Qt to go LGPL.

That’s really great news! Qt the open-source and cross-platform tool-kit/framework  from Nokia (formerly from Trolltech) is going to be released under a more liberal LGPL license. What it means is, you could now use Qt in any of your projects provided you agree with LGPL. Well, does it also mean that you could finally see all those wonderful KDE apps ported across platforms? I sure hope so. KDE was built on top of Qt and thus shares a lot from Qt, and thus it’s fair to assume that KD too could benefit from this move.

Nokia states that having Qt under LGPL will allow “wider adoption”, and it may very well turn out that way. The earlier GPL license was, according to me, hindering the adoption of the toolkit and this is a welcome development indeed. Qt is a very polished GUI toolkit there is no denying that, however the license may not be the only reason why developers choose other tool-kits/frameworks over Qt.

I have used Qt quite a lot in the past, both for commercial and open-source development. However, it’s been some time since I have dabbled with the toolkit/framework and over the years I have slowly moved on to other tool-kits like wxWidgets. I haven’t been too fond of Qt’s moc-compiler thing which can be a pain to work when the project size gets large. Having said that one can’t dismiss the fact that Qt is probably the leading cross-platform toolkit out there. It provides a huge number of widgets and a myriad of functionality that would have to be rewritten or re-invented if one were to use any other toolkit. Ot offers a strong development environment and an equally strong GUI designer; often missing in most other tool-kits. It has a proven legacy and is used by companies big and small for almost all types of GUI.

Would I switch to Qt if it were LGPL? No, probably not. I am perfectly happy with Code::Blocks and wxWidgets combo and I don’t see any reason to move to Qt. Most of my projects use pretty complex but consistent UI and wxWidgets serves me pretty well in that regard.  The game builder I am currently working on goes pretty nicely with the existing wxWidgets framework and the toolkit offers me more than what I need. So I personally see no reason to switch.

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