You don't compete against technologies, you compete against other businesses.

Re:Doing it wrong (1)

Urkki (668283) | about a month and a half ago | (#47616201)

we often end up competing against ourselves instead of competing against other technologies

You don't compete against technologies, you compete against other businesses.

Ideally, no. If you have to compete against other businesses, you need to set your prices to match the competition. When you compete against other technologies, you can set the price according to what the market can bear. Consider Apple, they have their own technology, which competes against for example Microsoft and Linux related technologies. Now they can set their price according to what those who want their technology are willing pay, and rake in big profits. While in (for example) Windows PC/laptop or Android phone business, companies are competing against each others, and many are struggling to make any profit.

New name needed then? (1)

Keruo (771880) | about a month and a half ago | (#47613191)

How about something like:
Trolltech 2.0
Qtrolls
CloudQ(t)
aQt Synergies
Re:Qt

Re:New name needed then? (1)

UngodAus (198713) | about a month and a half ago | (#47613743)

Noqia? ;)

Re:New name needed then? (1)

HiThere (15173) | about a month and a half ago | (#47616553)

I like Trolltech, but it's probably already owned by someone.

Hire some of the folks fired by MS! (2)

macson_g (1551397) | about a month and a half ago | (#47613207)

Wonder if this is a coincidence that they are doing it now, when MS is laying off quite a lot of ppl in Finland. They could grab some of the workforce, possibly even some of the original Trolls who ended up being Nokia employees.

Hire some of the folks fired by MS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47614803)

Digia got all of the trolls that were in Nokia, except for those from the office in Australia :-/

Re:Hire some of the folks fired by MS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47637745)

And a lot of harmattan people left already (Finland & Nokia) when MeeGo was canned. Most did not directly work on main qt project though but there was shitloads of developers doing stuff on top of QT ..

Retiring a domain (1)

Meneth (872868) | about a month and a half ago | (#47613243)

I foresee plenty of dead links to qt.digia.com in the future.

Hope someone big in open source buy the company (1)

Parker Lewis (999165) | about a month and a half ago | (#47613275)

I usually heard how nice is to develop using Qt. How it's easy, community friendly, last surprise, etc. But I never saw the big guys interest in the Qt owner.

Just wondering if a better future would be in the landscape if some big company with good open source compromise (in theory) like Intel buy Qt.

Re:Hope someone big in open source buy the company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47614989)

Yes, Red Hat picking this up and giving it a real home would be a huge win for everyone.

Re:Hope someone big in open source buy the company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47618277)

we know Microsoft is good at long haul planning as the Nokia take over should show. yes I believe that whole thing was planned. Well, except for the really bad customer buy-in for Windows Phone and Windows 8 Phone. Gives me concern that somehow this Digia dealing of splitting Qt and spinning it off was not planned and the process for harming it's use/value in the market. After all, Qt developers are not good for Microsoft because there is no lockin at the OS, API, nor the dev IDE.

Yes it would be great if a big OSS company bought it, but DIgia does not have to sell it to one and won't if their plan, Microsoft's plan, is to harm its value and position.

New company name: Trolltech (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47613773)

Well done!

Qt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47614057)

I gotta say, I never understood Qt. I promise I don't mean for this to be a troll post. Qt seems like a neat idea. Every so often, I go over there and take a look at what the kids are up to. You know, sort of like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football. I download. I install. I try to build some of the samples. None of the projects are set up properly. I give up for another 6-9 months.

The most recent attempt was 5.3.1. Downloaded and installed on Ubuntu. Try to build some of the Qt Quick and QML samples. Nope. Include paths not set properly. One project is even missing a main.cpp.

This happens every time. I mean there is always something wrong with it somewhere. They can't even QA their own samples to make sure they work out of the box? Does anyone ever even look at this stuff?

How is this project still alive???

I don't know. Whatever. I guess this is good news, so .. congratulations. Or something.

Sure it's not the ubuntu packages rather than QT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47614251)

I've noticed Ubuntu has *WORSE* examples support than gentoo, and some of gentoo's packaging is pretty iffy.

In fact I can't think of a linux distro that has actually had consistently good example packaging that didn't require as much finagling as just writing an example from scratch.

Re: Qt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47622093)

I am not the best programmer out there but I have managed to run simple at programs. The problem is that you don't really care. Once you start Qt is really easy.

Re:Qt (1)

soliter (1672520) | about a month ago | (#47639141)

Or maybe you were doing it wrong. I built several Qt-based apps, even Qt Creator itself on Ubuntu just fine.

Google game experiment with Qt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47614821)

Any Qt users interested in this?
http://google.github.io/VoltAir/doc/main/html/index.html

Now just fix the commercial license model! (1)

gmezero (4448) | about a month and a half ago | (#47615249)

No more... "you tell us what you're doing and we'll decide how much we want to charge you" bullshit. I want clean and clear commercial licensing costs written down, up front. Otherwise I'm not even going to consider the technology for the project.

Re:Now just fix the commercial license model! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47615423)

Commercial licensing is as simple as one license per developer, nothing difficult about it.

Re:Now just fix the commercial license model! (1)

ehynes (617617) | about a month and a half ago | (#47617515)

It's $149 per month for multi-mobile, $215 per month for single-desktop, with discounts for various combinations. It's all pretty simple if you just got to their purchase page [digia.com] .

Digia Mobile is a JOKE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47616401)

Digia Mobile is a JOKE

They have practically zero abstractions that are useful for cross platform mobility applications and expect us to pay for it?

I just did an evaluation paper on it, told the company basically, save your money and wait.

Fits right in with the trend (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47616731)

But even though the open source project and the commercial side of Qt are highly dependent upon each other, they have over the last years drifted apart.

Perhaps because major new functionality is only in the commercial edition?

Digia has made a -lot- of new functionality commercial-only. Charting, graphing, UI widgets, core updates to Creator, the Qt Quick compiler, the UI profiler, in-app purchasing... It's enough that the Free Qt Foundation should be asking "If all new major features of Qt are commercial-only, at what point is it abandoned and subject to the default BSD license clause?"

Fits right in with the trend (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47620941)

Charting, graphing, UI widgets, core updates to Creator, the Qt Quick compiler, the UI profiler, in-app purchasing...

Charting and graphing are one component that is commercial only. There are a couple of UI widgets in Qt Enterprise components that are also commercial only, but all the usual ones are part of the open source Qt Quick Components. Creator is all open source at this point, which the exception of a plugin to check and manage licenses -- not really interesting to the Open source community at all. The QML profiler is also mostly open source, but admittedly a couple of features are enterprise only.

In-app purchasing is indeed enterprise only. But frankly I find that very fair: If you want to earn money by making use of some technology, please pass on some of the profit to the people that implemented that technology.

Almost all the parts that are not open source are of little interest to the open source community and provide value mostly to commercial entities. I am fine with that.

It's enough that the Free Qt Foundation should be asking "If all new major features of Qt are commercial-only, at what point is it abandoned and subject to the default BSD license clause?"

There are pretty clear definitions of "abandoned" in the contract, go read it up. I do not think there is need to have that discussion.

Missed the boat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47617651)

QT is technically fine but most graphic applications today are for phones using Android Java or Apple objective C libraries. That leaves QT fighting over a dying niche - non HTML desktop apps. So why argue over scraps?

Missed the boat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47620967)

You are forgetting about embedded devices. Most "computers" sold are hidden in washing machines, coffee machines, industrial controls, medical devices, etc. There are hugely more devices like that than there are phones in the world, and many of those want to have cool touch UIs.

Qt is really strong in that market.

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