Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 16th Feb 2009 14:07 UTC
Editorial Late last week we ran a story on how the Google Chrome team had decided to use Gtk+ as the graphical toolkit for the Linux version of the Chrome web browser. It was a story that caused some serious debate on a variety of aspects, but in this short editorial, I want to focus on one aspect that came forward: the longing for consistency. Several people in the thread stated they were happy with Google's choice for purely selfish reasons: they use only Gtk+ applications on their GNOME desktops. Several people chimed in to say that Qt integrates nicely in a Gtk+ environment. While that may be true from a graphical point of view, that really isn't my problem with mixing toolkits. The issue goes a lot deeper than that.
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RE[7]: We're Stuck With It
by Lousewort on Tue 17th Feb 2009 18:38 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: We're Stuck With It"
Lousewort
Member since:
2006-09-12

"I have had two civil responses already informing me as to my error.

Sorry, but given this:

"Were we to adopt QT, we would have to charge a fee for each instance of our application suite..."

It gives the impression that you've already done your research and come to your conclusion based on this. It just doesn't come off as a genuine error.

Where did you actually read the above to make you think it was true?
"

Oh, believe me, it was a real error. I cannot recall where I got my information; I have been under a mistaken impression about QT's license for a long long time.

Happily, I now stand corrected.

I have neglected even looking at QT as an option due to my previous belief that there was a per-seat license cost implication.

I think the real point I was trying to make is this:
The fact that customers already purchase the Microsoft GUI API/toolkit packaged with the OS makes it very hard for competitors to provide viable alternatives, even markedly better ones, at a price.

That's the real price we pay for a Microsoft monopoly.

Another way of saying it is:
The reason alternative GUI toolkits have to be free (as in beer), is that the most used WIN32API GUI toolkit as provided by Microsoft is bundled with the operating system, and is already a sunk cost for the prospective customer base.

I would personally have preferred a free market system for GUI toolkits. We might have seen way more innovation. It is only right that people (other than Microsoft) are compensated for their labor.

Right now, obvious choices for cross platform GUI development are IMHO QT, GTK+ & Java. Each have their good & bad points. Others like Ultimate++ etc. just don't make the grade.

I happen to like the GTK; not everything about it mind you- the model-view-controller approach in things like gtk_treeview/gtk_listview for example is just ridiculously and unnecessarily complex. I do like the ease with which it binds to C, or scripting languages though.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[8]: We're Stuck With It
by DrillSgt on Tue 17th Feb 2009 18:52 in reply to "RE[7]: We're Stuck With It"
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

"I have neglected even looking at QT as an option due to my previous belief that there was a per-seat license cost implication."

Don't beat yourself up. For commercial development, up to just a couple months ago, there was a per seat charge for QT. QT has only very recently been released as LGPL. The fee was pretty steep as well, amounting to about $1500 per seat per platform. They offer 3 platforms, Windows, OS X, and Unix.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[9]: We're Stuck With It
by sbergman27 on Tue 17th Feb 2009 19:03 in reply to "RE[8]: We're Stuck With It"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

QT has only very recently been released as LGPL. The fee was pretty steep as well, amounting to about $1500 per seat per platform. They offer 3 platforms, Windows, OS X, and Unix.

So that would be $4500 if you want to take advantage of the cross-platform feature, effectively encouraging devs, for many years, to write for the fewest number of platforms possible.

It occurs to me that after years of arguing that GPL was better, the QT advocates are suspiciously forceful, even gleeful, about pointing out the impending license change for 4.5.

Edited 2009-02-17 19:05 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[9]: We're Stuck With It
by Lousewort on Tue 17th Feb 2009 19:12 in reply to "RE[8]: We're Stuck With It"
Lousewort Member since:
2006-09-12

"I have neglected even looking at QT as an option due to my previous belief that there was a per-seat license cost implication."

Don't beat yourself up. For commercial development, up to just a couple months ago, there was a per seat charge for QT. QT has only very recently been released as LGPL. The fee was pretty steep as well, amounting to about $1500 per seat per platform. They offer 3 platforms, Windows, OS X, and Unix.



Many thanks. I understand now that this is a per-developer seat, which is sort of in the same price range as other dev toolsets. Steep, but probably reasonable. My previous understanding (prior correction) was that it was more like a royalty per customer.

Even so though, convincing a board of directors that we need to rig 20 developers at $1500 pers seat per platform

(or 1500*3 platforms*20 = $90 000),

they would go: "Are you nuts? how do you plan to recover those costs by not charging for your software? do you really need to target Max & Linux? why not just target WIN32 like you have for the past 15 years?"

I am very glad to hear QT has gone LGPL.

Reply Parent Score: 2