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Interview With Trolltech's CEO and CTO Eirik Eng 266

jlp2097 writes "There is a great and lengthy interview at the The Dot with Eirik Eng, CEO of Trolltech, and Matthias Ettrich, founder of the KDE project and CTO of Trolltech. They talk about the recent X(Free86) trouble, accessibility in QT, Trolltech's finances, Qtopia, the OS X Port and a GPL'd Windows QT - it's probably not going to happen. And, did you know that Qt is pronounced 'Cute' by its creators?"
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Interview With Trolltech's CEO and CTO Eirik Eng

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  • Re:Visual Tool (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DarkSarin ( 651985 ) on Monday April 12, 2004 @02:39PM (#8839911) Homepage Journal
    First, mod check--Hello? Funny? I don't really believe it--maybe I'll get to meta-mod it!

    Second, I think of this as a strength--if your personal tastes don't lie within QT, you can still use something else. If you don't like VB or VC, then you are stuck with one or two alternatives in Winland.
  • Re:Visual Tool (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AKAImBatman ( 238306 ) <> on Monday April 12, 2004 @02:47PM (#8839978) Homepage Journal
    While I agree with what you're saying, I do have to say that companies like Sun have a point. They simply can't embrace a toolkit like QT without forcing their customers into unexpected costs. QT is far superior to GTK (although Sun is helping GTK catch up), but the Unix companies already did this once with Motif. They're unlikely to do it again.

    That being said, TrollTech should continue to serve their customers and develop a great product. Those who are willing to absorb the costs of QT will find themselves with a great product.

  • by BestNicksRTaken ( 582194 ) on Monday April 12, 2004 @02:48PM (#8839987)
    wxWidgets has a huge following because it is truly cross-platform, with the same [free] licensing.

    I would be using Qt/PyQt if it had a non-commercial (or preferably GPL) Windows license, but for now I'm stuck with wxPython - which really isn't as nice as Qt, although sometimes looks better due to native LnF.

    I don't see the point of having GPL Linux *and Mac* versions without Windows, just because of the lame excuse "well Windows isn't GPL", it really bugs me, I don't want to write free software that won't work on Windows (and I'm far from a M$ advocate).

    MacOSX isn't OSS, it's proprietary Apple stuff that they hacked on top of an OSS OS, so come up with another excuse TT....

    And before anyone mentions the non-commercial Qt with the book - that is a very limited version (personal use, non-ditributable), doesn't work with PyQt, and is out-of-date already.

    Argh, rant over!
  • Linux (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 12, 2004 @02:48PM (#8839992)
    As one of the primary graphic toolsets for Linux, and the choice of many distributions, QT being commercial/GPL is a hinderance to commercial software for Linux. It provides a "toll booth" by forcing all non-free applications to pay a fee to distribute these applications. This forces non-free developers to charge more to pay for these fees, as well as stopping closed-source "freeware." Since KDE is used so widely and known to many as the linux desktop, it makes sense to have a LGPL QT implementation. The GPL should keep applications free, but drastically hinders adoptation as a standard for use in all applications.
  • Re:Visual Tool (Score:3, Insightful)

    by The_Mystic_For_Real ( 766020 ) on Monday April 12, 2004 @02:51PM (#8840023)
    There seems to be no undisputed linux anything. This can be a good thing because it encourages competition and allows people to go in different directions, but it also has the detrimental effect of not having any project be the best it could be because it doesn't have the entire community working on it.
  • by frodo from middle ea ( 602941 ) on Monday April 12, 2004 @02:56PM (#8840064) Homepage
    I find the accessibility features of KDE far more superior and useful. e.g. the KmouseTool which enables auto clicking.

    If I am not wrong you need to buy seperate s/w for that kind of thing in windows . ( windows users correct me if I am wrong).

    Besides adding accessibility features makes KDE very much a candidate for use in Govt. work and any other place where accessibility features are a must.

  • Not Really? (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 12, 2004 @03:02PM (#8840114)
    I feel Trolltech dodged the issue. Again.

    Having SCO/Canopy representatives on the Board of Directors means the don't have influence on Trolltech? Why didn't he mention this in his answer? What is he trying to hide? I think we need a better explanation.

    Again, Trolltech has blown another opportunity to spell out exactly what their realtionship to SCO/Canopy. Warrants? Debt? Contractual obligations? Spell it out! "Not Really" is NOT GOOD ENOUGH !!!

    I don't feel releived. I'm still quite unsettled by their dodging the issue.

  • Windows Developers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by brolewis ( 712511 ) on Monday April 12, 2004 @03:07PM (#8840148)
    I am a developer who believes in cross-platform development. However, I do most of my development in a Windows environment. I write code in Windows, test in Windows, and release it from Windows, and everything I've worked on is OSS. However, according to Trolltech, I don't exist. Why do they assume that because the OS I happen to develop on isn't open source there isn't an open source community in that niche? They comment that most Windows users perfer shareware, however, that is not the case. I find that there are a number of Windows users who are wanting to use open source programs for their own work and yet here Qt is preventing us from using their tools because they feel the users aren't there. I find this an unfortunate development.
  • OS X/Darwin (Score:3, Insightful)

    by simpl3x ( 238301 ) on Monday April 12, 2004 @03:17PM (#8840236)
    Isn't the idea of Qt to avaid the proprietary aspects of OS X, which would be the interface. If it runs similarly on the "free" version, isn't it free from the proprietary aspects? Similar to the comments on Java earlier today, if the code is tied to non-free parts of the OS, then the tools cannot be free, and the potential forr costs being incured by TrollTech are a possibility.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 12, 2004 @03:19PM (#8840253)
    Yeah right. Linux also won't get a widespread adoption because it uses same predatory licence...

    BTW, licence didn't stop Opera from using QT on Linux. I haven't heard about any popular commercial GTK-software...
  • Re:Linux (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 12, 2004 @04:10PM (#8840767)
    Feel Free to write your own Toolkit and license it any way you want. Trolltech is a business and if companies want to develop commercial or closed source apps they can pay.

    "QT being commercial/GPL is a hinderance to commercial software for Linux."

    No it isn't, companies who want to take advantage of Trolltech's work without paying like they normally do on the Win32 platform are the problem. Sorry but your arguement has been debunked about a billion times over. If you can quote one big commercial company who said "The license fee for QT is too expensive so we won't be developing any commercial apps for the Linux" I'll eat my hat.

    And Lastly as another wise person once said here, very sorry I don't have your name I just have a bunch of quotse from the last gtk vs qt debate.

    " The cost of a license for commercial development is not a valid argument. If a company develops an application for sale, the cost of a license is a fraction of the overall cost to develop, market, and maintain a product. As far as development kits go, the decision on which dev kit that gets chosen is based on quality, which will drive the cost of development in the long run, and company politics."
  • by Qwavel ( 733416 ) on Monday April 12, 2004 @04:44PM (#8841176)
    I know that some people are against having Windows versions of OSS software, but I don't agree. It is important to get Windows users to use cross-platform stuff like OOo and Mozilla. This will help prepare them to switch to another OS when the time is right for them.

    The same could be said for developers. If Qt was a viable option for Windows developers then many would use it and they would be better prepared for, and more likely to switch to, another OS.

    This seems like a fairly straight-forward argument, which is why many important OSS projects make a big effort to work on Windows as well as Linux. I realize though, that none of this is within TT's mandate. They are a company, not a project, so their job is to make money. Sometimes this coincides with doing what is best for the OSS and Linux communities, but I am amazed at how often this is not the case.

    So, though I am a C++ developer, and I believe that Qt is much better than GTK, I'll have to side with GTK for Linux.
  • by tyrione ( 134248 ) on Monday April 12, 2004 @05:33PM (#8841714) Homepage
    MacOSX isn't OSS, it's proprietary Apple stuff that they hacked on top of an OSS OS, so come up with another excuse TT....

    Hacked? Are you an ass? Yes. Yes I believe you are truly an ass!

    Hate to pea in your wheaties but Quartz, Cocoa, Java, QuickTime and more are not "hacks." I'd love to see what you consider non-hacks. Let's not even get into the contributions NeXT and now Apple is making with BSD, Mach and GCC. Shit if it wasn't for those contributions GCC would be far behind the curve. It's amazing to me how one shoots off commentary without ever being on the inside to know what the hell goes on.

    What I learned working at NeXT and Apple is we seemed to have this reputation of being untouchable and overly arrogant with our developed products. Not surprising considering seeing both sides of the screen I've yet to find any other company who has even close the caliber of talent writing software that NeXT did and did infuse into Apple.

    Any one who would turn down a job to learn under that Engineering team is either a complete schizophrenic or never was considered for any of those positions, in the first place.

    It is clear to me how come Trolltech isn't offering a free Windows port. They want to stay in business and the Windows world has a crapload of money to purchase licenses from them. If Bill Gates suddenly went Open Source I'm sure Trolltech would follow.

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