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Why is QT so expensive? 5000+ dollar a year



  • Hi,

    I transferred to CodeBlocks C++ with wxwidgets. I can advice everyone to write a project with it. It's free of charge. The functionality is almost the same. And the usage of less QT libraries will bring you happiness !!

    Good luck, and have a nice day !!



  • @coders

    You dont have to buy the commercial version.
    You can use the community version for free, if you can agree with the terms of use (LGPL / GPL license)

    All you need is your Qt Account



  • @Pl45m4 ,

    That is infact the problem.

    If you make an app like Wattsapp... Or a Windows 10 ultimate Rat Killer... in the future...
    How much will you pay to QT every year?

    That's the only reason i quited QT and started at zero with CodeBlocks.
    But i have no regret so far.
    Just learning more of the std:: lib's. And trying to code more universal C++. QT was a nice learning curve, and there is lot's of info if you are a newbie.


  • Moderators

    @coders said in Why is QT so expensive? 5000+ dollar a year:

    It's free of charge.

    The open-source source version of Qt is free in all senses of the word (free beer and free speech). This is the same as Code::Blocks and wxWidgets.

    https://www.qt.io/download-open-source

    The functionality is almost the same.

    Not really.

    Qt wxWidgets
    Traditional GUIs
    Fluid GUIs
    Many non-GUI functionality
    Mobile platforms


  • @JKSH said in Why is QT so expensive? 5000+ dollar a year:

    of Qt is free in all senses of the word (free beer and free speech).

    I have used QT enterprise, open source edition for linux. This text is provided by your link :

    Simply put, this is how it works: In return for the value you receive from using Qt to create your application, you are expected to give back by contributing to Qt or buying Qt.

    I made a CadCam program, using a traditional gui like you pointed at in the example.
    That's why i see almost no difference in functionallity.
    I know QT has much more functionality outside of traditional gui's. That's nice !

    My CadCam program will get some payed plugin's in the future. So i am affraid that QT will charge me when time is ready for them.. And then it is to late for me.
    So to stay safe, i changed to CodeBlocks. I see it as an investment in the Future.

    I like QT, it's a very good program. I thank the QT company for that..
    Deployement can improve... I use github program's for that, like appimage.



  • Qt behaving like WindRiver is why folks are jumping ship.


  • Lifetime Qt Champion

    @coders You don't have to pay anything as long as you don't violate LGPL3 license...
    "Simply put, this is how it works: In return for the value you receive from using Qt to create your application, you are expected to give back by contributing to Qt or buying Qt." - this is not something you must do. As I said - as long as LGPL3 is fine for you you do not have to contribute or pay.



  • Coders and companys can avoid legal issue's with writing software in Codeblocks C++ instead of QT C++.
    Autodesk is also one of the company's that provide free to use software, for example draftsight for linux was free to use. But i heard companies who used this free version
    ended up in court.

    This is what Linus Torvalds has to say about GPL3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PaKIZ7gJlRU

    And a former QT worker about purchasing QT to avoid problems :

    *Sarah Smith, Core Qt Developer
    Answered Apr 29, 2018 · Upvoted by Carl Martin Engh, Product Marketing Director at Qt (2016-present)

    I do, and I was a core Qt developer. However you must license Qt under the LGPL and discharge your responsibilities under that license. If you don’t or can’t then buy a commercial license.

    I worked for Trolltech, and then later Nokia (who bought Trolltech) who owned Qt up to 2012. During that time I worked on core Qt, and travelled, consulted and worked on core Qt and some non-core parts of Qt.

    Later I left Nokia, started my own business, and built Plistinator which is my for-profit software tool to edit PLIST files. On the site to sell Plistinator I make the Qt library source code that is used in Plistinator available for download, as part of discharging my responsibilities under the license.

    While you can use it for free, if you make any real money in the work you do with Qt I would strongly advise getting the commercial license as soon as possible to avoid any legal problems. If you plan to keep just using the LGPL version, then look at getting ongoing legal advice from a competent IP lawyer.

    Why, if it can be used for free? The law around software is extremely complex, and if your business then becomes complex you could easily wind up later in a situation where you run foul of the LGPL without knowing or remembering that you needed to do something about it.

    An example is if you are in a startup and you build software using LGPL Qt. Later you seek investment on the basis that you own your own IP. However part of your IP is reliant upon Qt. When your investors do due diligence you might not have all the legal protections in place in time for due diligence to complete, and the investment winds up being scuttled.

    Another example is where you build software for your company, or your employer and it winds up becoming modestly successful. It doesn't make a lot of money so you decide to leave it with LGPL licensing. Then your company is sold to a buyer company under an M&A deal.

    If you’re an interested party due to holding shares in the subject company your position is complex. You might be directly liable if the M&A deal highlights problems with licensing of the software developed because you included Qt with it when you didn’t own a commercial license to it. Check with a lawyer first or get commercial licensing or both.

    I make a tiny trickle of money from Plistinator. However if I was ever to sell Smithsoft Pty Ltd I would have to worry about the fact that I have only an LGPL license. I should probably Open Source Plistinator, or stop selling it, so that its no longer an issue.*

    Maybe QT can make a unlimited free edition. Then all problem's are gone at once.

    Thanks, and have a nice day !!



  • Mate... wxwidgets also uses a slightly customised version of LGPL ( the only exception applies when you modify the code of wxwidgets itself, not applications that use it) so I don't see your point.
    If you want to start a commercial operation you are expected to know what you are doing i.e. know how to comply with LGPL (spoiler: it's not that hard).
    Do not get dragged away by feelings and hate-love factions. Analyse your options rationally and make the right choice for your business.



  • @VRonin said in Why is QT so expensive? 5000+ dollar a year:

    Mate... wxwidgets also uses a slightly customised version of LGPL ( the only exception applies when you modify the code of wxwidgets itself, not applications that use it)

    I know this thread is going nowhere, but may I just ask: I was vaguely thinking of having to abandon Qt at a future date to switch to wxwidgets. In a word, are you saying that similar-ish licensing issues apply to that as to Qt, give or take?



  • @JonB said in Why is QT so expensive? 5000+ dollar a year:

    In a word, are you saying that similar-ish licensing issues apply to that as to Qt, give or take?

    The wxwidgets license is identical to the Qt LGPL option barring one detail:

    To comply with LGPL, if you make changes to the code of Qt itself you are forced to submit that change upstream and get it integrated with the public version of Qt publish them so any 3rd party could recompile Qt with your changes. If you make a change to the code of wxwidgets you can compile against this modified version and distribute your software without the need of upstream integration.

    To remove this free-inspired restriction on Qt you need to buy a commercial license.

    Edit: thanks @SGaist



  • @VRonin
    Thank you. Absolutely no problem, for my part I never change any Qt code!

    So now I hope everyone does not move away from Qt because I'm happy with it... :)



  • @jsulm You make it sound so simple but the reality is that in the "web world" companies can passively aggressively coerce folks into paying for a commercial license or support contract simply by not making the open source easily accessible on their website. Isn't required accounts on the Qt site a step in that direction?


  • Lifetime Qt Champion

    @VRonin IIRC, under LGPL, you have to publish the changes you made to the framework/library so people can re-build the same version as you but it does not mean that you have to upstream them (although it would be better for everybody if for example it's a bug fix).

    @Kent-Dorfman the code itself is freely accessible on https://code.qt.io, the Qt account is currently required for the pre-built package installation.



  • @SGaist While I have no evidence in the past year or so, I recall that looking on the public Qt website a year or so ago simply caused the user to go in circles for hours without easily locating the "source code" link. That is my point about coercive behaviour of companies. They often make it difficult or impossible to find the OS source if they have something commercial to sell.


  • Lifetime Qt Champion

    Then it's way simpler now:
    https://www.qt.io/developers -> Building Qt from GIT and there you have the links.



  • @coders said in Why is QT so expensive? 5000+ dollar a year:

    If you make an app like Wattsapp... Or a Windows 10 ultimate Rat Killer... in the future...
    How much will you pay to QT every year?

    Are you willing to buy some tools at Home Depot to build a shop or office where later on you'll earn money running your business (i.e. attorney, beauty shop, etc)?

    If the answer is yes, why you're not willing to buy some tools (Qt framework) that will allow you to earn lots of money later on ("Windows 10 ultimate Rat Killer")



  • @SGaist said in Why is QT so expensive? 5000+ dollar a year:

    you have to publish the changes you made to the framework/library so people can re-build the same version as you

    That's correct, thanks for the correction



  • I do agree that wxWidgets' license is easier to comply with (as it is a modified LGPL). However, provided you comply with the LGPL (which basically means that you need your own copy of the Qt source code + some minor things) you can use it in your commercial projects forever for free. The Qt company is currently heavily coercing users into bying licenses, but I guess they will never sue you in court over LGPL abuse. (I guess people would know if there were any precedent for any LGPL violation (in the sense that Qt users fear) of any software.)

    I have worked with both Qt and wxWidgets and I have to say that the two are not comparable at all. wxWidgets is really hard to learn and to use because the documentation is a lot worse than Qt's. There is no common tool for generating UIs like Qt's Designer (there are several incompatible tools which might be discontinued at any point). Also, wxWidgets directly draws on the screen whereas Qt always uses double buffering (which actually gives you more restrictions). Dynamic layouts are a lot easier with Qt.

    We are currently converting our software from wxWidgets to Qt because Qt is more powerful. One of the other reasons is Qt stylesheets so that we can have a dark mode in our software now (and not only some distant time in the future). Our source code has become cleaner in a lot of cases because of the internal structure of Qt vs. wxWidgets.



  • @coders has decided to go with wxWidgets and it is perfectly fine. Software freedom means also being free to migrate. If one thinks Qt is not a good fit for a software, better to find a more suitable framework.
    It is clear her/his trolling attitude (because the tone is not oriented towards a sane discussion [see a thread with a different attitude by @utcenter, while delivering the same complaints], but seems more to be "you fool guys/gals using Qt"). So what is the point to continue to argue with him/her?
    Regarding the expensiveness, I personally think that, modulo the recent news, it has a raison d'être: it introduces a feedback cycle with a goal of spreading free software.
    Let me elaborate:

    • If one is willing to afford commercial license, it is clear that it plans to make way more money than the license price, so Qt employees (whose work is bought) are paid and can live, and also the community benefits from that.
    • If one is NOT willing to pay, you have the option to foster the open source ecosystem directly (GPL) or indirectly (LGPL). If these options were not available, chance is that the enourmous and passionate Qt community would never form, and way less people on the market would know the framework (and I think, given its size, it would be way more buggy than it is).
    • I personally think that the small business license introduced recently will be a failure (too much restrictitive for "Western" countries), mainly because it outright ignores purchasing power. If ones looks at the chart and multiplies by 30 the average gross monthly income (12 months/year * 2,5 to accomodate for taxes on business revenue (in addition to income ones) and other expenses to run business, including hardware, offices, licenses, & co.) only Eastern Europe businesses could sustain more than one developer, and most Western Europe one-person businesses would not qualify.
    • OTOH I'm perfectly fine with trading closed-sourceness and license costs.

  • Moderators

    @Astrinus said in Why is QT so expensive? 5000+ dollar a year:

    only Eastern Europe businesses could sustain more than one developer, and most Western Europe one-person businesses would not qualify.

    Not exactly true. Even here in the wild east that turnover is laughable for anything more than 1-2 devs.



  • @kshegunov well, two is more than one ;-)


  • Moderators

    @Astrinus said in Why is QT so expensive? 5000+ dollar a year:

    well, two is more than one

    True enough, although even two is rather pushing it. :)



  • I miss the days of paying $250 or LESS for an IDE and you're good to go.


  • Lifetime Qt Champion

    @FPChris said in Why is QT so expensive? 5000+ dollar a year:

    I miss the days of paying $250 or LESS for an IDE and you're good to go.

    You don't have to pay anything for the IDE at all. You mix up Qt (Framework library) and QtCreator (IDE) but I think you know this already since you only registered here to spam around.



  • I realize this is an old thread, but my words are suited for it.

    I use wxWidgets because my understanding is that if I create an application from the Qt Community Edition (no source code changed) that I, let's say, make millions from, the good folks at Qt will have their hands out for a piece of the pie, unlike wxWidgets. True?


  • Lifetime Qt Champion

    No, it's wrong.

    Check the licences again.


  • Moderators

    @Driftwood said in Why is QT so expensive? 5000+ dollar a year:

    my understanding is that if I create an application from the Qt Community Edition (no source code changed) that I, let's say, make millions from, the good folks at Qt will have their hands out for a piece of the pie

    No, the community edition is licensed under the GPL/LGPL. This is free as in "free speech" and "free beer".



  • @JKSH said in Why is QT so expensive? 5000+ dollar a year:

    free beer

    Did someone mention "free beer"?! 😆

    Edit:
    To make this comment at least a bit useful:
    I would say "free beer" is not comparable to "free Qt". Once you got your beer, you can do whatever you like... drink it, toss it (what monster would do that?!) or mix it with other stuff ("change").
    under the free Qt licence, you cannot do whatever you like (in terms of "changes" to the Qt source, for example)



  • @JKSH said in Why is QT so expensive? 5000+ dollar a year:

    No, the community edition is licensed under the GPL/LGPL. This is free as in "free speech" and "free beer".

    The meaning of "free speech" has been seriously perverted in 21st century USA, so probably not a good example...and "free beer" usually has strings attached:

    • listen to my sad story and pity me
    • support my political candidate
    • I don't want to get in trouble by myself,
      etc.

    so perhaps a better analogy, due to the "strings attached" in the GPL.


  • Moderators

    @Pl45m4 said in Why is QT so expensive? 5000+ dollar a year:

    Did someone mention "free beer"?! 😆

    Sure did! 🍺

    The under the free Qt licence, you cannot do whatever you like (in terms of "changes" to the Qt source, for example)

    That is the whole point of copyleft licenses -- to provide freedoms for the end-users (as opposed to the developers) of software.

    Traditionally, proprietary software licenses/EULAs heavily favour the developers but heavily restrict the end-users. It's like the end-users buy a car but are not allowed to tinker with it, pimp it, or even make repairs. The GPL license was created to shift the power balance from the developers to the end-users.

    Of course, traditional developers didn't like that so the LGPL was created as a compromise: When using a library (including Qt) under the LGPL, developers are allowed to do whatever they like with their own code; they just need to ensure that the end-users can do whatever they like with the LGPL'ed part.

    Once you got your beer, you can do whatever you like... drink it, toss it (what monster would do that?!) or mix it with other stuff ("change").

    You can certainly re-mix the Qt source code (or any other LGPL'ed source code) however you like. You just need to share your new brew's recipe with your end-users.


  • Moderators

    @Kent-Dorfman said in Why is QT so expensive? 5000+ dollar a year:

    The meaning of "free speech" has been seriously perverted in 21st century USA, so probably not a good example...and "free beer" usually has strings attached

    Get better friends; mine never attach strings when they offer me free beer 😜

    Anyway, the "speech" and "beer" were there to highlight different types of "free":

    • The end-user's freedom to study/modify/share Qt
    • The developer's ability to use Qt without forking out money

    so perhaps a better analogy, due to the "strings attached" in the GPL.

    Got any suggestions?


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