Nokia announces that its Qt cross-platform user interface and application framework for desktop and embedded platforms will be available under LGPL (Lesser General Public License) Version 2.1 starting with the release of Qt 4.5, scheduled for March 2009. Nokia officials said the move to LGPL licensing will provide open-source and commercial developers with more permissive licensing than GPL and thus increase flexibility for developers.
Nokia has announced that its Qt cross-platform user interface and
application framework for desktop and embedded platforms will be available
under Lesser General Public License Version 2.1 starting with the release of Qt
4.5, scheduled for March 2009.
Previously, Qt, pronounced "cute," had been available to the open-source
community under the GPL (General Public License). Qt will now be available from
the new domain www.qtsoftware.com. Using Qt, developers can develop
applications and user interfaces once, and deploy them across many desktop and
embedded operating systems without rewriting the source code. Qt Software,
formerly Trolltech, was acquired by Nokia in June 2008.
Nokia officials said the move to LGPL licensing will provide open-source and
commercial developers with more permissive licensing than GPL and thus increase
flexibility for developers. In addition, Qt source code repositories will be
made publicly available and will encourage contributions from desktop and
embedded developer communities. With these changes, developers will be able to
actively drive the evolution of the Qt framework.
For images of the Qt Creator IDE, click here.
Qt 4.5 will also be available under commercial licensing terms, while
licensing for previous versions of Qt remains unchanged, the company said. In
addition, service offerings for Qt will be expanded to ensure that all Qt
development projects can have access to the same levels of support, independent
of the selected license, company officials said.
"Broader use of Qt by even more leading companies will result in valuable
feedback and increased contributions, ensuring that Qt remains the
best-in-class, cross-platform UI and application framework," said Sebastian
Nystrom, vice president of Qt Software at Nokia. "The accelerated development
of Qt will allow developers, including Nokia, to deliver better devices and
applications, reduce time to market, and enable a wider deployment base for
"Nokia is making significant contributions to open-source communities
through ongoing work with Qt, its contribution of Symbian OS and S60 to the
Symbian Foundation, and open development of the Maemo platform," said Kai
Oistamo, executive vice president of devices at Nokia, in a statement. "By
moving to LGPL, opening Qt's source code repositories and encouraging more
contributions, Qt users will have more of a stake in the development of Qt,
which will in turn encourage wider adoption. Nokia will be able to leverage
improvements in Qt across S60 on Symbian OS, Maemo and OVI services without rewriting
the source code."
Other open-source software proponents also weighed in on the new Qt
"Qt being available under the terms of the LGPL streamlines the licensing of
applications built using KDE components on
top of Qt-based applications," said Sebastian Kugler, KDE
e.V. board member, in a statement speaking of the KDE
open-source desktop for Linux and Unix systems. "This more permissive licensing
will further lower the barrier for adoption of Qt and KDE
technologies. The KDE team welcomes opening
up the development process and is looking forward to further improved
collaboration between KDE and Qt Software."
Meanwhile, Mark Shuttleworth, founder of the Ubuntu project and Canonical,
said, "Qt is used extensively in Kubuntu and KDE
applications, and Canonical is delighted to see this breakthrough in its
licensing model. Qt's new licensing terms will help us deliver ever more
'lustful' applications to users. Nokia's continued investment in cross-platform
Qt libraries, and the Linux platform, is a major driver of innovation in the
free software desktop and mobile device stack."