Qt is great. Don't use it.


Posted on 2021-03-08 21:32:00, Last edited on 2021-03-09 15:04:28, Viewed 2229 times

Qt is a free and open source C++ GUI toolkit. It's cross-platform, easy to write in, and unlike GTK, it doesn't break all the time after each update. I love Qt, and KDE is really nice to use with it.

Anyway, Qt 6 came out recently as the successor to Qt 5. Therefore, the Qt Company has decided to release Qt 5 as part of an long-term support (LTS) thing, requiring you to pay money to receive further updates to Qt 5. So, as of version 5.15.3, Qt 5 is now commercial-only.

All right, that's kind of stupid. Big deal if it's just an old version, though, right?

Well, the Qt Company decided to make the utterly boneheaded decision of releasing Qt 6 in an incomplete state. Stuff like Multimedia, at this time, is totally and completely absent, and I NEED Multimedia for some of my Qt projects. Playing back audio is important for my Invader project which uses it to play back sound files.

Oh well. I guess I'm not using Qt 6. Except I can't use the latest version of Qt 5, either, because the latest version of that stuff is behind a paywall. No big deal, right? I could just pay some amount of money and get a license to it, right? Even if I could afford to pay the $3950 for Qt, my project is GPL with multiple contributors, so I'd be obligated to provide source code. If I don't receive it under a GPL-friendly license, though, that's not going to work. I could continue using Qt 5.15.2, but then I won't get the fixes and improvements from Qt 5.15.3 unless I backported such fixes from Qt 6. However, I don't want to deal with the humongous maintenance burden of this. So I'm kind of stuck on this old version. Let's hope there aren't any CVEs or, say, 200+ bugs.

Gosh, that reminds me. Do you remember when Open Sound System (OSS) went closed-source? Do you remember what happened? Everyone switched to ALSA, and nobody used OSS anymore. OSS eventually became open-source again, but literally nobody cared. Today, everyone uses PulseAudio on top of ALSA, and Linux audio is awful. But at least it's forever free, just like GTK. Let's just use that, instead.