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Why isn't qt so popular

  • Why isn't qt popular for other types of applications like web, mobile except desktop and embedded? i saw that qt qml is also effective as other web technologies for web development, so what makes it less popular in web and mobiel fields? What does it lack?

  • Moderators

    You should rather ask people who are not using Qt :-)

    I think there are many reasons:

    • native mobile languages are - naturally - more supported and endorsed by each platform
    • using Qt for mobiles is an extra step. Not only you need to install all SDKs, NDKs etc. but also install Qt, and make it work which is sometimes tricky. With Xcode/Android Studio alone it's simply easier to start
    • C++ is considered to be a hard language
    • many people already know Java/Swift/JS but do not know C++, Qt or QML
    • Qt Commercial offering is unclear, weird, expensive and complicated
    • neither of the big players (Apple and Google) have embraced or encouraged the use of Qt
    • just history... I'm pretty sure if back in the day Nokia did not completely miss the changing market, Qt would be much, much stronger on mobiles now
    • web - well you can't quite use Qt on web. It's only very recently that WebGL streaming and WASM became possible with Qt, other technologies were quicker. And again - web devs don't know C++ and have no reason to learn it

    What does it lack?

    Oh, too much to list ;-)

    Don't get me wrong, though - Qt on mobiles (and on web) is possible, usable, and there are many products on the market using it.

  • The reason Qt isn't more popular in general is simply a steep learning curve. Historically, software engineers aren't known for their patience -- probably because their users aren't either -- and rarely have time to invest in learning an entire platform. It's unfortunate, because Qt is a superb platform, and is wonderfully documented (for the most part).

    Another reason, specific to mobile devices, is that Qt's claim to fame: "write once, build anywhere" just isn't that important to mobile developers. Few apps scale well from phone to tablet to desktop, so the benefit isn't there. In fact, as apps continue to flourish for mobile platforms, it seems that they're stagnating for the desktop, as browser-based solutions continue to encroach on their space.

    I can't speak to Qt's web technology, but I'd hazard a guess that it's hard-pressed for a general-purpose platform to compete with ad-hoc development solutions for web applications.

    None of this is to say that Qt's future is murky; in fact, it's quite bright. I think it will continue to attract developers, but not so much for its "build anywhere" feature as its feature-richness, solid integration with other technologies, and...the best user forum on the planet.

  • As a GUI in C++ I think Qt is popular of course by excluding non-C++.

    Problems I see with Qt is:

    • not the whole Qt Library is LGPL. Qt Charts for example is afaik GPL. I personally do not use Libraries under GPL. Only LGPL or permissive. So I only use LGPL Qt parts.
    • C++ has a bad reputation as hard language.

    Probably startup companies are afraid of getting copyright lawsuits if they use Qt at beginning. (just guessing not sure). If I start a company I would not have so much money to pay a commercial license.

  • Lifetime Qt Champion

    @QtCoder87 said in Why isn't qt so popular:

    Probably startup companies are afraid of getting copyright lawsuits if they use Qt at beginning.

    $499 per year shouldn't be too much for a startup:

  • @jsulm
    if you start from Scratch? I mean Just PC and money for food and Rent. and maybe some state money. If I lost job and started a company I probably would not be able to pay 500 Bugs. Not because I would not have 500 USD I needed some savings, since state unemployed insurance is not that high. It depends of course how fast my company grow in the next months. But I am rather careful about future forecasts.

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  • Lifetime Qt Champion

    @jimsmiths said in Why isn't qt so popular:

    Qt is not a C++ library

    It is even if it requires moc as additional build step.

  • @jsulm said in Why isn't qt so popular:

    Qt is not a C++ library

    Lol, the passion of people. Next thing they will say is HTML is not a machine learning language...

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