JUL
11
2003

Native Win32 Port of Qt3 GPL Started

The KDE on Cygwin project, which produces ports of Qt and KDE to Windows using Cygwin and Cygwin/XFree86, announced that the native Win32 port of the Qt3 GPL library has been started, mainly driven by Richard Lärkäng at the moment. The plan is to provide a base for a future native KDE port. Several screenshots of the ongoing port are available. Richard is seeking developers, who don't have access to the original Qt Windows sources, to help him.

Holger Schroeder of Automatix GmbH, who started the native Win32 port of the Qt2 library and finished about half of it before license conflicts due to use of the commercial Qt version disallowed him to continue, will be present in Nov&eacute Hrady at the KDE Contributor Conference 2003 and give a talk about the "KDE on Cygwin" project and its current state.

Comments

Very cool indeed ! So sooner or later, native Konqueror for Windows isn't a dream anymore.


By Ariya at Fri, 2003/07/11 - 5:00am

Not cool indeed.
First reason would be that I consider this as a complete waste of time, which could be invested in projects useful to free software users. Needless to say that there are good reasons why developping fs on windows is not a good thing : http://www.fefe.de/nowindows/ .
Second and much more important. Qt once made a real gift to the community by licensing their extraordinary graphical toolkit (the best ever, every platform, etc. that may be) with the GPL licence. There decision was surely not easily made at this time. Do you really think we should made them doubt to continue licensing their following work with the GPL. They live thanks to the proprietary version of their Windows toolkit. Let's make them live and leave them on that... Free software is also a matter of respect, and some should never forget that.


By Henri at Sat, 2003/07/12 - 5:00am

I forgot: it's long since windows has ever been a "dream"... Last time was win3.11fwg for me.
Why don't just leave windows if you want kde on it ? Or kill your boss if he doesn't want to, or just change job ? If everyone does so, only incompetent people will still use windows and this bunch of idiots will spend a _lot_ of time working together with their poor skills: that sounds like a better dream to me.


By Henri at Sat, 2003/07/12 - 5:00am

There must be a reason why Trolltech doesn't give Qt away for free on Windows, don't you think?

Why don't you guys spend your time on something more useful: make Qt work on DirectFB or so.
That would help all Linux people instead of just those 2 Windows freaks out there trying to run KDE apps on top of a bad OS.

And if people can run KDE apps on Windows there aren't much reasons to run Linux anymore.
(except for staying away from the blue screens and Bills money eater)
Are you sure that is really what you guys want?

(sorry for being so negative.. I just don't see any future for XFree86 with core team members laying backwards doing things I don't want to know and only caring about bugfixes, if Windows/KDE would provide a faster and better looking display, why would I want to stay with Linux and the slow XFree86?)


By plib at Fri, 2003/07/11 - 5:00am

>There must be a reason why Trolltech doesn't give Qt away for free on Windows, don't you think?

But what is that reason? It cant be money. I think it would be better to Trolltech
if they just release Free QT for Windows and Mac OS.
That is best way to QT become de-facto standard in cross-platform toolkits.

>And if people can run KDE apps on Windows there aren't much reasons to run Linux
>anymore.

I disagree with you. It is not harmfull to Linux or KDE either if you could run KDE apps natively in Windows.


By JMI at Fri, 2003/07/11 - 5:00am

>> But what is that reason? It cant be money. I think it would be better to Trolltech
>> if they just release Free QT for Windows and Mac OS.
>> That is best way to QT become de-facto standard in cross-platform toolkits.

If there's a GPL-ed version of Qt for Windows companies can use it to create inhouse apps without paying Trolltech.
Yes, I think money is one of the reasons.

>> I disagree with you. It is not harmfull to Linux or KDE either if you could run KDE apps natively in Windows.

I truely hope you're right about that..


By plib at Fri, 2003/07/11 - 5:00am

It's not harmful to Linux - once windows users are familiar with using linux applications, if they discover that the switch is seamless - no change of their choice of apps, then all the better for us.


By Tyreth at Sat, 2003/07/12 - 5:00am

The problem with most (Windows) users I know is that they're saying: "hey, if Linux doesn't have any additional value, why would I switch?"

(they don't care if it's free or not because Windows is 'free' as well)

And switching from Windows to Linux isn't just about the apps.


By plib at Sat, 2003/07/12 - 5:00am

If there's a GPL-ed version of Qt for Windows companies can use it to create inhouse apps without paying Trolltech.

If there's GPL-ed version of Qt for windows, companies willing to use the free version will be forced to release their software as GPL-ed, so companies that use Qt on Windows won't use the free version like photoshop and that supposedly fast browser I keep forgetting the name. That means those companies will keep using the proprietary version and trolltech won't make any less money. Also that would be great cause people will be allowed to use great apps such as Kopete, Konqueror and the like on Windows. I really do think it's a win-win situation for floss software :)


By pat at Sun, 2003/07/13 - 5:00am

>> companies willing to use the free version will be forced to release their software as GPL-ed

You have got to be kidding.. indeed.

Re-read the GPL please.


By plib at Sun, 2003/07/13 - 5:00am

Nothing would stop Trolltech from releasing a free Qt for windows under a modified GPL that doesn't allow using the free version for in-house development.


By Carlos Rodrigues at Sun, 2003/07/13 - 5:00am

Good point - but then the problem would be again misuse.


By Anonymous at Sun, 2003/07/13 - 5:00am

> Nothing would stop Trolltech from releasing a free Qt for windows under a modified GPL that doesn't allow using the free version for in-house development.

Technically true, except such a license would not be compatible with the GPL and therefore unable to run KDE.


By Micah at Mon, 2003/07/14 - 5:00am

> There must be a reason why Trolltech doesn't give Qt away for free on Windows, don't you think?

Probably because they consider it to not be in their best interests.

> Why don't you guys spend your time on something more useful

Probably because those guys working on it consider it to be useful. Scratching an itch and all that.

> And if people can run KDE apps on Windows there aren't much reasons to run Linux anymore.

Windows has plenty of applications already. This isn't about KDE applications, it's about Qt applications. Increased userbase for Qt applications means higher quality across all platforms.

> (sorry for being so negative.. I just don't see any future for XFree86 with core team members laying backwards doing things I don't want to know and only caring about bugfixes, if Windows/KDE would provide a faster and better looking display, why would I want to stay with Linux and the slow XFree86?)

Stop whining and do something about it then!


By Jim at Fri, 2003/07/11 - 5:00am

>> This isn't about KDE applications, it's about Qt applications.

Let me quote this for you:
"The plan is to provide a base for a future native KDE port."

>> Stop whining and do something about it then!

How can I do something about it if even one of the greatest guys that has been kicked out of the team isn't able to change things drastically?


By plib at Fri, 2003/07/11 - 5:00am

Getting kicked off the team hasn't stopped Keith Packard. Just check out http://www.xwin.org/

If he can't change the group from within, it seems he'll change the group from without.


By AC at Tue, 2003/07/15 - 5:00am

I would strongly disagree that this is a bad thing. KDE, and the Qt/Free community stand to gain a lot by this. If one could write apps with Qt's great framework for Free on Windows, many of those apps will eventually end up on KGX (KDE/GNU/linuX). Moreover, increased adoption of technologies such as Konqueror/KHTML, KMail, and KOffice will encourage more standards compliant web sites, e-mail messages, and document formats. It's all good stuff.

Konqueror is the best part, IMO. If Konqueror/KHTML are available in a native Windows format, that would mean that KHTML would be available for almost all users (Konqueror on Linux/*nix/Windows/Mac and Safari on Mac). Since Qt/Free is now available for Mac OS X, a Windows version is the last step towards a very cross platform Free Software solution.

I might also add, the pressure of a community port might make TrollTech inclined to release and official Qt/Free Win32 version, since TT would gain volunteer support for their Win32 version that way... something they won't do if the Qt/Free Win32 version is a seperate codebase from their own Win32 version.

I doubt it will hurt TT much, since many companies won't want their software licensed under a GPL compatible license. Furthermore, it probably won't have the full Visual Studio integration like TT offers.

-Tim


By Timothy R. Butler at Fri, 2003/07/11 - 5:00am

>I doubt it will hurt TT much, since many companies won't want their software licensed under a
> GPL compatible license.

What about companies that write software internally?


By Arno Nym at Fri, 2003/07/11 - 5:00am

How many of these companies actually write these in-house, vs hiring consultants? If consultants write software, or the company hires another one to write the software, the GPL kicks in.


By Rayiner Hashem at Sat, 2003/07/12 - 5:00am

"Why don't you guys spend your time on something more useful: make Qt work on DirectFB or so."

Translation: someone on Slashdot said that XFree86 sux, and DirectFB is l33t, so why don't you work on that instead?

"And if people can run KDE apps on Windows there aren't much reasons to run Linux anymore."

Translation: I have no idea what Linux is all about, so I'm assuming it must just be the KDE thing.

"why would I want to stay with Linux and the slow XFree86?"

Translation: back to this XFree86 thing, I also heard it was slow, but I never actually checked it out for myself, and am only assuming that the exceedingly sparse and barren feature set of the win32 API should be enough for anybody.


By David Johnson at Sat, 2003/07/12 - 5:00am

I'm wondering why I'm replying to this, but what the heck..

>> Translation: someone on Slashdot said that XFree86 sux, and DirectFB is l33t, so why don't you work on that instead?

XFree86 does not completely suck, but it's development is more or less stopped (except for the bugfixes).
That's my problem with it, almost no new features and no new code to actually _improve_ things is being added anymore, and the core team members seem to be happy with that.

DirectFB is certainly cool, but not usable (especially when using a NVIDIA graphics card).

>> Translation: I have no idea what Linux is all about, so I'm assuming it must just be the KDE thing.

Seeing how you speak with words like 'l33t' and 'sux' and visiting sites like Slashdot tells me enough about what you actually know.

>> Translation: back to this XFree86 thing, I also heard it was slow, but I never actually checked it out for myself, and am only assuming that the exceedingly sparse and barren feature set of the win32 API should be enough for anybody.

At least the win32 GDI is multi threaded, doesn't block on many functions, doesn't have any slow way to get properties, ..... yadda, yadda, yadda, ......, and most importantly; it does not _feel_ slow, like XFree86.


By plib at Sat, 2003/07/12 - 5:00am

I swear that TuxRacer on Linux/XFree86 doesn't feel slow at all.


By Ac at Sat, 2003/07/12 - 5:00am

That's because TuxRacer uses OpenGL, which does not use _any_ drawing functions from XFree86, and doesn't really use the other XFree86 stuff either (except for setting up some initial settings and a window, but that doesn't make a program slow).


By plib at Sat, 2003/07/12 - 5:00am

Wouldn't Qt GPL on DirectFB be pretty close to Qt/Embedded?
I think you can even use Qt/E under the GPL.


By Jens Tinz at Tue, 2003/07/15 - 5:00am

Yeah, go ahead, port more free software on non-free platforms.

Why couln't these people work on something really useful ? Koffice, Kdevelop, Wine , Samba .. all these projects need help (koffice especially).


By Nobody at Fri, 2003/07/11 - 5:00am

If Koffice want's to be really usefull and used on as many computers as possible then needs to run on as many plattforms as posibble. It means Mac and it means Windows (think about OpenOffice). Creating freely usable Qt on Windows is first step.


By Petr Balas at Fri, 2003/07/11 - 5:00am

If your primary goal is to make everybody use KOffice, yes.
If your primary goal is to make everybody use free software, then certainly not.

Simply for the same reason that Microsoft stops to port Office to Linux (beside the PR effect), even if they could make money with it. KOffice would help Windows, because it lowers the overall costs (just as OO already does, but Sun does it only to cut off MS's primary source of revenue).


By Arno Nym at Sat, 2003/07/12 - 5:00am

I want everybody to use free software. But you can't switch right now - there are missing some applications (MicroStation, ...). So I can go slow route - switch some apps for now and wait for other apps to catch up. OpenOffice is great for this. Having KDE apps on Windows can be very usefull in this scenario.

Yes this can hurt Trolltech. But maybe not. GPL version of QT can be used only for inhouse development. GPL version can be created to only work with gcc (yes somebody can port this to msvc) and without msvc development environment integration. Trolltech don't want to release GPL version of X11 (linux/unix) Qt because they think it will hurt them. Harmony created pressure forces them to release GPL version. From today point of view I beliewe GPL version helped Trolltech. Maybe Win32 GPL version can help them too.


By Petr Balas at Sat, 2003/07/12 - 5:00am

In my opinion it is better to have a common open office file standard than having koffice on Windoze. I think that porting more and more KDE applications over to Windoze does not free us from the Microsoft monopoly, on the contrary, people are lazy enough and will stay on Windows forever as they are too ignorant to learn and understand that the 21st century is the information century and whoever controls the underlying information storage, processing and distribution framework rools the world.
On Windoze people will probably more likely stick with MS office, as it will always be the best integrated office suite on this platform (as MS controls the underlying API). Microsoft will lower the price for their office suite so much that the free software alternatives will have great difficulties competing - remember, most people are only interested in free beer as they are ignorants and don't understand the importance of free speech.


By tuxo at Sat, 2003/07/12 - 5:00am

because most users use the OS that was installed when they bought the computer. And what does [insert name of discounter here] do when they have to make the decision:
ok, we got 50.000 comps to sell here, + windows each does ~50.000*20€=1 million. So if we put Linux on it, we could do that for free (without license cost), if we wanted to. Mhh. Windows is buggy and confusing, Linux is easy and performant. Mhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...
=> Sooner or later Open Source will prevail even though capitalism...
And I think maybe end of this year it'll start... with kernel 2.6; Koffice 1.3; KDE 3.2; Kdevelop 3 it should kick M$ ass - for free (muahmuah)
good thing ain't it..
ciao Marcel


By Marcel Partap at Sat, 2003/07/12 - 5:00am

> ...Samba .. all these projects need help

I would put the Samba server on the list of software that helps to promote (or rather keep) proprietary software on the desktop. If people want to use proprietary desktops, they should pay the full price for their servers. If people want to access free systems from proprietary systems, they should implement a file system that allows the proprietary systems to access the data on the free systems.

(of course I can not stop anybody to do what he want with his time or money, but if you want to help to create a free infrastructure I would suggest you to work one something that helps free software by making free software better, and not by lowering the costs for the competition...)


By Arno Nym at Sat, 2003/07/12 - 5:00am

"Why couln't these people work on something really useful "

Maybe because its a hobby? And they want to work on a GPL port fo QT to win32?

Why do people play video games? Couldn't they be working on something really useful?

These people aren't factory slaves that can be ordered around. They are real people that have interests and ambitions. They do what they want within reason (usually).


By Anonymous at Sun, 2003/07/13 - 5:00am

would be a LGPL "port" of Qt. That would make it attractive to more developers who must now use GTK+/wxWindows/other for licensing reasons.


By Anonymous at Fri, 2003/07/11 - 5:00am

Do you want to destroy Trolltech?


By Anonymous at Fri, 2003/07/11 - 5:00am

Actually, since an identical API exists under the QPL/GPL licensing, the upshot of a GPLd Qt-Windows is that it still acts as QPL/GPL. Why? Because the application is no longer tied to a specific implementation and its license. This same issue came up during discussions of Harmony's licensing, and RMS himself remarked that a GPL Harmony would act as a QPL/GPL Qt.

It still won't allow proprietary applications to link to the library, but it's much more free than a GPL-only requirement.


By David Johnson at Sat, 2003/07/12 - 5:00am

void Windoze (Fools)
{

Support QT by buying QT for Windoze. If you want QT around in the next decade buy QT for Windoze. Why push out of the market a great company like TrollTech by porting QT to Windoze.

return (Fools)
}


By Coder at Fri, 2003/07/11 - 5:00am

You may not know that through Qt 2.x TrollTech offered Qt/Windows under the GPL. Yet somehow they weren't destroyed.

By the way, don't pretend you are a coder. You clearly aren't.


By em at Sat, 2003/07/12 - 5:00am

Yes, at one point (and for 1 release only!), Trolltech released Qt 2.x for Windows. As was once said on the Trolltech mailing list: the results were disastrous, with a very sudden decrease in the number of sold licenses.

I know quite some companies that use Qt only for in-house tools that will never be used outside the company. GPL does NOT force anybody to release code to the rest of the world. They only require to release the source code when binaries are released.

In other words, all those in-house tools that were developped for Windows suddenly didn't need a commercial license. Hence the drop in revenue for Trolltech...

Tom


By Tom Verbeure at Sat, 2003/07/12 - 5:00am

Hmm, then TrollTech has no reason to actually want to see KDE/Linux succeed on the desktop?

If what you say is true, then TrollTech exists by virtue of the Windows desktop monopoly (because that's where their licensing revenue comes from, or at least that's what you claim). And, since both MacOS X and Unix/X versions of Qt are "free", if one of these platforms would take a significant/majority share of the desktop market (which is what we're all rooting for, no?), this would dramatically reduce Qt/Windows revenue. At which point it might suddenly be in TrollTech's best interest _not_ to support KDE/Unix (by not offering newer versions of GPL'ed Qt, for example) any longer.

Thus, if what you say is true, then KDE's success on the desktop risks destroying the company that created and supports one of KDE's base technologies...


By Pingu10000 at Mon, 2003/07/14 - 5:00am

Obviously they have a business interest in seeing KDE succeed. Any non-free KDE application requires a commercial Qt license per developer, because you can not avoid using Qt for KDE applications.


By AC at Mon, 2003/07/14 - 5:00am

Trolltech has in interest seeing the KDE desktop *framework* succeed, since many extensions of Qt features in KDE libs are later integrated back into Qt itself, thus encouraging KDE developers preferring Qt also for commercial projects. On Unix and alike KDE as a desktop framework is already the most widespread so supporting it without sacrifying much is easy. On OSX Apple successfully convinced people that their system represents a Unix alike system encouraging the use of both commercial and non-commercial Unix solutions. While OSX itself already offers a desktop framework solution itself Trolltech obviously is confident that the KDE desktop framework will be accepted as well by many OSX users.

This can't be said of Windows user, the acceptance for an alternative desktop framework is not there thus limiting the use of Qt to it sole toolkit self. And as a toolkit without desktop framework around it encourages more in house developments (since "it's easier") than commercial apps integrated with Qt. A GPL'ed Qt hurts the former and boosts the latter. The latter, as mentioned, is none-existant on Windows tho so there won't exist an official GPL'ed Qt for Windows by Trolltech.

I really hope those working on a GPL Qt for Windows are aware of this situation and better disallow the usage of their Qt port alone without KDE libs for this very reason.


By Datschge at Mon, 2003/07/14 - 5:00am

You seem to understand TrollTech's interest in KDE (the framework) as rooted in TrollTech's view of KDE as an interesting (and free) feature research and test platform. Hadn't looked at it from that angle, and I must say it could make sense.

I don't agree with your point of view re. MacOS X. I'd say there's just as few Mac users interested in running KDE (desktop) apps as there are Windows users interested in that (percentagewise that is, there's a lot more Windows users than Mac users, I believe ;-). Yet there is a free Qt for MacOS X, and not for Windows. So that leaves marketshare of both OSes as an important factor. Which results in an interesting situation should these marketshare figures significantly change in favor of free OSes like Linux, the BSDs, etc.

Not that I don't agree that a GPL Qt/Windows port separate from TrollTech appears to be a waste of time, at least to me. Then again, since I'm not writing code for it, who am I to say what this/these guy(s) should do. If they're itching, let them scratch it!


By Pingu10000 at Wed, 2003/07/16 - 5:00am

You are kind of missing the point: Of course there's just as few Mac users interested in running this or that framework as there are Windows users interested in that, users naturally shouldn't even need to bother about this kind of stuff.

What makes the OSX platform different from the Windows platform is that Microsoft on the one hand is known for trying to offer more and more all-included packages for every possible solution which sells (and buying up small specialized companies all the time for that purpose). Combined with their quasi-monopolistic position in the market this is strongly discouraging alternative solutions by competitors on the same platfrom.

Apple on the other hand already support KDE indirectly by using and contributing to kjs and khtml, they actively supported Trolltech for having a well integrated Qt/Mac, they advertise OSX as Unix compatible system and offer a native X Window implementation encouraging the use of non-OSX specific software as well. There are worlds between Microsoft and Apple, and Trolltech offering a GPL'ed Qt on OSX is a consequential result of that imo.


By Datschge at Wed, 2003/07/16 - 5:00am

Don't you think they stopped providing it under GPL for windows for a reason?


By André Somers at Sat, 2003/07/12 - 5:00am

They didn't offer it under the GPL. They offered it under a license that forbids all commercial use.


By Sad Eagle at Sat, 2003/07/12 - 5:00am

First, you can still download Qt/Windows 2.3.1 from TrollTech's site:
http://www.trolltech.com/download/qt/noncomm.html
I suppose TrollTech didn't find it so destructive after all.

Second, as pointed out by SadEagle, the license isn't GPL, but a different license that forbids commercial use. I don't know if that includes in-house development at companies, though.

Maybe a solution would be that TrollTech donated a license to KDE that couldn't legally be used for any other purpose than porting KDE to Windows.


By em at Sat, 2003/07/12 - 5:00am

Yes I know what you mean, Trolltech is a great company, and KDE owes, well, a great deal to them. I don't know how KDE would have been without the terrific toolkit that is Qt.

I find myself not wanting this project. Qt is something that is great because a company is behind it. Yes there are benefits to the larger community if there is a win32 open source port, but at what costs? I'd not have started this project as I feel I owe too much to Trolltech.

I don't spose we'll know the effects for a few years. I hope it turns out ok.


By mxcl at Sat, 2003/07/12 - 5:00am

You have a point.

But, I can't just buy an individual license for like $50.00.

--
JRT


By James Richard Tyrer at Sat, 2003/07/12 - 5:00am

Hopefully they are cooperating with the already (at least partially existing) port of Qt to win32 of the KDEonCygwin-Project.

- me.


By stupid anon /.-... at Sat, 2003/07/12 - 5:00am

KDE + win XP ? You need a cluster :P


By anonymous ... at Sat, 2003/07/12 - 5:00am

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