Qt Project

Published Monday September 12th, 2011 | by

Over the past year we have been working with many of you to sort out how we make development of Qt even more inclusive and open. After exploring various options, we are now almost ready to go live with the new solution.

It’s taken a little longer than expected, but we are now very close to move hosting of Qt to a new domain: qt-project.org. The domain will be owned by a non-profit foundation whose only purpose is to host the infrastructure for the Qt project. We spent a lot of time collecting feedback from stakeholders who have an interest in the development of Qt, including both companies and open source projects. We wanted to make sure these parties would be happy with the final setup, and of course, willing to participate. While we couldn’t give everybody everything they wanted, we believe we can deliver a good solution.

Infrastructure

At launch time, we will have a web site, a wiki, a mailman server, the repositories, and our infrastructure to review and merge changes into Qt ready. The merging infrastructure is based on gerrit, an open source code review system on top of git. We have invested some time and resources to integrate gerrit with the continuous integration system we at Nokia run for Qt. The CI system gives us automated regression testing of changes on our major platforms. As we move forward the goal is to enable any new Qt ports to hook themselves in there.

We will continue to use the current Jira as our bugtracking tool. The Jira server will get transferred to the non-profit foundation, but this will most likely happen a bit after the public launch. In practice this means that bugreports.qt.nokia.com will get transferred to bugreports.qt-project.org. We will also establish a number of Qt development related mailing lists at qt-project.org for topics related to Qt development.

Decision making and role of the foundation

I want to make it very clear that the foundation will not steer the project in any way. The foundation is in place only to cover the costs of hosting and run the infrastructure. All technical decisions, as well as decisions about the project direction, will be taken by the community of Contributors, Approvers and Maintainers. For example this means that people in Nokia working on Qt will start working with Qt as an upstream project. Everyone will be using the same infrastructure, including mailing lists and IRC.

The governance model we will use for the Qt project has already been described in detail by Thiago in an earlier blog. Based on feedback we have fine-tuned the model, but it is pretty much the same as described earlier. We are currently finalizing the list of Approvers and Maintainers based on the current de-facto situation in the project. This means naturally that most of them come from Nokia, but it may surprise you that that around 15% of the initial Maintainers do not work for Nokia. We also have quite a few Approvers from companies and the community. While I know that Nokia will continue to invest heavily into Qt for bringing apps to the next billion Nokia users I do hope that more and more people will join the project to broaden the base of Approvers and Maintainers.

As a last point I wanted to talk about one thing that is fixed for the project and not going to go away. To contribute to Qt, you will have to sign a Contribution License Agreement with Nokia. We have put a lot of effort keeping the Qt codebase legally clear and clean, and this attention to detail will continue under the Qt Project. We have been over the last months reviewed the CLA extensively with many stakeholders and believe we have a solution that is as inclusive as possible for all companies and individuals that want to contribute to Qt. The CLA also enables the commercial ecosystem around Qt to continue to thrive and contribute to the project. Further, there are a number of legal obligations from Trolltech and Nokia that have to be taken into account.

Openness continued…

I am excited that we’re now taking another step in a journey that started many years ago. When I joined Trolltech in 2000, Qt was available under the QPL on X11. The same year we changed the license of Qt/X11 to GPL v2. In 2003, we made the Mac port available under GPL as well. Then in 2005, with the release of Qt 4.0, we started releasing all our versions under the GPL. Later the GPL v3 was added as an option. Then in 2009, now under Nokia, we made all of Qt available under the LGPL 2.1.

Opening up development more, as we announced in Jul 2010, was the next logical step and this one is now coming to conclusion. As a person who comes from the open source community, and experienced valuable contributions from the commercial Qt community as well, this is something I’m very happy to see and something I’ve been striving for during all the years I worked at Trolltech and Nokia.

So I’m really looking forward to open governance going live and to work together with all of you on future Qt versions. It’s been quite a journey getting here, but I personally believe that this is only just the start.

We believe the Qt Project will be one of the more transparent and meritocratic open governance models on the market. We are looking forward to the launch in time for Qt Developer days, but no later than October 17th.

You can read some supplementing info in Daniel’s blog

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Posted in Contributors, Open Governance, Qt

53 comments to Qt Project

Great news, Lars!

Of course, I was there when you registered qt-project.org :-)

Tyson Key says:

Whilst I realise that some of the finer points are being elaborated on, and finishing touches are being made; what’s going to happen to the Labs initiative, the existing mailing lists and forums, and the ownership of the Qt brand and trademarks out of curiosity?

smoggy says:

I’m curious to see how open governance will shape the future of Qt. Mainly a public wishlist of feature enhancements will get done quicker. As a social experiment it will be interesting also. By the way Mageia (fork of mandriva linux) also adopted some ideas from open governance.

Misc says:

Mageia do try to be as open as possible, after having problem in the original project, but like qt, the initial set of interested people are those that are the current defacto volunteer. It may take some time to have them replaced. For fedora, it took 4/5 years before someone motivated enough to be elected in Fesco came from the community ( ie, not paid by RH ). We tried to model the governance from proven real world one, helped on work done by people like Jono Bacon, Dave Neary, and others. There is a vast amount of interesting documentation on the topic, but I guess that all of them have been examined already :)

This is probably one of the biggest Qt related announcements in the last years, hurray hurray hurray!!

I’m so happy to read this!

Rezza says:

Awesome! Thanks!

Marius Storm-Olsen says:

@Tyson: Labs will stay. We will still put out cool stuff on labs like normal.
Most mailing lists will move over to the new domain, however, you might need to sign up for them again.

Marius Storm-Olsen says:

@smoggy: We believe that when people get more freedom and can more quickly get their own code into Qt, that enhancements will come much quicker than with just a public wishlist which Nokia would have to implement. Scratching your own itch is usually more effective than asking someone else to scratch it for you. :)

JubiluM says:

This is great. Having a good balance between the commercial aspect and the open source aspect of Qt has been, and will be one important factor that’ll keep Qt rocking in to the future. Hopefully the common development playground will enable quick integration of enhancements and fixes, made by different parties.

sierdzio says:

Marius, thanks for clarification. I assume the info for particular mailing lists will be sent to them before the move commences? Will Qt Developer Network stay on current domain, or move to qt-project?

@Tyson Key: We will ensure that the Qt marks are available for use by participants in the Qt community. Please stay tuned for further information on this topic which will be made available in the coming weeks as we lead up to the launch. And yes, we are well aware of the recent concerns regarding control of trademarks in the context of Open Source projects, such as those with Open Office/Libre Office…

chall3ng3r says:

Great news!

I hope now more developers will adopt and contribute to Qt, and also more platforms will be added officially, i.e. iOS, Blackberry Tablet OS, Android and maybe WP? :)

// chall3ng3r //

Marius Storm-Olsen says:

@sierdzio: Yes, we will of course send out emails on the old mailing lists about the closure before that happens, with pointers to the new mailing lists.

BlackCoder says:

Great news, this is the re-birth of Qt and the end of the banana daiquiri as we know it ! :)

BogDan Vatra says:

Great news !

Nicola says:

And developer.qt.nokia.com?

nic says:

Cool, awesome. Now if only I could develop with Qt to my Nokia N8 using the Linux SDK…

Helder says:

Great news! Congratulations Qt Team!

This is great to hear!

Most people think that Open Source” is just about the license. An open development process is so important, because it drives the future.

+1 for Lars and
“All technical decisions, as well as decisions about the project direction, will be taken by the community of Contributors, Approvers and Maintainers”

-Peter

Bruno says:

Way to go!
Recently Qt was being less and less open, especially with Qt5. This is a great news.

Good news. It confirms my choice!

BPaul says:

I will not contribute to an open source project that relies on a closed source application to function, in this case Jira. People forgot the BitKeeper debacle too quickly!

Quim says:

I’m more of a Bugzilla kind of guy ;) but if a tool is in a place working well I don’t see why it should be changed. In the case of the Qt Project JIRA is connected to many other processes and its substitution wouldn’t be trivial, I guess. But weel, i the context of an open project you can propose, discuss, lobby, convince… :)

Since I was curious about the topic myself I just found out that other senior open source projects are using JIRA as well, and in fact Atlassian offers a free of charge license for OSS projects. I guess some money can be saved, then?

http://www.atlassian.com/opensource/
http://confluence.atlassian.com/display/JIRADL/Examples+of+Public+JIRA+Instances

In any case I believe the Qt Project has other things more urgent/important to address than this one. Just my humble and very personal opinion.

Sejong says:

@BPaul: It is interesting to see that some people always find something to complain about, no matter how positive the development is. Here’s a company not only giving freely away something they spent millions on, but offering you to steer its future development by “just doing it”, instead of letting you complain in the twenty-seventh comment to a low-priority feature request that will be left to rot for a few years. And you do what? Complain about the “non-free” bugtracker? Did it ever occur to you that it is people like you that make companies think twice about anything that has remote chance of getting near the free software community as whole?

The project does not depend on Jira, this is just what happens to be used for Qt bugtracking currently. Migrating such systems typically requires significant effort which would take resources from other parts of the project. The conversion is usually also lossy in the sense that relations in the old system cannot be mapped one-to-one in the new one. So why do it without a really good reason? You don’t like it. But you wouldn’t contribute anyway. So what.

@Lars: Really, really good news indeed.

This are some very great news!
We are all aware of the fact that the open source developers are the one who makes projects go ahead,(KDE,meego).These news will definitely attract more developers.

The profit from the commercial stuff of Qt(commercial licenses,certifications,etc) where it will go?
The non-profit organization will take the profit or digia?

vasu322 says:

I think that JIRA also comes with the source code when you download it. For OSS projects, its use is free.

BeGo says:

Alhamdulillah! (Praise the God!)

Thanks a lot Qt! Now we can go anywhere we want, where Qt shall be anywhere we see!

Eero Penttinen says:

This is indeed very good news and will really enable developers to contribute more to Qt and where it will head to. I would really love to see more mobile platforms supported and also that developers would be interested in improving Qt for Harmattan and Symbian.

Nikos Gerontidis says:

Now that’s a reason to go Qt Developer Days in Munich !
Happy I will be there, really great news guys

Timm Thomson says:

Copyright assignment .
I got so happy reading this, untill.


As a last point I wanted to talk about one thing that is fixed for the project and not going to go away. To contribute to Qt, you will have to sign a Contribution License Agreement with Nokia.

If this is what youre refering to: http://qt.nokia.com/merge_requests/agreement/

Well , that sort of negates this otherwise brilliant work , why on earth should anybody contribute if they have to hand over the exclusive rights to one single commercial vendor , whom from what I read could even use patents ‘backed by contributed code given in good faith as LGPL opensource to the Qt project’ to sue a 3rd party . And cant Nokia simply decide suddently that the open govenance foss model doesnt work out for them anyway , close the project and then sue left and right for copyright and patent infringement ?

Im sorry if this sounds hostile but im really concerned about the value of this to me as a Qt developer , either i just download the toolkit and use it as LGPL and settle with that and maybe sending in bug-reports or I try to contribute and risk partaking in ruining somebodys day or having that contribution become corporate property. What has changed here ?

Lars Knoll says:

@Timm Sorry, if this didn’t become clear in the blog. The CLA is going to look rather different than the one you see in your link. We have had lots of discussions with many of our core stakeholders (both companies as well as open source projects and individuals) trying to find a solution that works. Nokia does have some existing legal obligations concerning Qt, something that makes it impossible to completely remove the CLA. Nokia can’t ‘simply close’ the project neither due to the KDE Free Qt Foundation.

So yes, we fully understand these concerns. As Daniel stated above, we are working on a new Contribution Agreement, as well as rules regarding the Trademark that should address your concerns.

Jone says:

After Google bought MOTO, other Android supporters(Sumsung,HTC…) are trying to seek for new mobile platform. They need an open and free OS and app framework without any dictator dominating their destiny. Qt and Meego will be the most attractive choice right for them.

Bones says:

Qt is dead, Jim.

qtnext says:

seems Meego is not in the good way : It seems that intel will push effort in Android .. Not a single word about Meego at the first IDF Conference :(

Undead says:

No…Qt will never die, even if Nokia died.. Because it is under LGPL, any people or company in the world is able to access the code and push some patches or even fork it. Also, meego is able to be forked.

SABROG says:

I’m count five domain names for Qt:

troll.no
qtsoftware.com
trolltech.com
qt.nokia.com
qt-project.org

What next?

Tony Wittry says:

@qtnext Actually… at the end of that video Peter explains that Qt will remain part of the solution for the AppUp client. Its not HTML5/JS *or* Qt… its HTML5/JS on Qt.

Konstantin Tokarev says:

A bit off topic, but I think current tracker (i.e. JIRA) really lacks ability to properly highlight C++ code. JIRA can highlight it only as Java, e.g. it incorrectly highlights “Byte”.

Juan says:

Maybe i’m a bit lost but it seems W8 brings c++ to the top again, at least for the desktop. Any news about this and WP8 ? Will they open the WinRT and c++ for phones so maybe QT can be ported to that?

Thanks

Konstantin Tokarev says:

Juan: What is W8?

Juan says:

Konstantin: Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8

Niels Weber says:

@SABROG: Not really:
troll.no redirects to qt.nokia.com
qtsoftware.com is a separate company having nothing to do with the official Qt
trolltech.com also redirects to qt.nokia.com
qt.nokia.com is the official Qt Nokia site
qt-project.org is the new Qt upstream site

So basically there are two and they have quite different use, one is the upstream project, one is the site of a company that uses Qt.

SABROG says:

@Niels Weber: actually this is list of all official domains for Qt, but in past. Domain qtsoftware.com in past owned by trolltech, but not now.

Raymond Martin says:

It is time to integrate QtJambi back into Qt development proper. It was a mistake to take it out, and luckily some developers took on the task to keep it going. Really bad decision making took place to not support it. This serious error needs to be fixed and make Qt a more comprehensive platform that does not exclude the worlds most popular language, Java, and lose all the benefits that come with it.

Rick Stockton (AKA "rickst29") says:

Lars, I thank you for a well-written Blog post!

I do not like one part of the plan: The single “date of launch” for everything. Please do something about the mailing list problem ASAP. It is extremely bad to have just ONE public mailing list for Development Feedback, Outside Contributor Ideas, and usage questions. Qt is very large, and the Qt5-feedback ML does’t have adequate focus. Do as KDE does: many “Dev” mailing lists, focused on different areas of the Project. It is not hard to establish and announce these new lists.

There is really no excuse, this is a one-day job which should have been done months ago. The ‘Feedback’ frequently becomes consumed by ONE particular Thread (e.g. alternatives to qmake, or old-style Widgets vs. new-style SceneGraph), and everything else has to go away. For weeks at a time. And even worse: With no posts in a particular area, or posts which fell to the floor with no response, important topics are neglected.

Qt5-feedback is forced to juggle too many issues, and many just fall SPLAT! on the floor. This method of accepting input from Qt users is grossly inadequate, and blind-siding a Nokia person with an unexpected question on IRC doesn’t work either. This makes Nokia management look bad – so bad that I must actually question the motives of Nokia management.

From out here, Qt Development manifestly occurs within an ‘ivory tower’. From time to time, Developers will write a blog post about functionality which has already been finished. And those posts are very nice to read! But there is never INPUT for the design and implementation. On Qt5-feedback, there is (typically) only screaming and yelling about a need to “fix” or “change back” something which is “broken” long after it has been implemented. AFAIK, no one from Nokia ever ASKS for design advice from Qt users. The one-way procedure causes conflict, anger, and distrust.

Can we please have some more mailing lists? Let me nominate a couple of possible focus areas:

Qt5-Announce
Qt5-Compatibility
Qt5-BuildTools
Qt5-IO-Devices
Qt5-QML-QtQuick
Qt5-Future

I think that the slow job of sanitizing historical, private Threads (internal to Nokia, and even Trolltech) can be cancelled. Individual posts, or entire Threads, which DO turn out to be of relevance to a new topic on a ‘Public’ Development list can be sanitized, quoted, and added at the time they become relevant.

Again, thanks for a great post and an otherwise great plan! I just feel that we need to move faster, making progress when we can — rather than wait for EVERYTHING to be finished, instantiating it all at once.

Well, it sure sounds like you people are serious. I hoped for years that there would be a way to control the movement of Qt. After the WP8 announcement, I was very disappointed with Nokia and it’s plans and I made my own plans to slowly move away from Qt. Now, I’m holding my breath to see if this breaks the horrible down-spin that I believed might occur if Nokia became dishonorable and stopped allowing Qt to breathe. Now I’m beginning to see some light at the end of this tunnel that may keep the incoming giant coming in from strangling a really beautiful platform that is a testament to great programming.

Julien says:

Very good news!

Migrating form Jira to Redmine (opensource+free):
http://www.redmine.org/issues/1385

Pedro says:

I wish you guys would have chosen a non-restrictive license and made Qt really free for everyone. Using the Apache License, or a BSD license evryone could use the code on equal conditions and a CLA wouldn’t be needed at all.

I’ll be pretty interested on participate as soon as the QT-Governance is clear about terms and the new license.

I’ll be glad to help on mobile porting tools for QT Creator.

Commenting closed.