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Qt for Mac 181

Posted by michael
from the widgets-for-everyone dept.
infiniti99 writes: "Looks like Trolltech made a port of their popular cross-platform GUI toolkit, Qt, (not to be confused with the QuickTime movie player) for the Mac. Here is a link to the announcement. There are a couple of screenshots and a demo application is available. Good stuff! Will this further solidify Qt's position as the de facto way to develop cross-platform applications?"
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Qt for Mac

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  • Wow without shareware there would not have been PaintShop Pro which rivals the Gimp in most respects for fuctionality yet has always been closed source.

    Shareware is good for authors just starting out. They are free to do as they please instead of bowing to the whims of a corporate employer. When you deney them that because you want to shove your "free software model" where they cannot make a dime, without detracting from their code.

    I was speaking with a friend who makes a living off his software (note not service or support or tie in products like t-shirts) and was thinking about making a release on linux. He really loves KDE but one of his barriers to entry is that qt (his prefered method of implementation) is not favourable to his model. His choice was simple ignore that platform till they come around or he finds something better.

    Companies sell software. Individuals should be able to too. It's not like a shareware programs deny anyone the ability to roll their own. In fact they help scratch itches that some people can't scratch themselves.

    Support Shareware that's good and do the same for opensource.
  • Motif is as featureful and mature as Qt?? You must be kidding or you have never looked at Qt source. Just a simple example, creating a new widget in Qt takes very little time, compared to the Motif. Not to mention cross-platform portability, signals/slots mechanism instead of callback function mess in Motif, etc. Sorry, butyou just seem to have no idea, what Qt is capable of.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Moron.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    People don't seem to realise that Mozilla is actually a very good system for cross-platform development. It runs on Windows, Every flavour of *NIX around, Mac OS 9 and 10, BeOs, Amiga and basically almost every other computer system that people still use.

    It has a class framework to rival .NET and it does away with the whole widget/component metaphor altogether - you build your GUI in XML, giving you total control over how it looks and feels. Best of all, if you don't use any native code (ie. you only use Java/JavaScript/Python/Ruby to create your code) then it'll run on any PC without compilation. Want platform specific features? Well, you can have them too, just use C. -mike

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Man, you missed the boat. It's not just "Hey, I want to program this for a Mac." It's "Hey, I programmed this for Windows|Linux|other and I *may* want to increase my user base. What options do I have that I may find easy to use and learn, or already may be familiar with?"

    Look at programming languages. Availability reigns. Why pick C? Why use Java? Why use Perl? It's simply not just what the developer is used to that matters; good developers really try to plan ahead during the process of programming as well as future wants. But the tools for that platform must be. They choose a language by what options it gives them *during* the process of coding as well as in the *future* process of porting and improvements. Likewise with APIs.

    iow, people who write for one platform now know they may target the Mac, and may be more likely to use Qt. Mac programmers may now, seeing the availability, use Qt because they may want to break into other markets--hence the number of people using Qt, which Trolltech sorta cares about, increases.

    imnsho, this is incredibly useful for the programmer. It's a good tool, increases choice and maximizes their user base.

  • Yup, indeed - Opera uses QT libs..

  • No bloated C++ for me, Objective C is a far more trim and lean language.

    I'm curious. What, exactly, do you feel is bloated about C++?

    --

  • by DCMonkey (615) on Monday May 21, 2001 @03:47PM (#207108)
    It may be "just another *nix", but it is not just another X.
  • They're discussing the "de facto" standard for cross-platform apps, not the de-facto standard programming API.

    Anyhow, I've written apps for Windows using GTK. You just obviously haven't used them.

  • Funny -- there are many more cross-platform GUI libraries than Qt, and I'd hardly call it the "de facto" standard.

    GTK supports a decent number of platforms -- Win32, Unices (both via X and raw framebuffer), BeOS and, yes, an unofficial MacOS port is in the works (though it's still "pre-alpha").

    Why would I use GTK above Qt? First, I like C... but more importantly, Gtk is available under the LGPL; if I write a Qt app and want to release it without serious restrictions on what terms I can license under, I need to pay royalties to TrollTech.

    wxWindows also supports Windows, X (both GTK and Motif) and the Mac, and is licensed in a LGPL-ish way.

    Also, through the use of winelib, TWIN and similar libraries, raw win32 can be pretty portable (though I'm not about to use it).
  • Tsk, tsk -- the word is compartmentalization.

    The UI should be a separate (and much smaller) app from the backend and other muck -- that's the way I've always done projects of any significant size. Hence, the frontend (the only part using GTK, Qt or anything similar) need only be a small-scale app.

  • I can tell you with absolute certainty that GTK/Python coding is easier than Qt/C++ coding (and it also addresses the other issues you mention). I'll make no other claims with regard to comparing the two -- and perhaps Qt/Python is easier than Gtk/Python. I'm not here to discuss that.

    You should note that my primary objection was not wrt. the language or bindings, but rather the licensing. Surely you can appreciate that a LGPL-equivalent license is more reasonable for licenses than the GPL (and its close kin)?

  • I don't see anything wrong with TrollTech trying to get paid -- but if I'm writing code, I want to be able to license it as I see fit. Even if I'm writing a GPLed version of a piece of software immediately, I may wish to be able to incorporate it into a non-free product later. Using Qt would deny me that capability unless I pay TrollTech.

    I don't mind being asked to help pay TrollTech's costs on a philosophical basis -- they have every right to ask it -- but if Product A costs money to use in a non-free program and Product B doesn't, I'm going with Product B -- even if what I'm writing is immediately free.

    In short, as a short-sighted, greedy developer, I prefer to use LGPLed libraries. The communally optimal action may be different.

  • its more of a mess. yes, you can get it to run on windows,linux,mac etc. but its still a mess, and many unixes are still left out of cross platform GUI apps. tcl/tk is an example of a cross platform environment. python is a nice one. too bad it changes every 6 months...
  • I think it is Apple the company that demands that, not mac users (very few user communities speak with one voice). It is one of the upsides for customers that tight vendor platform control provides.

    I think we can think of a few downsides too, but this is already way off-topic.
  • They're still customers. Plus, they will unlikely be swiped from you by Microsoft. For the smaller players in the market (which MS style capitalism is supposed to be good for) 5-10% of the market is nothing to trivialize.

    Not everyone is Microsoft or EA.
  • Most of us are inface "poor".

    I know people that could buy and sell your pretentious *ss and still would not overpay for anything if they could avoid it. Photoshop, for many of us, is just that (overpriced and under necessary).
  • by joss (1346) on Monday May 21, 2001 @11:45PM (#207120) Homepage
    http://www.fltk.org has fewer features, doesn't support mac (just unix/win32), has fewer widgets, and yet is still better than QT. I like QT, it's my second favorite toolkit, but fltk (once you get used to it) is more productive than QT. Given a complex UI with about 30 separate user screens, multiple tabbed dialogs, etc etc, you get a working application considerably faster with QT.
    You get this with less code, and it runs faster, and you don't have to run through some weird code
    conversion program.

    It's faster, more elegant, free (LGPL), has better OpenGL support, but isn't well known, and is less feature rich.
  • Uh? Visual C++ is less than DKK 1000 (~USD 120), which basically means I can get my boss to buy it "just to test it". Qt is DKK 12,000 (~USD 1,500), which means that I have to already decide I want to use it, for my boss to allow the expense.

    Yes, Visual C++ can be a lot more expensive, if I buy it together with a lot of crap I don't need.
  • Nope, he want a price strategy that allows Troll Tech to make "a little" money on developers that make "a little" money a program that uses Qt.
  • How can an nearly contentless flame get a score 5?

    Someone state that he cannot use Qt, because he write shareware, and the Qt license options doesn't have an option for shareware authors. And that you somehow interpret as "someone desperate to complain about the product"? Gee, if being unable to use a product because of the license isn't a valid complaint, what in your book is. He wasn't even saying TT was evil or anything, just that they apparently wasn't interested in doing business with people like him, and that maybe they should be.
  • What are the free development tools used by these shareware authors on the Mac platform?

    Last I herd, the cheap dev kits for windows didn't exist in Mac versions and the kits that do exist for mac are expensive.
  • Troltech used to argue that. However once the author of the GPL sat down with his lawyer and explained to them what it actually means they believed so strongly in it's protection that they put the entire business on the line.

    BTW: As far as I know Troll Tech actually makes a profit selling QT. How many other Open Source companies can say that?
  • Never mind the GTK zealots, here come the Windows apologists.*

    TrollTech's stance on proprietary OSs has been, to put it bluntly, discriminatory. For free OSs, they're quite clear and logical: Pro or Enterprise for commercial, Free for GPL. But they have a horrible double standard for Windows and proprietary Unix. They're OK with using Free for GPL'd Unix projects. But they won't release a Free version of Qt/Windows. They require that you pay for Pro or Enterprise, even if your project is GPL.

    I'm still trying to figure out why. Technical reasons? I've looked all over TT's site, and I can't find any evidence that there's a difference between Qt/X Free and Pro editions, except for licensing terms. Surely they could do the same for Qt/Windows. Ensuring a revenue stream sounds good, but if that were the only reason, why release a Free version at all? Goodwill? Sounds better. But TT is making friends with the Linux and BSD developers at the expense of Windows developers.

    The only reason I can come up with is this: TrollTech can't stomach the thought of Open Source software on a Microsoft operating system. So they actively discourage such development with their tools. Maybe they think they're sticking it to Microsoft. Does anyone here think Microsoft gives a damn about TrollTech? If anything, Qt/Windows Free edition would get TrollTech on Microsoft's radar, since it would provide an exit path away from Windows. The only people getting screwed here are Windows developers, because they're being denied a powerful tool for purely political purposes, and TrollTech, because they're holding back their own success.

    *: Boy, I never thought I'd be saying that.

    We're not scare-mongering/This is really happening - Radiohead
  • but cross-platform development needs to forego this aspect of useability in favor of LCD functionality.

    Don't we need to be worried about the LCDs functioning on the Macs? Wasn't there just a story about Macs only shipping with LCDs?

    Oh, Least Common Denominator...



    Chris Cothrun
    Curator of Chaos

  • If Qt is ported, how hard would it be to port the KDE libraries to Win32 (with or without an Unixy layer such as Cygwin)?

    It would certainly be pretty sweet to have 'KDE for Windows'. Not the desktop itself but all the apps like Konqueror and KOffice. A collection of KDE applications for the Mac might be easier, if you're using Mac OS X then most of the Unixy stuff KDE relies on should already be there.
  • by psykelus (8514) on Monday May 21, 2001 @03:41PM (#207143) Homepage
    Will this further solidify Qt's position as the de facto way to develop cross-platform applications?

    wow, if I'd said that in a post, it'd be modded down as 'troll'

  • by scrytch (9198) <chuck@myrealbox.com> on Tuesday May 22, 2001 @05:52AM (#207147)
    > Many people (many slashdotters included) seem to discount the possbility of using Java for real cross-platform desktop apps

    Because Java is not cross platform. It is a platform, just happens to be a virtual one. And frankly, it still stinks for GUI apps: it looks different than everything else (even the windows "theme" of swing is just still slightly wrong), it doesn't even support wheel mice. Drag-and-drop interoperability with the rest of the system is nonexistent (doing it at all is highly baroque).

    As for speed... compare the responsiveness of the interface of LimeWire compared to BearShare. And do try that "hardware is cheap" argument when you get put in charge of purchasing ... however long you manage to keep that position.

    I'd no more write a GUI app in Java than I would in Perl.
    --
  • by Phexro (9814) on Monday May 21, 2001 @03:44PM (#207148)
    should be "qt for mac os x". which really isn't all that great - os x is just another *nix.

    qt for os 9, a year or two ago, might have been interesting news.

    this isn't.
    ---
  • by crovira (10242) on Tuesday May 22, 2001 @03:52AM (#207149) Homepage
    I think if it comes with a set of PARTs and APIs that I can use in generating GUI code based on object models, I'll give it a spin.

    All real-world systems I've worked on so far (government accounting, enterprise modeling, payroll/HR, loan, banking systems etc,) have weighed in at 700 to 1,200 window layouts and you don't maintain those "by hand" you regenerate the schema and GUI code when the underlying model changes.

    Any system you "paint" is too expensive to maintain other than as an in-house product.
  • First of all -- Use PowerArchiver for free instead of WinZip until the next version of Windows has ZIP shell integration.

    Second, other than Zip file handling, what shareware/freeware does the average Windows user really need? Some people use Agent, but I find that OE or Netscape are good enough newsreaders. I bought the ACDSee image viewer, but hardly ever use it. Sonique/WinAMP are free. Compare this to the Mac where basic tools like a terminal emulator or a Ping utility are distributed as shareware.

    I agree the shareware situation is pathetic on Windows (for every WinZip, there's 150 other crappier shareware Zip decompressors, not to mention the gallons of spyware and copy DLLs into your system folder crap). But most users avoid that braindamage by routing around it.
    --
  • 1) TT has hired several KDE developers, who continue to do much for KDE.

    2) TT entered into the Free Qt foundation, before the FSF had convinced their lawyers that the GPL was safe for them.

    3) TT employees have given tons of free support to KDE developers.

    4) Hosting www.kde.org

    About the only thing they haven't done for KDE is clone David Faure. :-)
  • by TWR (16835) on Monday May 21, 2001 @05:08PM (#207158)
    MacOS X sports native GUI support for Java. I've only heard good about it, never tried it though, anyone have experience?

    I've got some experience. I have a small (80K) client-side Java app, written in Swing, which tracks my Fantasy Baseball league. It runs well under OS 9's Java (with Swing 1.1.1 installed) and under various Win32 JDKs. Under OS X's Java, one table has its TableHeader smooshed out of existance (and I'm not hard-coding widget heights; I'm using the proper layout managers). Performance is also notably slower. There are several tables with large number of rows (>500) and redraw rates on them are not fast.

    Here's the surreal bit. The same machine running the same .jar file within the Classic environment or Mac OS 9.1 is much faster. You can actually have both running at the same time, by using two different launchers.

    So Java on Mac OS X has a ways to go still. But having JDK 1.3 present makes up for a heck of a lot of sins.

    -jon

  • by Arandir (19206) on Monday May 21, 2001 @04:29PM (#207162) Homepage Journal
    No, you don't have to pay royalties. Period. Just pay the professional edition. Once. No royalties, no additional payments, no nothing. It's actually freer in some ways than the GPL/QPL version, because you have zero restrictions upon your own code.

  • wxWindows is lagged behind on MacOS releases and it's rather confusing, there are like 3 versions available for the mac and who knows which you have to use. Plus, there's not a convienient binary download for the library which means you need a moderately recent CodeWarrier to actually build it (I have an older CodeWarrier and don't feel like updating it because it works for what I need, and OSX comes with adequate developer tools).

    Finally, wxWindows doesn't support OSX. Now I wish I had the skill to take on the project, but I don't. So until someone comes along that is willing to port and maintain wxWindows on OSX, it's not a great option for true cross platform compatability. It's a great toolkit, so I really hope this happens...

  • osx isn't really just another unix... It's just another OS which has a unix base which is mostly optional and other than that is completely different from most other unixes... The qt port for OSX may be slightly easier than an OS9 port, but not any worth worrying about. My guess is that they did this because they see OSX as giving a boost the desire for cross platform apps on the mac and decided it made sense. Seeing as OSX uses a completely different window system and libraries than any unix or windows, it's not like this was a trivial port, so they must have decided there is some money to be made with OSX that wasn't there for OS9...
  • This is a good thing. The worst aspect of the Windows software scene is the proliferation of shareware apps in areas where the code should be made freely available. By putting up a modest barrier to entry, Trolltach are actively discoraging small scale shareware, and I applaud them for it.
  • If people want to release their coding endeavors as shareware, that is their right.

    You are right. I'm not a raving free software bigot. I've nothing against the concept of shareware -- the classic example, as mentioned in a post below, being the early versions of Paint Shop Pro. A decent product at a decent price. What I dislike is the proliferation in the Windows world of small tools which have very little functionality, but which have a grossly oversized pricetag attached to them. The only thing this produces is a flourishing warez culture. For example, how many people do you know that use WinZip and have actually paid for it?

    I really believe the state of shareware on Windows has been a significant cause for the endemic illegal copying of software on that platform. Windows users get used to the fact that simple tools will be cripple- or nag- ware until they (or their tech savvy friend) downloads a crack for the product. This attitude then bleeds upwards, infecting the market for full commercial software such as Photoshop and Microsoft Office.

    Why do you believe shareware is a good thing?

  • > Will this further solidify Qt's position as the de facto way to develop cross-platform applications?

    Get real!! The de facto standard for cross-platform development is Java, and will remain so.
  • by hey! (33014)
    The above may be a troll, but it is a question that developers ask themselves whenever cross platform support comes up.

    My own company started out doing an application that was cross platform Mac/PC but ended up going away from the Mac. Part of the reason was that our platform dropped support for the Mac, but we'd already been deemphasizing Mac development. Even if the source is 100% compatible across platforms, you increase development and testing costs (make sure those screens are laid out very consistently -- MS's cross platform fonts are very, very helpful). You also greatly increase support costs and deployment complexity -- keeping up with the various versions of Windows is a challenge.

    If anything, the availability of cross platform software development platforms could drain commercial support away from minority platforms, as products which are incubated in the less widespread platforms are tempted leave for the larger and more lucrative PC market.

    Cross platform development makes no sense in the long run for commercial developers as a rule. There are several cross platform commiercial products that exist, but in each case they exist for unique reasons.

    On the open source side, I see things as very different. This software is maintained by people scratching an itch -- and if that itch is to have a piece of software such as Perl running on the Mac, then it will be done.

    Mac OS X having Unix inside has some very interesting strategic implications.

  • I'm curious -- the only thing I see under the link you gave that is actually wrong is the assertion that in-house deployment constitutes "distribution" and thus is not possible without public release of the source code. This simply conflates the intent of GPL with its mechanism. The intent is that source code become widely available for study and improvement, the mechanism is that it is available (with rights) to everyone who gets a binary.

    Otherwise I don't see anything particularly obnoxious about the link you posted.

  • Well I've never used it, but I think wxWindows may be fairly competetive.

    Anyway, I agree - Qt rocks, as does QtDesigner, not to mention the Qt documentation.

    It's pretty increadible that something of this quality is available free from a commercial company, or at all for that matter!
  • I suspect that overall you are right - but the fact remains that until there is some Aqua port of Gimp, either via GTK port, QT port, or pure carbon or whatever, the most interesting thing for OS X has not yet happened. Frankly, it's probably in Apple's interest to assign some developer to carbonizing The GIMP. Despite some grumbling from Adobe, it is the kind of thing that could create a viable development market for OS X, from the ground up. All it takes is the *perception* of a development community, and The GIMP is the most potent PR tool for Apple that way. Especially because you still hear from many boomer agers "But aren't there more applications for the PC?" It's not true in any meaningful sense, especially for end users, but the perception is still there.

    Boss of nothin. Big deal.
    Son, go get daddy's hard plastic eyes.
  • Wheel mice are on the list of features for J2SE 1.4 (Merlin), and I think DnD might be on the list, too (but don't quote me - it's been weeks since I was browsing the documentation).
  • Rather than moderating this discussion, I thought it would be a good idea to clarify that what you get is one year of free upgrades and email support, not a time-limited license.

    Nothing on Trolltech's pricing [trolltech.com] page indicates that you are limited to using the copy for one year. Rather, each copy is limited to one developer.

    To some the prices might seem "high", but having worked with cross-platform products from other companies ($10,000.00, plus runtime license fees), I can tell you that Trolltech's prices are very reasonable.

    I think Trolltech is being extremely reasonable in allowing free use for freely distributed software, while requiring pay-for products to pony up for platform licenses.

    If roughly $3000.00 USD for both *nix and WinXX is "too much" for your product's UI, I really have to question the business plan behind the product. Assuming a comparable price differential to add Mac, that would bring it up to about $4500.00 for an enterprise edition for one developer across all three platforms. Even if you're only charging $50.00 for your product, that's only 90 copies to pay for the setup costs. If you can't count on selling a few thousand copies, why do you think anyone would pay for your product?

  • What advantages does Qt have over OpenStep? OpenStep is a cross-platform (ported to Windows, GNUStep will have Windows and presently has *nix) OO development system that kicks Qt's ass any day! No bloated C++ for me, Objective C is a far more trim and lean language.
  • wxWindows does kick ass, and is by far the best cross-platform API available, unless you count SDL, but wxWindows is much broader in scope than SDL.

    The only drawback is being forced to use C++, which is, to me, a disgusting abortion of a programming language.

    However, using a minGW32 cross-compiler and wxWindows, i can build native GUI windows apps without having to leave my comfy Linux environment, nor pay Microsoft a dollar for their dev tools. This is A Very Good Thing

    Haven't needed to build a mac app yet, but since OS X has yet to really win over the mac userbase, i don't see an OS 9 compatible application as much of a problem, not to mention making your app usable on the vast installed base of macs that won't ever run OS X since theyre not fast enough.

  • If not anything else, initially, KDE made contributions in lots of bug reports and feature requests; those are enormously valuable, in particular for a company with a new product and little resources for testing.

    Because KDE made bug reports to trolltech, you paint the picture of trolltech being a greedy company, taking their bug reports and using them to fix their product. And because of this, trolltech now owes something to the world, as if GPL'ing their main product is not enough? Would anyone dare to make this accusation of mozilla, which also relies to a degree on outside users for bug reports? Does mozilla owe us anything, instead of the other way around? The hypocrisy is unbelievable!

    And you think trolltech getting back a few patches is somehow "getting more out of" the deal than by KDE having a whole toolkit for their use?

    If you want to argue that Qt is "more featureful" or "more mature", forget it. Each of those toolkits has advantages and disadvantages compared to other toolkits, and Qt isn't a clear winner.

    We can't compare toolkits based on features and maturity of design? Why the hell not? (Side note: Motif?? Tcl/Tk??? Are you being serious, or did you just type "gui toolkit" into google?)

    I think the KDE developers didn't look hard enough and got snookered by a company with an agenda.

    Agenda of what? Aside from bug reports, what have they gained out of this? I bunch of ungrateful OSS zealots, pretty much forcing them to GPL their main source of income?

    You're as much a babe in the woods when it comes to flaming as when it comes to trusting software vendors.

    Trusting software vendors? That statement has undertones of open-source zealotry, which would explain a LOT of your arguments. Doesn't anyone who buys or uses a product from a software company "trust" them?

    But let's get to substantiation: maybe you can get TrollTech to remove their false and misleading information about the GPL from their site.

    Didn't find anything misleading, sorry. But if you do, by all means point it out to them: info@trolltech.com [mailto]

    ---
  • by dimator (71399) on Monday May 21, 2001 @10:04PM (#207190) Homepage Journal
    I wish I had mod points.

    The majority of the slashdot community has given nothing but ill-will and flames to all things Qt. It seems everytime there's a positive article about Qt, there's a dozen requisite GTK zealots that start whining: "bla bla bla license bla bla bla GPL bla bla bla I hate C++"

    Now, there's complaints like this [slashdot.org] about how you can't use Qt for shareware. Are you fucking kidding me? Is everyone that desperate to complain about this product? Will trolltech ever catch a break here? I think not. (How's that saying go, about closed minds?)


    ---
  • An 1 year MSDN subscription is cheaper than a Qt developer license, and you get a lot more for your money in terms of tools, documentation, libraries, compilers, etc.

    Consider the source! Microsoft has made a habit of bundling software at a lower cost. Do you think MSDN is a better value because it was designed to be so, or because it's got Microsoft's billions behind it (meaning, it's OK if it loses money, whereas Trolltech has to make money on it's only real product). Secondly, I don't remember if MSDN tools run/build on *nix and now the Mac, so maybe you can get back to me on that.

    In fact, as far as I am concerned, the only reason Qt is as nice as it is is because of the enormous contributions of the KDE project

    What contributions are those? I don't recall any examples of KDE code (which would be GPL) getting back into the early Qt (which were not GPL). This is slashdot, you have to support your claims.

    10 years ago, a C++ cross platform GUI library may have been a big deal, these days, they are a dime a dozen.

    Please, complete the following, with toolkits that are as featureful and mature as Qt:
    1.
    2.
    3.
    4.
    5.
    6.
    7.
    8.
    9.
    10.
    11.
    12.

    Altogether, I don't think Qt is a good value for commercial projects.

    http://www.trolltech.com/references/customers/ [trolltech.com]. It seems AT&T, NASA, Ford, IBM, and Intel, among others, disagree with you.

    I also think it was a poor choice for the KDE project

    Is there an argument behind this, or just the claim? Can this argument even be defended? Do you know if the requirements of the KDE project could be met by anyone else?

    (I'm sorry if the flamethrower was on full-blast, but one thing I can't stand is groundless, unsubstantiated claims by zealots.)


    ---
  • Are there any developers out there really developing cross platform products that target Macs?

    This discussion has been obfuscated by the bad summary of the announcement - it's Qt for Mac OS X. From the postings it's clear that a lot of people thought (rightly IMHO) that the phrase "Qt for Mac" meant "Qt for Mac OS 8/9".

    Pity we can't mod down poor postings on the Slashdot home page...

  • Hey bob, chill out.

    Did you hear what Xiphoid said? All those features are in gtk1.3 (development series) Check it out, and stop trolling. Lets try to be friendly and not call people morons that are trying to help you out with your facts.

    My opinion: How can a toolkit call itself advanced when it doesn't even support C? At least GTK can claim that it supports over 30 language bindings (some not so well, granted). I beleive qt supports only 2. Last I checked, the only supported version of qt under the GPL was for X11/*nix.

  • You were the one who initially brought up GTK and said it was sorely lacking compared to qt. Sorry bob, you invited this digression. Anyway, sure, gtk's c++ bindings aren't as consistent and thorough as qt's, but they are very usable, as can be seen by the various projects that use it. Check out "gabber" a gtk-- jabber program. Seems to work fine and actually seem pretty usable. As for the troll that gtk makes "horrendous sacrifices" to be cross-language, well that's a bit over the top. Gtk is a very versatile language, and no, it wont take advantage of every nook and cranny of every language it supports, but that's hardly a big deal. gtk just works. For the well supported languages it has bindings in, it works very well. I know your mission is to promote qt and denigrate gtk, but please get your facts straight.
  • by barneyfoo (80862)
    How can you disprove (or prove) a subjective opinion?

    I can't say whether you've proven it or not, but I can sure say you haven't given very many supporting reasons. Silly MsBob. Heh.
  • by goingware (85213) on Monday May 21, 2001 @04:39PM (#207199) Homepage
    You can find a list of application frameworks, many of which are cross-platform and many of which are open source, at the GUI Toolkit, Framework Page [geocities.com].

    Their forwarding link at http://www.theoffice.net/guitool [theoffice.net] seems to be down but the original at Geocities is still up.

    Please also read my essay on why it is important to write cross-platform code [sourceforge.net] - with quotes from Judge Jackson on why Microsoft felt it was important enough to put a stop to cross-platform development that it broke the law.

    My favorite cross-platform application framework is ZooLib [sourceforge.net], written by my friend Andy Green and his clients Learning in Motion. It allows you to write a single C++ sourcebase and deliver multithreaded native executables for Mac OS, BeOS, Windows and Linux/XWindows.


    Mike [goingware.com]

  • Combine the nice syntax of Swing with the uncruftyness of Qt. We can have an open source visual J++

    yes. I am kidding.
  • Much of the mac development community consists of people writing (and often subsisting) off of shareware apps they sell. In fact, one of the bouyancy devices apple has in this sea of windows is all the people who write shareware apps to fill in for all the imporant windows software that isn't ported to the mac; it's too bad their work doesn't get more attention. Mac shareware isn't crappy like windows shareware; much of it is high quality stuff with interfaces that are far more intuitive and less frustrating than anything you're ever going to find in the linux or windows worlds. GraphicConverter and Escape Velocity are prime examples of the great stuff that's been produced over the years. For a mac shareware author who codes for the love of the platform and only pulls in 25K a year, $1500 for a Qt license is going to break the bank.
  • ... and there are several other reasonable C++ toolkits.

    Honest question: like what ? The only other I know is wxWindows, which is based on GTK+(or Motif) for Unices.
    In particular, which one were around, ready for use, when KDE started (like you said in your other post)?

    Qt may have been a good initial catalyst and motivator for KDE, but I think the value of KDE greatly overshadows the value of Qt by now.

    That is what I call a good investment. We should not complain about all these failing open-source companies , and then complain about the fews that, playing fair, manage to succeed.
  • Unfortunately, the website is a bit out of date. The truth is that the MacOS version of wxWindows has supported OS X (Carbon) for months now, and it now compiles without any modifications using your choice of CodeWarrior 5.3 + the latest Universal Headers, CodeWarrior 6.x as-is, or Apple's gcc on Mac OS X.

    Yes, there are some bugs left, but I've been able to work around those without too much trouble, and there are multiple people actively working on this port.

    If you like wxWindows and want to port to the Mac, just get the latest code from CVS and join the mailing list.
  • Read my previous post. wxMac is actually coming along really well, and it supports OS X now.
  • Have you ever tried writing wxWindows apps? They do an excellent job of mixing the important native controls (scrollbars, buttons, edit text fields) with emulated widgets (tree controls, help viewer, tabbed dialogs) provided for platforms that don't support that particular widget. Try it, it's way better than Java.
  • by Dominic_Mazzoni (125164) on Monday May 21, 2001 @07:20PM (#207213) Homepage
    Are there any developers out there really developing cross platform products that target Macs? In a similar vein, Mac enthusiasts like to focu on aesthetics, but cross-platform development needs to forego this aspect of useability in favor of LCD functionality.

    I'm leading the development of Audacity [cmu.edu], a cross-platform audio editor, for Linux, Windows, and MacOS (both 8/9 and X), using wxWindows [wxwindows.org]. MacOS is a very important platform for me - I love Linux, and I've advertised Audacity on a number of Linux sites, but we still get more MacOS downloads than Linux (and far more Windows downloads than either of those). A year ago, when I started this project, Qt wasn't an option. I think I'd still choose wxWindows, but Qt is definitely looking better.

    I'd also disagree with the statement that cross-platform apps have to target the LCD. In Audacity, all of the audio I/O code is written natively for each platform and supports some special features on each one. wxWindows fills in a lot of features that are missing on one or more platforms, for example providing a tree control and file dialog on Linux, but allowing you to use the native ones on Windows. Also, the Linux version of Audacity supports a lot of command-line options that just aren't available for Windows and MacOS, but the MacOS version lets you drag and drop files onto the application, for example.

    Also, there are plenty of other cross-platform apps that target MacOS, both 9 and X. How about Mozilla?

  • is it still $1500 license per developer for commercial apps (like with linux/windows)?

    Is the $1500 per year, or is it for a few releases or what?


    Treatment, not tyranny. End the drug war and free our American POWs.
  • I would think so, at least wrt OS X (classic is a completely different story). The BSD layer should make the low-level parts trivial.

    /Brian
  • Almost every "feature" you listed was implemented in Gtk first or simultaneously (themes, internationalization). And many things you list are so subjective as to be completely useless and highly contententious "measures" of a toolkits merits (sensible class hierarchy, feature complete widgets, widget speed, proper keyboard focus, clean API.) In fact, the only thing you mention not "released" in gtk is rtl language support, but Gtk 1.3 with Pango is already available for download, so please don't insinuate it is vapour. Please cut the FUD, the only substantial difference between gtk and qt is the philosophy behind their design. They are functionaly equivilent, its just a matter of developer taste. Both toolkits are here to stay, and both sets of developers really get along quite well and are working to make their respective toolkits transparent to the user. Please stop trying to drive a wedge here.
  • Sorry, but clearly wxWindows is the clear choice for developing cross platform applications. Part of why wxWindows is so nice is because it uses the native widgets of the platform it runs on. Therefore its look and feel is flawless next to other platform dependant apps. This is the toolkit that AbiSource uses to develope AbiWord.

    Just so i'm not completely off topic, I think its great that both of the leading toolkits (Qt, gtk) for unix are becoming more and more cross platform. It can only help to bring native apps to linux.


  • we have some guys developing some smallish FLTK apps in house...i don't know if it's their lack of design skills or FLTK itself, but damn do those apps look ugly!!

    i was at a demo yesterday, and without exaggeration, their FLTK app was the ugliest looking GUI app i've ever seen on any platform.

    do FLTK apps on windows look the same as they do on linux? i sure hope not...

  • No. The GPL expressly forbids building non-Free software using GPL libraries. This is exactly why the GNU C libraries are not GPL, but LGPL. You can read about it at the FSF page about LGPL [gnu.org]. If the versions of QT are basically the same, except for licensing, then if you use QT Free you should be willing to grant the same freedom to your users that you yourself have gotten from Trolltech. If their paid licensing options are too expensive for proprietary developers, then the market should correct that-- they have the choice to change their price or lose customers and go out of business.

    I will agree that some of their behavior is disconcerting (although perfectly understandable-- software as product rather than service has huge mental real estate in our culture, due in no small part to Mr. Gates of MS and his famous "stealing" letter). TT is making progress, and our only major concern is that Qt3 would not be GPL. But given the shared future Qt and KDE seem to have, I wouldn't worry about it too much.
  • Are there any developers out there really developing cross platform products that target Macs?

    Hmmm. There's Microsoft, Adobe, Macromedia, ...

    In a similar vein, Mac enthusiasts like to focu on aesthetics

    Actually, they seem to focus on usability, which includes aesthetics among other characteristics.
  • I think, therefore I am. (For this one picosecond anyway--all my memories might be just a static ROM image.)

    Is this the Dixie Flatline Construct?
  • Why is your link to a "news" story that is four years old?

    Lest I be modded up, let me also add: I have used and loved Macs for a long time. I'm just not so fascinated by them anymore. (Now my fascination is Linux.)
    --
    "Linux is a cancer" -- Steve Ballmer, CEO Microsoft.

  • this is great news, a cross platform toolkit that is currently very accepted by developers and widely used.

    If this had happened a few years ago microsoft would have gone after this just as they went after java and quicktime. But now they have to sit back and watch as a cross-platform toolkit actually becomes the favored toolkit of developers, as it has become, or seems to have the ability to.

    Now we need to work on cross-platform C++ :)

  • They haven't changed anything. There are no traces of wxWindows in the CVS version of AbiWord.

    By the way, the parent post is not offtopic. It's an informative reply to a karma whore trying to look informative without checking facts. It so easy too fool moderators :-(

  • by OCatenac (218161) on Monday May 21, 2001 @04:12PM (#207238)

    Keep thinking that. Even Microsoft is starting to wake up to the reality that Windows on a desktop PC is becoming less and less important. Why do you think they brought out C# (aka Project Cool aka Java Killer) and they've started this whole .NET initiative? They're trying to find some way to extend their monopoly to the web.

    Furthermore Microsoft is starting to realize that people aren't upgrading at the furious rate they used to. This is why Microsoft is seriously considering trying to shaft all those folks who buy their OS by forcing them to pay a monthly fee in order to use it. Personally, I'll be glad when this happens because it will make a free OS that much more appealing to a lot of people. Having to pay a Microsoft tax won't go over well.

    Onorio Catenacci


    --
    "And that's the world in a nutshell -- an appropriate receptacle."

  • There are many libraries, yes.

    However, I can't name that many crossplatform applications. Mozilla/Netscape come to mind, but those use a custom widget set. I believe Opera uses Qt, but I am not sure (someone correct me if I'm wrong). Limewire is the only Java application I can name. Really, there are barely any crossplatform apps out there.

    Zoolib is a nice idea, although it is barely usable. wxWindows sounds like a good library, although I can't name any applications built with it. That leaves GTK and Qt, of which I can name _many_ applications. However, win32 GTK applications don't look/behave like native Windows apps (not to mention that it is beta).

    So it could be reasoned that Qt is the de facto crossplatform standard, simply because it has the most potential. In other words, all these developers using the GPL Qt for Linux know a very powerful, truly crossplatform API.

    -Justin
  • ... TrollTech has gotten a lot more out of KDE than they have given.


    They released their flagship product as GPL. Really, what more can they do? While obviously TrollTech has gained a lot of popularity through KDE, their giving away of a very high-quality toolkit has been a great benefit to the *nix community. I'd say the community has gained more than Trolltech has gained, however it's silly to argue about who had the greater benefit. In this case, everyone has won.

    -Justin
  • Well, for one thing, they could stop misleading people about the meaning of the GPL. It is, in fact, perfectly fine to develop commercial/closed source software with a GPL'ed library under a number of circumstances

    It's not terribly misleading; more of a subtle request. Anyone who has done their GPL homework should know what is acceptable. Obviously Trolltech should be concerned about in-house development (probably the large majority of all software), since it would require no commercial license. This is likely the reason there is no GPL version of Qt/Windows.

    big loss for Linux: that situation would be worse than the situation we had with Motif on UNIX.

    I don't recall the old days of Motif, but was the situation really exactly like this? Could you develop a GPL application with Motif? With Qt as GPL, and a BSD version if Trolltech goes under, Linux is in great shape.

    Really, the only problem anyone could have with Qt is that you have to pay for it if you do commercial development. This has never made it "unnattractive" however. As stated in other comments to this article, many companies have invested in Qt.

    In any case, technically, I don't think Qt is where Linux GUIs should be going anyway.

    Where should they be going? Do you not like KDE? Are there any Linux toolkits/GUIs that are going where you think they should?

    -Justin
  • by infiniti99 (219973) <justin@affinix.com> on Monday May 21, 2001 @04:35PM (#207242) Homepage
    The Qt license is a one-time fee per-developer (not per-machine). It only is a yearly fee if you want support.
  • MSoft doesn't write anything cross-platform. Their software for Mac is totally rewritten from spec, which explains why the hideous bugs in Mac IE5 are so different from the hideous bugs in MSWin IE5. I believe some of the code is reused, but even the dev teams are entirely distinct. MSoft's support of Mac software is non-existent as well: just try to find a patch, let alone documentation distinct from the windows docs.
  • I spend much less then $1000 for my environment.
    I use Vim.
    It does everything I could want. But thats for webdesign (php, perl, html, javascript, etc) so no one really cares what I have to say...


    The Lottery:
  • by HaiLHaiL (250648) on Monday May 21, 2001 @05:15PM (#207246) Homepage
    Many people (many slashdotters included) seem to discount the possbility of using Java for real cross-platform desktop apps... I wouldn't be so quick to do so, however. Look at apps like LimeWire [limewire.com], Sun's Forte Java IDE [sun.com], and the number of sourceforge projects [sourceforge.net] done in Java (though admittedly many of these aren't desktop apps). Hardware is cheap right now, eliminating Java's biggest drawback as a language (speed). Many people are now learning programming with Java (like I did), and it has many appeals as a language, cross-platform ability being only one of them. Java's a desktop contender, and will only grow as such.

    Now if only Sun would actually open Java's source [slashdot.org]...

  • Are there any developers out there really developing cross platform products that target Macs? In a similar vein, Mac enthusiasts like to focu on aesthetics, but cross-platform development needs to forego this aspect of useability in favor of LCD functionality.

    It's certainly nice to see a common GUI API set available for another platform, but how useful is it really going to be?

    Dancin Santa
  • Font antialiasing, real table (spreadsheet) widget, internationalization, clean API, proper keyboard focus handling. If you don't think the above list is of dubious merit you are a slashdot moron too.

    I didn't say that GTK was going away. It's all the GTK gnomes (such as yourself) that always have to post some moronic GTK plug in every QT thread that inspired the initial post.

  • I have a problem with wxWindows approach to provision of cross platform portability. wxWindows wraps native widgets which sounds pretty exciting (you get the real stuff) but it has many drawbacks. The first problem with such toolkits is that you're limited to the lowest common denominator of widgets. If you're writing a cross platform motif/win32 app and want to use a windows widget that doesn't exist in motif you're out of luck with wxWin as a wrapper. This can obviously be resolved by having a hybrid toolkit that uses native widgets when it can and resorts to drawing widgets when it has to. I've never seen the hybrid approach done right though.

    The other problem with wrapping is that it makes deriving new widgets based on those in your toolkit tricky and buggy. because your base widget has several implementations it's often problematic to derive a new one that is free of bugs and behaves the same way on all platforms of interest. This is the main concern I have with wrapper toolkits.

  • Language bindings? I don't care to be honest. QT binds to the one language I like and that's good enough for me. Can't do C++? Fine don't use it. Just stop posting irrelevant stuff in a QT thread.

    I enjoy the fact that QT doesn't compromise the beauty of the API by trying to stretch across too many languages. Different programming languages require different design approaches. There is no good software design that is completely language neutral. GTK tries to be OO very hard but it's implemented in a procedural language. Hence it's ugly. GTK promissed to be cross-language and look at the sorry state of its C++ bindings. A cross platform toolkit that is also cross language can't be done without horrendous sacrifices to the readibility of the API. I'd rather have the pragmatic compromise that QT offers.

  • I elected a toolkit for my project roughly a year ago and I gave thought to gtk--. At the time it was sorely incomplete (half of the widgets weren't wrapped) and was buggy. There was at least several memory leaks that purify traced to gtk--. For all the gtk promotion and qt bashing I still have to encounter a single post that disproves my assertion that QT is the most advanced and complete cross platform library in existence.
  • by MSBob (307239)
    No it's not subjective. It's an easily quantified measurement. Let's battle it out on a feature count (let's skip the bug count(s) for now even though my bet is that looking into it would put QT even further ahead). Let's treat each platform supported as a single feature. Each complex widget is a feature. Each non-trivial toolkit element (eg. alpha channel, AA fonts) is a feature. Wanna have a go at it?
  • But where are things going? I think more and more interfaces are built around documents, foremost HTML, XML, and DOM. That's true even for UI "screens" that are never transported through HTTP. It's both a look and an approach to programming. Foremost, it means that UIs aren't designed anymore by programmatically or visually placing widgets in particular locations. Instead, UIs are authored.

    Just what we need! Even more sluggishness in the UI department just like exemplified by the slowest UI on the planet: Mozilla/XUL. Whatever happened to the concept of runtime efficiency in software development?

  • in C++ Builder?! Yay! I'll buy it for sure. Having been tortured with MFC for a number of years I can't wait to ditch it altogether. In fact I've been coding windows only apps in QT for a while now because it's so good.
  • by MSBob (307239) on Tuesday May 22, 2001 @04:18AM (#207257)
    I've used fltk for three and a half years. It's a widget toolkit for a product I used to be involved in developing. FLTK is nice and simple but its architecture is flawed in a couple of ways. Foremostly its keyboard event handling system makes decent keyboard support problematic (FLTK doesn't have a notion of keyboard focus). Also they use way too many static variables to ever have a chance of making the code thread safe. FLTK is excellent for smaller apps but I wouldn't pick it up again for development of anything substantial. Having said that it's still an impressive effort and Bill Siptzak is a bloody genius.
  • by MSBob (307239) on Monday May 21, 2001 @05:21PM (#207258)
    And Slashdot is a lame forum. Actually it's slashdot's readership that's lame (99% of it anyway).

    Qt is unparalleled if you're looking for developing cross platform applications. The class hierarchy is sensibly laid out, the widget are feature complete out of the box and simple to extend if you have to, it sports full internationalization including rtl based languages under all platforms, it is almost as fast as native toolkits, allows for a very good emulation of look and feel of various platforms, uses the signal slot mechanism, offers full proper keyboard focus handling, offers a choice of gui builders, offers clean unambigious API. QT is so astonishingly good it makes all other cross platform toolkits look bleak. I challenge all the morons here to name ONE toolkit that has all the features of QT. The rule is you're only allowed to mention existing features. Not 'planned features' or 'anticipated features' cuz there's a lot of them in GTK. But it ain't there yet.

    Those who had to write anything bigger than a single dialog based utility come to appreciate its power. But there are not a lot of them hanging out on slashdot.

  • Did you even look at the screenshots? QT/Mac is quite capable of looking and feeling exactly like any other Mac app.
  • To some the prices might seem "high", but having worked with cross-platform products from other companies ($10,000.00, plus runtime license fees), I can tell you that Trolltech's prices are very reasonable.

    An 1 year MSDN subscription is cheaper than a Qt developer license, and you get a lot more for your money in terms of tools, documentation, libraries, compilers, etc. What TrollTech is charging is more than many places spend on all their software and hardware combined per year.

    Commercial cross-platform toolkits I have used in the past cost about as much as Qt, but they sure came with a lot more tools. In fact, as far as I am concerned, the only reason Qt is as nice as it is is because of the enormous contributions of the KDE project: without KDE, Qt would have been quickly forgotten.

    Besides, the fact that some companies seem bent on charging a captive audience outrageous prices while floundering in the market doesn't mean that any cross-platform GUI library is worth that kind of money these days. 10 years ago, a C++ cross platform GUI library may have been a big deal, these days, they are a dime a dozen.

    Nothing on Trolltech's pricing page indicates that you are limited to using the copy for one year. Rather, each copy is limited to one developer

    Realistically, for commercial products, you need to get the annual maintenance: Microsoft and Apple keep rolling out new versions of their OS, and as a developer, you need to keep up.

    If roughly $3000.00 USD for both *nix and WinXX is "too much" for your product's UI, I really have to question the business plan behind the product.

    That's a lame argument. Commercial projects usually involve many developers, not just a single person. And if we are talking about small developers or consultants working on single projects, $2000-$4000/year is a lot of money.

    Altogether, I don't think Qt is a good value for commercial projects. I also think it was a poor choice for the KDE project, and TrollTech has gotten a lot more out of KDE than they have given.

  • They released their flagship product as GPL. Really, what more can they do?

    Well, for one thing, they could stop misleading people about the meaning of the GPL. It is, in fact, perfectly fine to develop commercial/closed source software with a GPL'ed library under a number of circumstances, yet TrollTech keeps claiming otherwise [trolltech.com].

    I'd say the community has gained more than Trolltech has gained, however it's silly to argue about who had the greater benefit. In this case, everyone has won.

    I think if a GUI library takes hold on Linux that requires payment to some vendor for any kind of commercial software development, as TrollTech claims for Qt, then Linux becomes a pretty unattractive platform for commercial developers. It also becomes an unattractive platform for people like IBM and Sun to support. Altogether, I think that would be a big loss for Linux: that situation would be worse than the situation we had with Motif on UNIX.

    In any case, technically, I don't think Qt is where Linux GUIs should be going anyway. Qt is merely redoing in a slightly cleaner way where Microsoft was 5 years ago, and that style of GUI programming was outdated and cumbersome even back then.

  • What contributions are those? I don't recall any examples of KDE code (which would be GPL) getting back into the early Qt (which were not GPL).

    If not anything else, initially, KDE made contributions in lots of bug reports and feature requests; those are enormously valuable, in particular for a company with a new product and little resources for testing. Later, people in the KDE project also started donating code back to TrollTech, although I don't know whether that was before the GPL release or after (not that it matters).

    It seems AT&T, NASA, Ford, IBM, and Intel, among others, disagree with you.

    I have worked at three of those companies listed as references, and I have never heard of any products developed with Qt there. Often, we'd get listed by vendors if anybody ordered a copy to play around with. I think in that kind of list, even Tcl/Tk would win hands down in terms of customers and commercial products released.

    [10 years ago, a C++ cross platform GUI library may have been a big deal, these days, they are a dime a dozen.] Please, complete the following, with toolkits that are as featureful and mature as Qt:

    For cross platform development, depending on your requirements, wxWindows, FLTK, MFC/Win32 (with compatibility libraries on some platforms), Interviews, Gtk, Motif (with compatibility libraries on some platforms), Tcl/Tk, Swing, and Fox are all reasonable choices. If you want to argue that Qt is "more featureful" or "more mature", forget it. Each of those toolkits has advantages and disadvantages compared to other toolkits, and Qt isn't a clear winner.

    [I also think it was a poor choice for the KDE project] Is there an argument behind this, or just the claim? Can this argument even be defended? Do you know if the requirements of the KDE project could be met by anyone else?

    As the "I think" indicates, it's my opinion. Since I had more than a decade of GUI development under my belt around the time the KDE project started, I think I had a pretty good idea of what was out there at the time. I think the KDE developers didn't look hard enough and got snookered by a company with an agenda. Your opinion may be different, of course.

    (I'm sorry if the flamethrower was on full-blast, but one thing I can't stand is groundless, unsubstantiated claims by zealots.)

    You're as much a babe in the woods when it comes to flaming as when it comes to trusting software vendors. But let's get to substantiation: maybe you can get TrollTech to remove their false and misleading information about the GPL [trolltech.com] from their site.

  • Sure, Troll Tech has invested money and time in KDE. I don't think that's altruism: the existence of KDE probably works out the equivalent of millions of dollars a year in advertising, testing, debugging, and product-related research for Troll Tech. Without KDE, I don't think Troll Tech would even be on the map. On the other hand, I think KDE would be just fine without Troll Tech/Qt: you can argue whether Gtk+ is better or worse than Qt, but they are pretty close, and there are several other reasonable C++ toolkits. Qt may have been a good initial catalyst and motivator for KDE, but I think the value of KDE greatly overshadows the value of Qt by now.
  • I don't recall the old days of Motif, but was the situation really exactly like this?

    No, I think the Motif situation was actually somewhat better. As I recall, at least the people who made the UNIX workstations were part of the consortium that owned Motif. With Qt, you would be asking commercial backers of Linux to engage in marketing and support for the benefit of a company, Troll Tech, that they have no commercial interest in.

    Really, the only problem anyone could have with Qt is that you have to pay for it if you do commercial development. This has never made it "unnattractive" however.

    How would one be able to quantify that? $2000-$3000/year is more than many companies spend on hardware and software per developer. For many people, the evaluation probably stops right there. In the three corporate jobs I have had, that kind of per-developer license would have required enormous red tape to justify.

    Think also of all the missed opportunities. Assuming for the sake of argument that Qt is actually a nice library, wouldn't it be great if lots of Windows developers used it even if they don't need cross-platform development? Then their software would run right away on Linux. Well, they won't do that at these prices.

    And, assuming for the moment that KDE would win the Linux desktop, all of a sudden the cost for a commercial software developer on Linux goes from $0 to $2000+/year, all sent to a little company in Norway. Of course, the idea is so absurd that it is pretty clear that KDE cannot take over the Linux desktop as long as it is based on Qt: it will always be at most one of at least two major players, until Linux itself goes away.

    [In any case, technically, I don't think Qt is where Linux GUIs should be going anyway.] Where should they be going? Do you not like KDE? Are there any Linux toolkits/GUIs that are going where you think they should?

    I think KDE itself is a very good software engineering effort within the requirements it set for itself. It's what Windows NT and Windows 98 should have been.

    But where are things going? I think more and more interfaces are built around documents, foremost HTML, XML, and DOM. That's true even for UI "screens" that are never transported through HTTP. It's both a look and an approach to programming. Foremost, it means that UIs aren't designed anymore by programmatically or visually placing widgets in particular locations. Instead, UIs are authored.

  • Honest question: like what ? The only other I know is wxWindows, which is based on GTK+(or Motif) for Unices. In particular, which one were around, ready for use, when KDE started (like you said in your other post)?

    For a C++-based system, I think Interviews would have been a good choice. Garnet might have been as well. More generally, however, I have my doubts that KDE should have been based on C/C++ in the first place. Contributing to the GNUStep project might have been a better approach, as might have been developing a new toolkit.

    We should not complain about all these failing open-source companies , and then complain about the fews that, playing fair, manage to succeed.

    In my opinion, TrollTech hasn't been playing fair: I think they have misled people and taken advantage of the open source community for their own financial gain. Thanks, but I'd rather do entirely without that kind of commercial involvement in open source.

  • I've had to pass on qt for cross platform development because they steadfastly refuse to believe in the concept of shareware. You are allowed by the qt lisence to either give your software away for free or sell it (For any amount from 1 dollar to a million) by paying them a tremendously high yearly commercial fee. Their own page discounts the shareware market as too small to be bothered with. I think a quick look at winfiles or tucows will prove them wrong. Low cost software is a huge market, qt refuses to be a part of it. Personally I'm hoping they come around, it used to not even be available for free software. wxWindows is pretty good for windows/linux ports, but it's Mac port is way lagging. So in short. Free software? Yes, Large expensive packages? Yes. Cheap shareware type software? Not yet.

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