Who's Making Qt framework decisions now?
I'm quite concerned about the direction Qt is taking these days. I was wondering; who makes the decisions for this project now?
Is there someone I can contact that is in charge of what changes are made to the framework? Is there some kind of voting system for changes or are decisions purely dictatorial? How do I make my voice heard? Are there any other dissenters around that may be discussing a fork?
I'd rather not discuss why I'm dissatisfied with Qt5 for fear of starting a flame war. I would just like more information about how decisions are made and by whom.
Qt is under open governance. The structure is described "here":http://qt-project.org/wiki/The_Qt_Governance_Model
Basically it is like with all open source projects: Those that contribute the most end up making the decisions.
Basically most of high-level technical discussion takes place on the "development mailing list":http://lists.qt-project.org/mailman/listinfo/development. I always recommend subscribing to it as a great source of news and details on what is going on.
After subscribing, actively participate in the discussions on the development mailing list. That's how you can make your voice heard.
I think all the stuff about open governance is creating the wrong idea of a democracy in the minds of some people, while it clearly isn't. Open governance doesn't extend all the way down to the bottom, it is more of a thin layer whose purpose is to attract more small contribution while keeping the core of decision making detached. I've seen developer base requests ignored, often by means of "do it yourself then" statements, I've even seen cases where people actually do it themselves and even offer to contribute it just to have it rejected.
As Tobias Hunger said, those who "contribute" the most have the call, and that just so happens to be a company named Digia, which snagged Qt for peanuts along with its core developer team from Nokia after its utter failure with Qt, so technically no one contributes more than Digia, and at the core, decision making is a subject of managers and corporate politics, much like everywhere else. Qt is a product in decades of development by a significantly big team of experienced professional developers, so at this point in time, I think it is pretty much impossible to do anything that can contribute to such an extent as to make your voice prominent enough. Even if you manage to provide a significant enough contribution, I don't think keeping it will overpower the corporate interests of a company that is out to make money before everything else.
Not that political "democracy" isn't the same, effectively muting people to anything else but the "right" to chose the next group of decision making to disregard both your personal as well as the collective interest in favor of the political, so in a way Qt is close to a democracy, albeit in the context of the dysfunctional one we witness on the stage of the political theater.
EDIT: While this view is likely to cause some "disturbance" I think it is fairly realistic. Its one flaw is not conforming to the "all butterflies and rainbows" policy many people have the habit of putting Qt in the context of. Or that it is not "sugarcoated" if you will :) Just like politicians sugarcoat it when they say "your voice matters" even though it doesn't really.
The Qt Project's governance model is supposed to be meritocratic, not democratic. But, it makes most business sense to cater for the majority of the stakeholders, so decision makers will consider what the majority wants. Recently, Windows developers spoke out against the dependency on Perl, and the top brass acted: http://lists.qt-project.org/pipermail/interest/2013-April/006702.html
Anyway, rejecting proposals/contributions without proper consideration goes against the spirit of Open Governance. Can you link us to some examples of requests/patches that have been unfairly dismissed?
P.S. I wouldn't say that Digia is the sole ruler. For example, Thiago Macieira from Intel (not Digia) is in charge of much of Qt Core; Alan Alpert from BlackBerry (not Digia) is in charge of the QML framework.
Don't forget to mention KDAB, whose contributions have been my sole source of joy in Qt lately, I didn't say Digia is the only shot caller. But still I don't think any of the contributors besides Digia will take precedence over a decision that is not tangent to Digia's direction.
Disregard that "nokia" thing, this is pretty much the contributions to Qt5 made by the core Qt development team, which is now employed by Digia. The third party contributions are an insignificant proportion, even if added together.
Don't get me wrong, I just felt like the posts so far were overly positive and omitted the negative part. So for the sake of balance I decided to include that, which somewhat concentrates the negativeness when looking at the post on its own. The big picture is not as negative.
As utcenter says, sometimes decisions are made internally by Digia and then simply announced on development ML - sometimes provoking much sympathy, sometimes outrage (especially when it's done post factum). The process definitely has it's good and bad days, but in general people's voice is heard.
As for contiribution stats, they actually continue to look better and better - currently close to 50% of commits come from outside of Digia! Source: "Thiago's stats":http://www.macieira.org/blog/qt-stats/. So it's actually not as bad as you suggest.
bq. I think all the stuff about open governance is creating the wrong idea of a democracy in the minds of some people, while it clearly isn’t.
Open governance is not democratic. It clearly calls itself meritocratic right in the first sentence of the page I linked to. Democracy is not even mentioned.
bq. Open governance doesn’t extend all the way down to the bottom,
It might not be perfect, but it actually works pretty well from my experience.
Of course I read posts by Lars or Thiago more carefully than those by people I have never noticed before.
That is a social thing: People you have worked with before and found reliable/trustworthy/competent or whatever do get a bonus in all future interactions.
bq. ... it is more of a thin layer whose purpose is to attract more small contribution while keeping the core of decision making detached.
That has never been my impression.
bq. I’ve seen developer base requests ignored, often by means of “do it yourself then” statements, I’ve even seen cases where people actually do it themselves and even offer to contribute it just to have it rejected.
Of course that will happen. My requests are sometimes ignored, too, just as some of my patches are rejected. Most have to go through several rounds of review before I can submit them.
There are many reasons to reject patches, "I do not know that person" or "that company sucks" are not among those though.
bq. As Tobias Hunger said, those who “contribute” the most have the call, and that just so happens to be a company named Digia, [...]
I am maintainer of the version control code in creator and personally work with several maintainers that are not employed by Digia, that are responsible for individual VCS implementations. I do follow their lead in all that effects their plugin only.
Yes, I do overrule some ideas where they change interfaces that effect more than one VCS. Making sure that everything works well together is my job, of course I take the right to reject patches that effect that.
bq. [...] so technically no one contributes more than Digia, and at the core, decision making is a subject of managers and corporate politics, much like everywhere else.
That has never been my experience in Qt/Nokia. I have always experienced the Qt department as very developer driven. This is even more true in Digia.
bq. Qt is a product in decades of development by a significantly big team of experienced professional developers, so at this point in time, I think it is pretty much impossible to do anything that can contribute to such an extent as to make your voice prominent enough.
All you need to be invited to the "Qt Contributor Summit":http://blog.qt.digia.com/blog/2013/05/14/qt-cs-please-register/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=qt-cs-please-register is approver status. That is not too hard to get, even without dedicating a lot of resources into one aspect of the Qt ecosystem.