JUL
8
2001

KDE & Companies: Ask Trolltech Anything

I am starting a new monthly feature, tentatively dubbed KDE & Companies, which will consist of a series of interviews with KDE-related or KDE-friendly companies. We will start with the company that, through Qt, is arguably at the root and foundation of KDE; Trolltech's CEO Eirik Eng has agreed to answer our questions. Please submit any queries you may have for Trolltech in the comments below. I leave you one week for this, after which I will choose the best questions and compile an interview for Eirik. All considered, I expect that it will take a month at the most before we publish the answers.

Comments

Hi, first : Trolltech is a great company with a great business model. QT simply rocks.

My question : I`m a student and actually I REALLY need some money. I believe in free software but at the moment I`d
like to earn some money with writing software. But there's no shareware license anymore.

Will there be a shareware license again ? What was it ?
Is there any way how I can sell my qt-software ?
I can`t pay $1500 for a license (or a car or whatever)

thanks
toctoc


By toctoc at Mon, 2001/07/09 - 5:00am

naybe Trolltech would consider allowing Shareware, but that the proceeds (or a percent of) go towards paying for the license?

I know that there are companies that take care of the collection of money for shareware and deal with credit card and foreign currency issues.

Just a thought, plucked from the ether.


By Anonymous at Wed, 2001/07/18 - 5:00am

Do you have plans to make a library that dinamically load the graphical interface (like libglade for GTK+). It would be much faster to develop an Qt application and it would result in a much clearer code.


By Benoit WALTER at Tue, 2001/07/10 - 5:00am

Do you have plans to make a library that dinamically load the graphical interface (like libglade for GTK+). It would be much faster to develop an Qt application and it would result in a much clearer code.


By Benoit WALTER at Tue, 2001/07/10 - 5:00am

You can do this in the upcoming Qt3. See the QWidgetFactory class.


By Justin at Tue, 2001/07/10 - 5:00am

Great ! Here is what I found in the trolltech web site :

"In addition to generating code via uic, Qt Designer now supports the dynamic creation of widgets directly from XML user interface description files (*.ui files) at runtime. This eliminates the need of recompiling your application when the GUI changes, and could be used to enable your customers to do their own customizations. Technically, the feature is provided by a new class, QWidgetFactory in the QResource library."


By Benoit WALTER at Tue, 2001/07/10 - 5:00am

Dear Sirs!

Several traditional software companies are worried about Open Source licencing. Many of them feel, that you can't make business by giving the fruit of your work (source code) for free.

Few days ago a KDE friendly software company revealed, that they are selling some part of an open source application (an add-on, to be more specific) and not giving that for free. It looked like few people on KDE mailing lists were unsatisfied for this solution.

My question is:

1. How can you make profitable software sales with a product, that you have released as Open Source before?

2. If you can't, what kind of a business there is to a company like you?

3. Would you like to comment recent discussion about Open Source licencing and commercial software development.

Thank You,

Eleknader


By Tapio Kautto at Tue, 2001/07/10 - 5:00am

Is there a point at which you would consider the size of Qt "too big"? I understand your reasonings why you don't want to split up the Qt library. But every release it gets bigger and bigger...

The latest 3.0 beta is almost FIVE times larger than qt-1.45.


By David Johnson at Tue, 2001/07/10 - 5:00am

I think this is a really important question, esp when
you think about all the new features which are being
added into QT (DB, XML, QCOM etc).

At one time QT may have been a cross platform GUI lib,
but I think it's gone way beyond that now. It's a
cross platform development environment for all types
of application: GUI client, middleware, anything else
you want.

IMHO QT3 is a great time to break the libraries up into
a couple of separate libraries. It's already split up
into modules, so even splitting the libraries like that
would allow more compact apps.

For example, if I'm writing a server process, I don't
need (nor want) all the GUI stuff. I'll want/need all
the networking stuff, collections, strings, DB access,
XML etc.

So here's the questions:

Are there any plans to split the massive QT library into
several smaller, more use-specific libraries,
now that QT is way more than just a GUI toolkit.
If not, can you explain what your thinking is behind this?

QT3 has seen some major new enhancements with the QCom and
Database modules. Are there any other functional areas which
QT4 might support? I'm not looking for any commitments,
perhaps just ideas which are being thrown around TT? I'm
always interested in hearing what interests the developers.

Anyway, I'd just like to chime in with my thanks. I think
QT is one of the best toolkits (cross platform or otherwise)
I've used (and I've used a few!). I think that the price is
VERY cheap for what you get! On UNIX, you're not surprised
(but are unhappy!) when you have to pay $6000+ for a table
and chart widget on their own, so QT is a bargin.

Keep up the excellent work.
Rich


By Richard Sheldon at Mon, 2001/09/24 - 5:00am

I think this is a really important question, esp when
you think about all the new features which are being
added into QT (DB, XML, QCOM etc).

At one time QT may have been a cross platform GUI lib,
but I think it's gone way beyond that now. It's a
cross platform development environment for all types
of application: GUI client, middleware, anything else
you want.

IMHO QT3 is a great time to break the libraries up into
a couple of separate libraries. The code is already split
up into modules, so even splitting the libraries like that
would allow more compact apps.

For example, if I'm writing a server process, I don't
need (nor want) all the GUI stuff. I'll want/need all
the networking stuff, collections, strings, DB access,
XML etc.

So here's the questions:

Are there any plans to split the massive QT library into
several smaller, more use-specific libraries,
now that QT is way more than just a GUI toolkit.
If not, can you explain what your thinking is behind this?

QT3 has seen some major new enhancements with the QCom and
Database modules. Are there any other functional areas which
QT4 might support? I'm not looking for any commitments,
perhaps just ideas which are being thrown around TT? I'm
always interested in hearing what interests the developers.

Anyway, I'd just like to chime in with my thanks. I think
QT is one of the best toolkits (cross platform or otherwise)
I've used (and I've used a few!). I think that the price is
VERY cheap for what you get! On UNIX, you're not surprised
(but are unhappy!) when you have to pay $6000+ for a table
and chart widget on their own, so QT is a bargin.

Keep up the excellent work.
Rich


By Richard Sheldon at Tue, 2001/09/25 - 5:00am

Does TrollTech see its role primarily as
1. Providing the best GUI developement framework in the world.
2. Providing a cross-platform GUI framework that happens to be a really nice framework too.

I ask this mainly because I've seen mention of a MAC/OS port since I first heard of QT (with the relase of KDE 1.0). At what point does it become reasonable to ask 'show me the money'.

In my opinion a good cross-platform toolkit that includes Windows, MacOS and Linux/Unix would do more for the acceptance of Linux desktops (and as a result, for the acceptance of QT-based Windows apps) than just about any other development.

Much as we like Linux and see it as the natural alternative to Windows, most commercial ISV's are more likely to be asked for Mac ports of their code than Linux ports.
That being the case, a QT port of a Windows app to MacOS is more likely to be bankrolled than a Linux port. And you're likely to see less resistance to the QT professional license fee there too. And if we get some great Linux apps in the process, well that's great too.


By Rob at Tue, 2001/07/10 - 5:00am

Have you seen this?

http://www.trolltech.com/company/announce/mac.html

Qt3 will have a Mac version it appears.


By Justin at Tue, 2001/07/10 - 5:00am

With all the hype about .NET, do you consider porting Qt to C#? The Qt Socket/Slot mechanism is almost identical to the C# "delegate" mechanism. Since Qt is crossplatform, it could also benefit from a platform-independent binary format.


By Rüdiger Klaehn at Tue, 2001/07/10 - 5:00am

Yes indeed,

"With all the hype about .NET, do you consider porting Qt to C#? The Qt Socket/Slot mechanism is almost identical to the C# "delegate" mechanism. Since Qt is crossplatform, it could also benefit from a platform-independent binary format."

.NET is claiming to be cross-language, cross-platform. I've looked over the specs for C# and the only thing it lacks (when compared to C++) is generic programming, which they plan on implementing in the next version of C#. What is Trolltech's response to C# and .NET?


By Craig Black 2 at Mon, 2001/08/27 - 5:00am

I am rather seeing KDE turning into a very good Desktop.But at the same time ,it consumes huge amount of resources which makes older machines suck(On my 64mb Ram machine,it didnt go well)
Do you have any plans to reduce the footprint and
port kde to other emerging windowing systems like Berlin


By Rajeev Narayanan at Tue, 2001/07/10 - 5:00am

It's seems that a popular misconception is that Trolltech makes KDE. It does NOT. It only makes the toolkit that KDE programmers use to make KDE.

If KDE should be ported to other windowing systems like Berlin Qt does need a rewrite. This shouldn't be too problematic or time consuming but I doubt Trolltech sees it as worht the money and time at the moment since practiacaly nobody use Berlin at the moment (maybe not so strange since from what I know it isn't even finished yet).

It is probably a higher likelyhood that we will get a KDE that bypasses the X-server and use the display buffer directly, since Qt can allready do this. Only problem with this at the moment is that KDE is dependent on ICE found in X for DCOP and KParts.


By Erik Engheim at Thu, 2001/07/12 - 5:00am

This is NOT a question for the excellent Trolltech, but instead a recommendation that you add a mailbox for questions to companies in general to help select those which people have questions for.

I would like to ask IBM about their position on KDE vs GNOME and about the satus of the VIAVOICE/KDE integration ( which I am eager to buy ).


By Ross Baker at Tue, 2001/07/10 - 5:00am

I want to ask Trolltech about the future of ViaVoice integration into Qt. It was annonced and even demonstrated early this year but seems to be retired now.


By Marc Meier at Thu, 2001/07/12 - 5:00am

In the Qt Free Edition FAQ, it says:

(http://www.trolltech.com/developer/faq/free.html)

> Using the Free Edition, can I make software for
> internal use in my company/organization?

> The Qt Free Edition is not intended for such use;
> it is our policy that when you are using Qt for
> free, you should in return contribute to the free
> software community. If you cannot do that, you
> must get Professional/Enterprise Edition licenses
> instead.

Yet, the intent of the GPL is pretty clearly that
applications that are developed in-house need
not be distributed externally.

Is it your position that the GPL requires
code to be open sourced and distributed even
if it is used for in-house purposes only?
Or is the FAQ wrong?


By Mike at Sat, 2001/07/14 - 5:00am

Could you please clarify what Troll Tech's
position is on independent, third party
implementations of the Qt toolkit?

According to you, may developers who have
had access to Troll Tech's documentation
participate in such a project? What about
developers that have had access to the GPL'ed
source code for Qt? Do you believe that there
are "contamination issues" similar to what
Sun claims for JDK sources?


By Mike at Sat, 2001/07/14 - 5:00am

Is Trolltech planning to go public, with their stock, anytime soon?


By B. Olson at Sun, 2001/07/15 - 5:00am

i was very glad to see Qt for windows made available under a less strict license.

Hopefully it will encourage many people to use the toolkit and maybe some windows demos/ports of Linux programs will encourage people to use Linux. And it also might allow me to use Linux apps on the universities computer networks which only provides MSWindows.

I was dissapointed however that Qt for Windows did not have more detailed instruction on how to get it working with gcc/g++, MSVC licenses are way too expensive if you just want to make some simple freeware. On a computer i have access to that has MSVC the demonstation code and examples compiled without a hitch, but i dont have a license of my own so im screwed unless i can get g++ working.

Where can i get more information? Please! Ive thouroughly read throught the docs on the webpages and some of the linux docs in an attempt to get it working under cygwin.

thanks in advance.


By Alan at Tue, 2001/07/17 - 5:00am

hi ,
cuold show me how about find and install Qt for window
thank


By thanh at Thu, 2001/11/22 - 6:00am

http://www.trolltech.com/developer/download/

read the instructions
make sure you understand the license

enjoy!


By wicked monkey tribe at Fri, 2001/11/23 - 6:00am

What are your plans about qt embedded.
Do you try to get some distribution deals, so we could get an iPaq with qt/embedded in the store?


By Anonymous at Mon, 2001/09/24 - 5:00am

Hi!

My questions:

What is your opinion about .NET and SOAP/Webservices? How important is it for Linux to follow/integrate these ideas?
Do you plan to add support for SOAP/Web services in future versions of QT?
What do you think about Mono? What about dotGNU? Is there any possiblity for Trolltech to work together with Miguel de Icaza and/or the FSF in these fields?
Or what *real* (at least equally good) alternative do you see?

Regards

h2o


By h2o at Fri, 2001/09/28 - 5:00am

I think Yes.

1. SOAP is language independent (java,perl,C#,php,C++...).
2. with WSDL you can generate the stub interfaces in all language wich support this.
3. XML-RPC deprecated
4. You can attach attachement to the SOAP messages

Mono is great, and it's very useful now. (with GTK# extension)


By Boci at Tue, 2005/03/22 - 6:00am

How many employees do you have? What is your revenue?


By g8oz at Thu, 2001/10/04 - 5:00am

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