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Can I develop closed source as long as it is open source by the time I distribute?



  • I'll preface this by saying that I don't make enough a month to pay for the commercial license, and I probably never will.

    I've been working on creating a program in C++ for a while now, and I'm now to the point that to move forward, I need to either learn and use a GUI, or make one myself. I initially went to wxWidgets instead of Qt because of the license, but the available tutorials are abysmal and the documentation relies heavily on unexplained inferences or comments in code. So I decided to look at Qt again since it seems like a better choice anyway.

    The problem isn't that I don't want to release my program as open source - I'm giving it away for free once I finish developing it, so I honestly don't mind that. The problem is that I have a lot of experience with more experienced people sweeping in and taking something that I'm working on and making a finished version before I can even tell people what I'm doing, so that when I come out with my version it's not viewed as the original, and it's lower quality than what already exists.

    I don't want to make my program open source until it's actually ready because of that, so that at the very least I can still hold the title of 'crappy original that the others improved on' rather than 'low quality ripoff of someone else's idea', as well as have time to perhaps become experienced enough myself that it doesn't have to be lower quality than the other options.


  • Lifetime Qt Champion

    Hi
    Actually as long as you dynamic link to Qt dlls/so files you
    can keep it closed source.
    So you can easy wait until later to go open.



  • Thank you, that helps ease my worries a lot.


  • Lifetime Qt Champion

    @idkwtph
    Super :)
    And welcome to the forums btw.


  • Moderators

    @idkwtph said in Can I develop closed source as long as it is open source by the time I distribute?:

    I don't want to make my program open source until it's actually ready

    "Open source" doesn't have to mean "open to the whole world".

    The spirit of open source software is this: Everybody who has access to a piece of software should also have access the software's source code, and be given the freedom to learn and to tinker. However, someone who doesn't have access to the software doesn't need access to the source code.

    Before you release your software, nobody (except yourself) has access to it, so you don't have to grant anybody access to the source code yet -- even if you plan to make it "open source" from the beginning!


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