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posted by Fnord666 on Thursday January 07 2021, @01:21AM   Printer-friendly
from the shooting-yourself-in-the-foot dept.

Open-source contributors say they'll pull out of Qt as LTS release goes commercial-only:

The Qt Company has followed up on its plan to make long-term support releases commercial-only by closing the source for 5.15 today, earning protests from open-source contributors who say that the 6.0 release, which remains open, is not yet usable.

[...] Yesterday senior VP Tuukka Turunen posted: "With Qt 6.0.0 released and the first patch release (Qt 6.0.1) coming soon, it is time to enter the commercial-only LTS phase for Qt 5.15 LTS. All the existing 5.15 branches remain publicly visible, but they are closed for new commits (and cherry-picks)... closing happens tomorrow, 5th January 2021.

"After this the cherry-picks go to another repository that will be available only for the commercial license holders... first commercial-only Qt 5.15.3 LTS patch release is planned to be released in February."

[...] The problem is that these releases are in effect no longer maintained. If there is a security issue, or a fix needed to support some change in one of the target operating systems, open-source users will not get that fix other than in the not-ready version 6.0.

Open-source contributor Thiago Macieira, an Intel software architect, said of the decision: "That means I will not be participating in the development of those fixes, commenting on what's appropriate or not, reviewing backports, or bug reports."

"Tend to agree," said Konstantin Ritt, another developer. "If there is a decision to close 5.15 sources, there'll be no more work from external/unpaid contributors."

Turunen responded that: "This is well understandable and expected. The Qt Company is prepared to handle the Qt 5.15 LTS phase work."

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 07 2021, @06:55PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 07 2021, @06:55PM (#1096589)

    ...or, have downloaded binaries from them any time in the last three years.

    Apparently, nobody reads the license [] any more.

    This is not only completely irrelevant, but also wrong.

    It is irrelevant because Trolltech is (presumably) the copyright holder. A copyright license is permission from the copyright holder to do things that are ordinarily prohibited by copyright. So a license like the GPL mostly says things of the form "you can do X if you also do Y". This is articulated in fairly plain language in §9 of the GPL-3. Trolltech is simply not subject to copyright restrictions on their own copyrighted works so the license as a whole is legally irrelevant to what they do.

    It is wrong because the "for 3 years" thing is only relevant when using the option to distribute binaries accompanied with a written offer for source code (because such offers would normally need to be executed at a later date). I'm not sure what version of the license Qt uses but if it is GPL-3 then this option is only permitted when distributing binaries in a physical product. So for GPL-3 it would simply never apply to "downloaded binaries".

    The other options for distributing source code, such as including it with the binaries or providing access from a network server at no cost have no timeframes. Once you stop distributing binaries with these other methods you can also stop distributing source.

    The GPL-2 had less options for source distribution but it is common practice to provide separate download links for source and binaries, and most people would agree that this counts as "accompanying" the binaries with source under §3(a). (The GPL-2 comes from a time before the world wide web and network distribution of binaries was not common).

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 08 2021, @12:26AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 08 2021, @12:26AM (#1096765)

    Trolltech is simply not subject to copyright restrictions on their own copyrighted works so the license as a whole is legally irrelevant to what they do.

    Nonsense. If you grant a license and promise source will be available, and companies make plans based on your assertion, you absolutely have to keep up your end of the bargain. Companies using Qt and contributors who contributed code under the terms of the license agreement would all have grounds to sue to enforce the license to get the GPL source code, or else be awarded monetary damages.

  • (Score: 2) by driverless on Friday January 08 2021, @09:37AM

    by driverless (4770) on Friday January 08 2021, @09:37AM (#1096940)

    There's also a good reason to make the older Long-term Support releases paid ones, because Support isn't free. Developing Qt as a community service is one thing, but being expected to provide Support for the rest of eternity at no cost is a very different thing. I can see why they'd be taking steps to recover costs on this.