Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 10th Apr 2006 13:50 UTC, submitted by dumbkiwi
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu As many already said yesterday, the Kubuntu.de story seems to be a classic example of a storm in a teacup. "Their article makes everything sound much worse than it is. The problem was that when kubuntu.org moved to a new host the sysadmin request to recreate Amu's account never got answered. Amu makes the cool Live CDs that get published along with KDE releases so it's obviously very useful for him to have an account. I should have poked Canonical's sysadmin to remind him but the account has now been added so problem solved. This doesn't mean, as some people seem to have suggested, that Canonical is in any way dropping support for Kubuntu, they continue to be wonderfully supportive, both to the community of developers and commercially if you want to buy a support contract off them."
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I love idiocy.
by leech on Tue 11th Apr 2006 00:53 UTC
leech
Member since:
2006-01-10

Doesn't everyone just love how a simple headline can create such heated arguments? The QT vs. GTK or KDE vs. Gnome war will continue on and on much like any other religious wars.

My thoughts on the differences between QT and GTK are pretty simple. Commercial entities generally chose GTK over QT for the fact that it's free. Yes, the QT license isn't too expensive, but think about it this way. Let's say you have 20 programmers working on an application. This application when done will cost $99. Now, do you go with QT, which is $2000 per developer (at least someone else stated as such, I don't know for sure) which would be $40,000. Now that alone means that you'd have to sell 400 copies of that software to be able to make up JUST THE LICENSING COSTS. That's not counting developer costs, hardware costs, etc.

Granted, 400 copies is not that much, if it's a popular program like Office. That's still 40,000 that would not go into that companies revenue, that otherwise could have if they used GTK. Some companies (Adobe for example) could easily afford that much, especially since they charge 400-600 for photoshop. But think of it this way, if a company isn't paying for a toolkit, then quite possibly (depending on how honest or nice that compay is) pass the savings of theirs down onto the end users.

Reply Score: 1

RE: I love idiocy.
by elsewhere on Tue 11th Apr 2006 01:49 in reply to "I love idiocy."
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

My thoughts on the differences between QT and GTK are pretty simple. Commercial entities generally chose GTK over QT for the fact that it's free. Yes, the QT license isn't too expensive, but think about it this way. Let's say you have 20 programmers working on an application. This application when done will cost $99. Now, do you go with QT, which is $2000 per developer (at least someone else stated as such, I don't know for sure) which would be $40,000. Now that alone means that you'd have to sell 400 copies of that software to be able to make up JUST THE LICENSING COSTS. That's not counting developer costs, hardware costs, etc.

Yes, the usual argument.

But if each developer is being paid $50K per year and it takes a year to design, produce and test the application, the company has spent $1M in development costs for those developers alone.

If Qt's development framework can shave development by a single month, then the company has saved over $80K in salaries alone.

If it shaves development by 2, then the savings are $160K.

Suddenly that $2K per developer charge becomes pretty inconsequential, particularly considering they can now target Win, OS X and Linux with that app. Put another way, Qt's annual license fee is equivalent to 2 weeks salary for that developer. Given Qt's reputation as a development framework, even from within the Gtk community, it's not unreasonable to assume an effectively run development house would see a very quick return on that investment.

And their legal department can happily include a clause prohibiting reverse engineering in the EULA, something that gives commercial software companies the warm and fuzzies despite what people may feel about the validity of EULA's. LGPL doesn't give them that option.

The annoying thing about the "But GTK is free argument!" is that it assumes price is a static thing and the single biggest driver for organizations whether developing or deploying, in fact that's an attitude that is permeating the whole desktop linux approach as it tries to simply become a cheaper replacement for windows.

Companies measure cost in terms of value and return on investment. Spending money in order to reduce costs and increase profitability is not a paradoxical concept, it's something smart companies practise everyday.

Assuming that things need to be free in order to be accepted simply devalues the product.

Qt's not going anywhere, they've got a thriving paid developer base. If GTK needs to be free to be able to compete for developer mindshare, there's nothing wrong with that and it's actually the type of situation where the FSF grudgingly endorses LGPL, but at least realize that being free doesn't necessarily mean being better or than ISV's will fall over themselves to embrace it.

And to your last point about companies passing the savings down to their customers, you're not only kidding yourself but you're hitting on one serious flaw with the GTK/LGPL strategy: commercial third-party developers have no incentive to invest back, it's left to Novell, Red Hat and the community to keep carrying that development load for Gnome and GTK, and then it becomes a question of whether or not that will translate into enough commercial desktop license sales to justify continued investment. Windows doesn't have to charge an extra fee for development framework because the development cost can be spread across the license fee the millions of users around the world pay for using Windows. Linux does not have and will not likely achieve that type of market saturation or paying install base. So where do the development funds come from? Free isn't free, it's just redirected costs.

If Adobe and the other big vendors start releasing Gnome/GTK apps and half the market decides to run them on Debian or Ubuntu, how long will RH and Novell's shareholders allow them to keep investing millions into the framework?

At the very least, as offensive as the commercial license fee for Qt is to some in the community, it does provide stability and development with those fees being re-invested back into improving Qt, without relying on the big distros to foot the bill. Stability and continuity are another thing the commercial companies look for in choosing their tools...

Sorry for the rant, but this argument really gets thrown around far too often.

EDIT: Typos

Edited 2006-04-11 01:55

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: I love idiocy.
by Morty on Tue 11th Apr 2006 06:55 in reply to "RE: I love idiocy."
Morty Member since:
2005-07-06

Sorry for the rant, but this argument really gets thrown around far too often.

No problem, it was a good and well argumented answer to the nonsens.

Exept for one small bit, "Qt's annual license fee" wich is wrong. Qt does not have a annual license fee, it's a one time deal(You can in addition get annual support deals, but that's just an option).

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: I love idiocy.
by JoeSchmoe on Tue 11th Apr 2006 12:51 in reply to "RE: I love idiocy."
JoeSchmoe Member since:
2006-03-29

Excellent post. This is what I was trying to say.

Reply Parent Score: 1