OCT
2
2001

Qt 3.0.0 Beta6 out, QCom gone

Normally a new beta wouldn't be dot news, but the new Qt 3.0.0 beta6 release is notable for one reason: QCom is gone. In a mail sent to qt-interest, Trolltech explains, "The feedback we received on this module during the 3.0 beta phase has been mixed. Many users think this module lacks the intuitiveness and compactness that they have learned to expect from a Qt API. Therefore, we have made the difficult decision
to withdraw the QCom API from the Qt 3.0 release. We will continue to develop this API until it is evolved enough for our customers, and will include the improved version in a later release.". They also note that the new Qt3 plugin functionality is still available under a much simplified API, see the changelog for full details. IMHO, this is all quite reasonable and is probably for the best -- even on the dot, people turned out to be quite opinionated about QCom, although most of the heat seemed to be directed towards COM itself. As a final aside, theKompany is pushing its Korelib as an alternative option.

Comments

Wow! That was kinda unexpected, I think. I've not looked at Qt-3 yet so I've only seen the little info on QCom that was linked from the previous dot story, but to me this seems like a good thing. I do believe linux/unix needs a component system. I do believe we need a crossplatform component system (which is efficient for in-proc calls, unlike corba) but I don't think a system looking this close to COM is the way to go. I've done some C++ COM-programming under windows, and while QCom seemed a bit better, it really isn't even close to the standard of Qt in general, with reference to ease-of-use and iniuitiveness.

This puts to shame the strange noises being heard sometimes about trolltech only adding features and not fixing bugs.. removing a BIG feature like this to keep the API homogenous is a very impressive decision as isn't, *short-term*, the most commercial one to make.

(btw, the "corba-vs-com dept." seems a bit off..)


By jd at Tue, 2001/10/02 - 5:00am

It still wonder if anyone here has looked at recent corba-developments. I am actively working with the C++-ACE/TAO-project. For in-process-calls you have a delay of under 200 Nanoseconds. And it's getting less. Not that i would recommend TAO as an orb for KDE at the moment (compiling-time just sucks). But Corba is the most widely supported cross-platform-standard for distributed applications. And despite the many prejudices it has developed and is maturing...
just my 2c holler


By holler at Tue, 2001/10/02 - 5:00am

How is ORBit?


By Carg at Tue, 2001/10/02 - 5:00am

I began recently some testing of omniORB3.

It appears that for the same level of functionnality,
it outperforms similar DCOM components by 30%
(but this is remote invocation, I didn't finished
the test for inproc calls, as I want a mean to get
components loaded at demand as in COM).

However, they (the omniORB team) claim that
local invocations take place without extra stuff
(at least, there'll always be parameters conversion,
but they are also present in COM).

By the way, I do not like the way COM does
reference counting, and I was not really happy
when I saw Qt was to support a COM-like mechanism.
Now, I know Qt's guys will take a little more
time to remove all the problems COM suffers.


By Christian at Tue, 2001/10/02 - 5:00am

200 nanoseconds on what type of processor? If it is something like a pentium III 500MHz, that's about 100 clock cycles, which is awfully long for a function call. On my 300Mhz machine, it takes a little over 12 clock cycles to perform a normal (2 32-bit parameters, 1 32-bit return value) COM (C++ virtual function, same thing) call.


By Rayiner Hashem at Tue, 2001/10/02 - 5:00am

I'm not quite sure if this is supposed to be good or bad..?

I'm not against QCom myself, but a lot of people seemed to look at this as the way Trolltech would go to take more control (see Microsoft), their decision to not include it just for these specific reasons seems to prove to me that Trolltech is a company that will not exploit KDE (in a bad way)..


By Christian A Str... at Tue, 2001/10/02 - 5:00am

Basically we went through the process a month or two ago in comparing QCom to Korelib to decided what to use in the new HancomOffice modules. Our kompany was pretty much split on the decision until we sat down and had an in depth review of the whole thing and decided to go with Korelib instead for a variety of reasons, but basically it was more mature and we had been using it for the last year. Don't let the 0.1 version fool you, it's actually at 0.8 and very stable and has already been used in Kapital and Aethera for some time.

Korelib is GPL and if you want to use it you can, it is documented and includes examples and has been around for over a year now. We've recently added Python bindings to it and are working on a new update that add's 10 new classes that should be available in a couple of weeks.


By Shawn Gordon at Tue, 2001/10/02 - 5:00am

shawn,

its not 0.1 thats fooling people, its 0.0.1 ;) I know you guys are doing a great job out there, but you need to keep the websites rolling too! I am using korelib and its excellent.. but I would really like to see it being released as LGPL rather than GPL. My main concern as I already pointed out to you is that I cannot use korelib in a library released as LGPL becuase then anyone wanting to use my library in a comercial application wil have to get a commercial licence for korelib from you. (correct me if i am wrong).

I request you to publish korelib under LGPL so that it gets widely used and accepted.

thanks!
sarang


By sarang at Tue, 2001/10/02 - 5:00am

I ditto the request that korelib be put under the LGPL (or BSD or QPL/GPL, or anything but vanilla GPL). There are are lot of free KDE programs out there that aren't under the GPL which would not be able to use korelib otherwise.


By David Johnson at Tue, 2001/10/02 - 5:00am

well that's what I get for using my laptop, but in any case it's pretty much at 0.8 at this point and we'll be getting the web site updated soon (yes, we get behind on this at times).

The idea is a dual license, I think we are even using the QPL, I have to double check. So it is GPL/QPL, if you want to use it in a commercial product, then you will have to pay a license fee to us. Publishing it under the LGPL doesn't do us any good. If a commercial company wants to use it to make money, then they can pay a commercial license.

I'm glad you like it BTW :)


By Shawn Gordon at Tue, 2001/10/02 - 5:00am

well, ok but what about a group that wants to LGPL their stuffso that they can give it away to companies as well as the OSS community? GNOME does this. if a Project wanted to do this they would not want to buy a licence, but they would not want to use the GPL either as it would make thier product look less appealing to business.

what do you think Shawn?


By Jeremy Petzold at Tue, 2001/10/02 - 5:00am

Not to sound like a jerk, but it doesn't matter what we do, people complain. We have a closed product, people complain, we have a GPL project, people complain, we have a restricted source license, people complain. It really is a no-win situation for us. I believe whatever license fee we decide on will be more than fair enough that if someone wants to do something commercial with it or to get the commercial license of it, then they can.


By Shawn Gordon at Tue, 2001/10/02 - 5:00am

I didn't mean to sound like a critic...sorry, I was just wondering what you thought about the open source group that my want to use your lib in an LGPLd project. obviousely your stance is " to bad" which is fine with me, I did not want to start a flame....I actualy love the work you do and can't wait for hancomOffice....I hope it does as good as or a better job at import/export MSWord than SO6......oh...is the personal DB going to convert Access DBs?

Jeremy


By Jeremy Petzold at Wed, 2001/10/03 - 5:00am

Hi Jeremy,

First - thanks for all the supportive posts and emails to everyone, it seems the supporters far out weight the detractors :).

WRT to Rekall importing Access. Technically you should be able to use ODBC to get to an Access table in it's native state, but it's not really feasible to convert the AccessBasic code to Python, at least at this stage. I do recognize that there will be value at some point in trying to do something like that, but it's rather far down on the list at the moment.


By Shawn Gordon at Wed, 2001/10/03 - 5:00am

Not to sound like a jerk, but it doesn't matter what we do, people complain. We have a closed product, people complain, we have a GPL project, people complain, we have a restricted source license, people complain. It really is a no-win situation for us. I believe whatever license fee we decide on will be more than fair enough that if someone wants to do something commercial with it or to get the commercial license of it, then they can.


By Shawn Gordon at Tue, 2001/10/02 - 5:00am

>Not to sound like a jerk

Now that would be a good trick. No matter how many weasel words you use, I suspect you know all too well the difference between LGPL and GPL... and why people complain, and that it is justified.

Every message from you just confirms that TheKompany is a total Free software quisling... as is KDE as a whole.


By Wiggle at Tue, 2001/10/02 - 5:00am

You know, it's stuff like this that pushed me towards Qt in the first place. How about if we close it and not make it available at all - would that be better? There is no justification for complaining about something you are getting for free. That would be like me coming to your house for a party and then bitching because I didn't like the food and drinks you served.


By Shawn Gordon at Tue, 2001/10/02 - 5:00am

Shawn, this makes no sense to me. This crap is what had you go Qt? What you wrote elsewhere about the horrors of making binaries for *every* conceivable distro and solving that with statically linking just Qt and not using the KDE libraries made a lot more sense to me.

I actually more or less expected you to lose patience one of these days, I'm only sad to see it happen. I for one respect you and theKompany in it's attempts to get a business working on top of the KDE/Linux environment. It really is a shame if these half-wits finally got to you. I can't say I blame you though.


By jd at Wed, 2001/10/03 - 5:00am

To tell you the actual story, it was people pushing my buttons one day (complaining about contributions we had made) that got me really frustrated, so I started mapping some things out. I had always had a single minded determination for KDE, never gave Gnome a second thought, and had only grazed upon the Qt notion briefly. At the same time I was helping our packagers get a new release of something out and struggling with all the variations of the different versions and distros (here is a tip, never help package, it is much easier to tell other people to do it). Also that same week I had talked to a major software distributor and they had been pretty clear that they weren't going to put Linux only software on the shelves, but they had been very interested in our BlackAdder product because it was cross platform. All of these things gelled in my mind at the same time and I sent a note out to my team to see if building directly to Qt would solve these packaging problems. At the same time I would get multi-platform capability and be able to get wider spread distribution. Basically we had a win win win situation. It solved build problems for us, it solved install problems for our users and it solved getting major distribution.

Now I really do love KDE, it's a wonderful desktop with wonderful apps and I have some other OSS projects in mind I would like to do and contribute once things settle down. Like any human being I get frustrated, and since I act as the major conduit for almost all communication with theKompany (and now a lot for Hancom) the bitching and moaning starts to feel like rats biting at your heals as you walk. I do get some very good complimentary emails, but human nature is to say something to bitch, not to compliment so the bitching usually outweighs it.

Our ultimate objective is still Linux/KDE on the desktop. I got a call yesterday from a major company that wants a site license for HancomOffice because they are mixed Linux and Windows and want to totally migrate to Linux and getting HO would work perfectly for them. This is exactly the kind of thing we are trying to do. So many people don't have the big picture, they are mired in this silly minutia.

Korelib is what it is, it is licensed the way it is licensed, it is there for you to use on the terms that are available. All I did was point out it was there and could satisfy your need for this kind of technology. If you have a *real* situation that you want to address about using Korelib, and not a make believe "what if" scenario, then write me privately and we'll see what we can do.

I do believe that is all the time I have to spend on this particular topic.


By Shawn Gordon at Wed, 2001/10/03 - 5:00am

Shawn,
The way I see it is, you produce a piece of software, make it available under some license and if people want it they use it based on the terms and conditions of the license and if they dont like it then FSCK em. I don't think you are under any obligation to please *anyone*. From what I can tell you seem to be an honerable man attempting to do the right thing for the community and at the same time attempt to run a company and produce a profit. Last I checked, The Kompany wasn't a charity.

I firmly believe the OSS community as a whole are well intentioned folks. But every now and then you run across numbskulls like Wiggle who strive to spread lies and cause trouble for their own selfish reasons. Better to just ignore them and hope they die in their pool of stupidity >than let them get your dander up.

I guess I'm just saying I understand your situation and how frustrating it must be to deal with individuals who are SO emotional. Me thinks some people should here should get a girl friend or something. Yeah thats the ticket. Too much social masterbation is a bad thing.

My 2 cents worth. Keep up the good work.


By Ron Cooper at Wed, 2001/10/03 - 5:00am

Shawn,

I see it this way. To paraphrase Luke 10:7, a workman is worthy of his hire. So, basically, I say this: If you write something, you can get to choose how it should be disseminated and which license(s) it should be under. GPL, LGPL, BSD, ABC, XZY, LMNOP, etc.

Just so you know, there are people that appreciate all of the software that TheKompany has given to the community, be it under any license.

I agree with you. If someone wants to make money using code that you wrote, you should have the right to demand payment.


By A. C. at Wed, 2001/10/03 - 5:00am

Shawn,

I see it this way. To paraphrase Luke 10:7, a workman is worthy of his hire. So, basically, I say this: If you write something, you can get to choose how it should be disseminated and which license(s) it should be under. GPL, LGPL, BSD, ABC, XZY, LMNOP, etc.

Just so you know, there are people that appreciate all of the software that TheKompany has given to the community, be it under any license.

I agree with you. If someone wants to make money using code that you wrote, you should have the right to demand payment.


By A. C. at Wed, 2001/10/03 - 5:00am

Hi Shawn!

Don't let these zealots get to you. I think your company is making great contributions to KDE, personally. Vivio needs a lot of work for it to be a serious contender to Visio, imho, but I don't have a problem with the rest of your products.

What I am wondering about however, is when a Chinese version of Hancom Office will be available for Linux. i.e. a version of Hancom Office that supports GB2312-80, possibly Big5, and pinyin input.

Thanks in advance.

Daniel


By dbl at Wed, 2001/10/03 - 5:00am

You can get the Chinese version of HancomOffice today. They have very good support for it. If you can read Chinese then check out the Chinese links on the site.


By Shawn Gordn at Wed, 2001/10/03 - 5:00am

Ah...ok

I can't read Chinese, but my partners asked me to try and find Chinese office support for Linux (they're both Chinese). Unfortunately, I can only speak Chinese at the moment.

I'd read in a Linux Journal a while back that Hancom Office was available in Chinese for Linux, but I didn't see any references to it on the English site; only references to the Chinese version for Windows.

Would you happen to have any links I could follow for the Chinese version for Linux, not Windows?

Thanks in advance.


By dbl at Wed, 2001/10/03 - 5:00am

Shawn - don't waste your time on trolls - ignore them!


By Joergen Ramskov at Wed, 2001/10/03 - 5:00am

You know, this really is borderline evil... you don't have an argument at all, just some stupid innuendo.

Maybe I'm just *really* stupid, but how can it be justified for people to complain about a product not being released under a specific license? If you *need* LGPL instead of GPL, then you really are asking for free beer, not free speech.


By jd at Wed, 2001/10/03 - 5:00am

>If you *need* LGPL instead of GPL, then you really are asking for free beer, not free speech.

What rubbish. If you need LGPL, you are asking for both.


By Wiggle at Wed, 2001/10/03 - 5:00am

Bullsh*t! Since when is the GPL not free speech? I would agree that libraries are best licensed under the LGPL, but the library author has no way to make money by releasing it under the LGPL. The argument that you can't make commercial software using korelib without buying a license is nonesense because you will already have to pay trolltech for QT anyway. The Best thing that the Kompany can do is release it under the same license as QT so that programmers know where they stand and don't need to interpret to distict licenses.


By richie123 at Wed, 2001/10/03 - 5:00am

>Bullsh*t! Since when is the GPL not free speech?

When did I say it wasn't? Read first, understand, then post.


By Wiggle at Wed, 2001/10/03 - 5:00am

If you are being offered free speech, and you say, "Nay! I want free speech and free beer, and have no less than that", allow the spectators to guess that what you really want is a brewsky.


By Roberto Alsina at Wed, 2001/10/03 - 5:00am

You know, I should know better than to respond... with commments like "TheKompany is a total Free software quisling... as is KDE as a whole" I really should just conclude that you are trolling. At the very least you are very bad at backing up your arguments.

The GPL is the most agressively Open Source license in wide use out there, as far as I know. The LGPL certainly makes sense for core libraries in a desktop system wanting to attract commercial development, but where do you get off claiming that a commerical vendor (theKompany) has an obligation to not only open the source to Open Source projects (GPL) but also to other companies commercial projects(LGPL)??

You only *need* the LGPL if you are doing a closed source (in most cases probably commercial) application, using Korelib (in this case). But if you are selling your product, how can you expect theKompany to give you their product for free? And to top it off, to claim that their unwillingness to do so somehow is detrimental to the Open Source movement?


By jd at Wed, 2001/10/03 - 5:00am

>You only *need* the LGPL if you are doing a closed source (in most cases probably commercial) application,

Again, total rubbish. Many companies will not even allow in-house development if it has to be linked against a full GPL library. You also apparently seem to miss the fact that this is yet another ("kore" - I'm sure Shawn wishes) library that has to be licensed for closed-source stuff.

At this rate, developing non-GPL apps for KDE will be more expensive per-developer than Windows-XP.


By Wiggle at Wed, 2001/10/03 - 5:00am

If the cost of application development was simply the cost of the tools you use to develop said applciations, you would be right.

And even if it were, what is the problem with that, exactly?


By Roberto Alsina at Fri, 2001/10/05 - 5:00am

Give the guy a break - theKompany is working on some good software, and trying to make open-source a reasonable proposition for both producers and users. Let them decide how they want to license the stuff - if you don't like the license it comes with, you don't have to use it. Go and write some of your own.


By Kevin Donnelly at Wed, 2001/10/03 - 5:00am

Some companies can't make their software open source. So, prolly offer a strip down version of Korelibs for these ppl under LGPL? then ppl won't be force to write their own libs nor force to use gtk or make their software paid for.


By RAJAN at Sat, 2001/10/06 - 5:00am

Some companies can't make their software open source. So, prolly offer a strip down version of Korelibs for these ppl under LGPL? then ppl won't be force to write their own libs nor force to use gtk or make their software paid for.


By RAJAN at Sat, 2001/10/06 - 5:00am

> GNOME does this.

Not all Gnome libs are LGPL I think, some are GPL. What's more rms had always made it clear that libs which have no equivalent in the closed-source world should be GPL (not that I agree with that, but you have to like the irony).

> if a Project wanted to do this they would not want to buy a licence

Why not ? You know, contrary to a widespread belief, most software projects actually survive the purchase of a license. And what's more, theKompany would actually get some money out of this. Pretty neat concept uh ? :-)


By Guillaume Laurent at Wed, 2001/10/03 - 5:00am

All the libraries in the core GNOME platform are LGPLed.

Gal, for example, is GPL, but it´s not a part of the GNOME platform.


By Carg at Wed, 2001/10/03 - 5:00am

> And what's more, theKompany would actually get some money out of this. Pretty neat concept uh ? :-)

And they could even use this money to develop more products that they would give away to the community, or hire some more free software programmer to help them develop new products.

If they release it under LGPL, a company can use their product without paying any fee. Which could lead them to bankrupt.

I think it is in our interest that TheKompany earns money. And we should be happy that they released something under GPL, they could perfectely have kept it closed-source.

So your critics are not welcome by me. Oh, by the way, you need to critisize Trolltech for Qt because they do exactely the same thing: GPL/QPL.


By Philippe Fremy at Wed, 2001/10/03 - 5:00am

> So your critics are not welcome by me.

Hey Philippe,

I assume you're talking to the guy I was answering to :-).


By Guillaume Laurent at Wed, 2001/10/03 - 5:00am

>If they release it under LGPL, a company can use their product
>without paying any fee. Which could lead them to bankrupt.

One wonders why you bother with open source at all...

>Oh, by the way, you need to critisize Trolltech for Qt because
>they do exactely the same thing: GPL/QPL.

And don't we know it...


By Wiggle at Wed, 2001/10/03 - 5:00am

So that's fine. A project can release their code under GPL and LGPL / BSD / MIT. If someone wants to later use it not in accordance with GPL, then they must license Korelib. This is between them and the owners of Korelib, and has nothing to do with the project giving away their code. What's wrong with that? If you don't like it, write your own code. Programmers like to eat and pay the rent just like everyone else.


By David Phillips at Wed, 2001/10/03 - 5:00am

If someone wants to write LGPL code that uses Korelib, it is perfectly legal to do so.

That is the exact same situation as with kdelibs.

Shawn & co. are just making a gift.

We either take it and use it because we like it, or not take it and not use it because we don't like it.

Complaining about thegift is uneffectual, silly, and a very good way to stop getting gifts in the future. Not to mention rude (not about this post I am replying to, but about the general tone of nastiness in this thread).


By Roberto Alsina at Wed, 2001/10/03 - 5:00am

The software you put out under the GPL under the excuse of returning to the community that provided you with tons of libraries under the LGPL/BSD is now going commercial.

So, what´s your new way of returning to the KDE community? With Qt-based commercial apps?

Thanks,
Carg


By Carg at Tue, 2001/10/02 - 5:00am

What kind of fantasy land, knee jerk comment is that?

How much is enough for someone like you? How should I run my business such that you would be satisfied? Would that business model make money so that it can pay developers to do these altruistic things? Everyone beats us up to use the GPL, so then we use the GPL and people complain.

What does it take, how much is enough.


By Shawn Gordon at Tue, 2001/10/02 - 5:00am

Shawn,

I think most free software people are in some ways more comfortable with software that is CLEARLY CLOSED, as compared with software that is "free with a catch."

Things like korelib are an invitation to become dependent on commercial libraries that might later vanish, or become prohibitively expensive due to arbitrary decisions not merely by you now, but perhaps one day by the corporate owners of your company offshore, in Korea perhaps.

As well, I assume your revenue generating plans will require you to reject contributions that do not assign copyright to you. These sort of terms generally don't seem as appropriate for a for-profit company as with a non-profit like with FSF. Or do you plan to share revenues with contributors? That would be novel. But in that case, contributors should have a say in the licensing terms, fees, and restrictions associated with the package.

Frequently there are good reasons to use commercial libraries, but in general, I strongly favor a clean separation between commercial and open source code. I am doubtful about GPL'd libraries for that reason, except with a GCC or GNAT style exception which permits linkage with client code without restriction.

Matt


By Matt Benjamin at Wed, 2001/10/03 - 5:00am

Shawn--not all of us are ungrateful.

People can gripe all they want to about liscensing. I for one, and I belive that there are many others, thank you for coming up with a business model that helps KDE, helps Open Source and helps a handful of people get paid.

I don't see how people can on one hand scream, "Software wants to be Free (libre)!" and then turn and say "But please let us make free (gratis) for closed source companies".

And how about "Beware of Greeks beaing gifts." -- To that I say, beware all you want to. Reject it all together. And shutup.

Best wishes to Shawn and to all of the fine folks at the Kompany.

-Scott


By Scott at Wed, 2001/10/03 - 5:00am

>>I don't see how people can on one hand scream, "Software wants to be Free (libre)!" and then turn and say "But please let us make free (gratis) for closed source companies".

Hits the nail on the head. GPL/Commercial licensing is fair for everyone: if you want to give your software away for free, you can use mine for free; if you want to sell software that includes mine, send some of the money my way. If you want a fair fight between free and commercial software, don't let the commercial companies act as parasites.


By an anonymous coward at Wed, 2001/10/03 - 5:00am

Shawn,

don't care to much about these comments, there are always people complaining.
If you want to earn money if somebody wants to use your stuff commercially, ok. That's the way Trolltech does and nobody complains (maybe except RMS).

Looking forward more cool stuff from TheKompany :-)
Alex


By aleXXX at Wed, 2001/10/03 - 5:00am

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