13 January, 2009

How Cute of Nokia!

First of all, greetings from the beautiful country of Jamaica!!! I'm here to help prepare Camp KDE, and as such, enjoying good company and great weather...

Yeah, about that company. I'm amazed by Jamaican hospitality. For me, dutch, being rather crude & simple folks, it makes me feel uncomfortable. My host gave me his bed, and made me breakfeast. Even cut the fruit in pieces - last person who did that whas my mom, and that was a long time ago. Hmmm. When I have a friend over, I trow a matress on the floor and tell him where the kitchen is... How's that for a different culture?!?

And about the weather, well, here's a photo I just took from the window of this apartment. Should tell ya enough ;-)

During all the travelling I did I thought about the news from Nokia. Most of the readers probably know what I’m talking about. Nokia just made clear how committed they are to KDE and Qt, and to open development. The impact of this could potentially be huge. On one hand, I doubt many current customers will stop paying Qt Software for their product, despite the fact they can use it for free. Many of them will probably be glad to not have to manage licenses anymore but they will continue to pay for support.

There is a world of customers out there that are probably willing to pay for Qt – yet still have to be convinced. And it’ll be a lot easier to convince them now they can use Qt in their proprietary product for free. In time, they can become supporting customers and thus further development of what’s already the best toolkit in the world ;-)

Of course this is the last push for those who didn’t want to use Qt “because it was not free” (and for who GPL wasn’t good enough?!?). Now there are no more excuses not to use the best technology available. Personally I was completely fine with the GPL license – no free development of proprietary software, contribute either code or money. Well, with Nokia’s resources Qt development doesn’t fully depend on that income anymore, so I guess it’s not a big issue.

For KDE this might be nice as well – “Qt Everywhere” is of course good for us, more potential users of our development framework and more people who know of our technology.

But imho the closer cooperation Nokia would like to see between the KDE community and Qt Software is potentially much more important than the new license. The license, as far as I’m concerned, is a message of welcoming cooperation to the community. We’d love to see development open up, naturally. There are patches circling around in the KDE community, and more importantly, ideas and creativity. I’m sure there are people who would love to take a stab at certain Qt code. And there might very well be commercial clients of Qt who are interested in such a thing as well. This brings them in contact with KDE – we can use input from commercial parties. We’d love to know their needs and requirements, and collaborate with them on making the Qt platform even better.

In time, closer collaboration between Qt and KDE could result in a more smooth ride for code from the KDE libraries into Qt libraries – until now, that has always been difficult.

Exciting times. Not just for us in Jamaica or the KDE community around the world, but for the whole Free Software World at large. I believe without superior technology like Qt the Free Desktop doesn’t stand much of a chance. Being free, no matter how important to many, is not a very strong argument for everybody, and the KDE and Qt technology offers us a chance of simply being better than the competition.

I'll be going from Kingston to Negril today, by bus - sun, sightseeing and again good company as Roger will be going with me.