I have been a big fan of the Trolltech Qt Framework for a number of years. It is a fantastic way to build high quality cross-platform desktop applications in C++. For the past six years it seems like every project I work on has included a rich desktop GUI application of some sort. Each time this need would arise I would start the process of selling the idea of using the Qt Framework for the project. The biggest hurdle was always the per-developer cost for the commercial license of the framework. I would hear things like
Just use MFC. It’s free and we don’t really see a need for the application to be cross-platform anyway.
or sometimes I would hear
Use the GPL version of Qt and just keep it under the radar until we are sure the application will be released to our customers.
It was always frustrating to try and make the case that Qt was a better solution than MFC for UI, was more comprehensive for general development than other frameworks, and that it was worth planning for the possiblity of releasing the applications for Linux or Mac as well as Windows. In the end each project did adopt the Qt Framework, but it really was a distraction to try and justify the use.
Thankfully with the purchase of Trolltech by Nokia we are seeing a change in the licensing terms for the Qt Framework. Starting with the 4.5 release it looks like the framework will be placed under the LGPL license making it much easier to adopt as part of commercial development efforts.
Here are a couple links that discuss the development further:
and you can read the news directly from Nokia on the Qt Licensing Terms page.
This new development on the licensing front and the recent inclusion of WebKit into the Qt Framework make me very optimistic about a long and prosperous future for developers who know the Qt Framework! Thank you Nokia!