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The end of an era

Published on Wednesday February 25, 2009 by Thiago Macieira in Qt News Git | Comments

Today we is a day that will be remembered for a long time in Qt history (I expect that we'll remember it all the way until next week at least -- that's at least a thousand commits). I made today two 280,000-line changes to Qt, touching over 6500 files in each. At the end of the day, three Qt branches (4.6, 4.5 and 4.5.0) now contain the LGPL license header in all Qt's .cpp and .h files, plus an assorted set of scripts. Third-party code is obviously excluded from this change. That means the GPL era of Qt comes to its end -- and LGPL starts.

Today, I stopped the cron job that creates and publishes the Qt snapshots. Mostly because the LGPL and other changes are very likely to break stuff. And that we don't want the snapshots published under the LGPL until we actually release 4.5.0 next month. What's more, I don't know if snapshots will ever come back: maybe we will go directly to the open repository. That's the end of the snapshot era.

Today, Alexis also made changes to the Qt repository in Git, removing the never-released files and adapting the the license files. He also refactored the license part of the configure script and the Windows configure.exe (it's a good thing that I turned snapshots off, because he went to ski shortly afterwards in a classical example of "submit-and-run" :-) ). That's one of the last steps required for the open repository, though there are a few minor things to go.

This week, the temperature in Oslo reached 0°C again. That means the snow is starting to melt and the streets are very dirty now. The mountains of snow that we have collected over the past few weeks will gradually disappear. That's the end of Winter, but I hear it will come back (I don't put too much faith in those rumours).

This month, I'm also stepping down as Release Manager for Qt. I had pre-announced this at Developer Days last year, but it's effective now: after 18 months and releasing Qt 4.3.3, 4.3.4, 4.3.5, 4.4.0-tp1, 4.4.0-beta1, 4.4.0-rc1, 4.4.0, 4.4.1, 4.4.2, 4.4.3, 4.5.0-tp1, 4.5.0-beta1, 4.5.0-rc1 (and two mac-cocoa alphas), it's time I pass the torch to the next poor sob brave soul to take on the job. So this is also the end of my era as Release Manager. (No, I'm not leaving Qt Software, I'm just moving on to other responsibilites)

It's interesting to note that the change in RM matches the change in environment. It's tradition that each new RM gets to rewrite the release scripts from scratch. The RM before me had all of it working for our setup with Perforce. I rewrote it to use Git. After me, you can't call them release scripts anymore, because I rewrote them in C++, using memory-mapped files and QtConcurrent. Now my successor will have the chance of rewriting it to match the open repository. It looks like packaging will be a lot simpler, since there will be no file editing or removal.

This is not a sad time. At least, I haven't seen anyone crying their eyes out in the office. So I must conclude that this is a happy time: the end of an era marks the beginning of a new one. We can only hope that the new era will be even better than the current. We're certainly going to make our best effort.

Disclaimer: this blog could be part of a conspiracy against Qt on Windows.

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