It's taken a little longer than expected, but the nice and polished Qt Jambi 4.5.0_01 packages are finally ready for download on Qt Software's server. As usual, there are both source and binary packages available, but to match the new licensing of Qt, the GPL packages have been replaced by LGPL packages this time around. Read the press release.
As has been announced earlier, this will be the final feature release of Qt Jambi from Qt Software. Patch releases and support will continue for the next year, but when Qt 4.6 comes out, Qt Software will not be releasing an official Java version. Part of me is sad about this, sure, but part of me is excited as well, because with the new licensing terms, I think there is a real chance that Qt Jambi can become a success in the wild and continue to grow, maybe even at a quicker rate, in both stability and popularity and excellence, after the official support for it has ended.
This success relies on one thing in particular: Our ability to establish a community of volunteers who want to maintain and use Qt Jambi when its official life as a Qt Software product ends. Having this community is vital. It's what will make or break Qt Jambi in the future, so we want to do what we can to get that going.
The first step is of course to license the product under the LGPL. This means that both open and closed source users can continue to use the product.
The second step we are taking is to host a public git repository for Qt Jambi. People who wish to contribute to Qt Jambi can clone the repository and request merges to master when they feel their changes are ready for it. We will maintain the public repository for the coming year, and integrate changes that are deemed safe/tested and that pass whatever legal criteria might be required (I don't have details on this yet, so lets call everything subject to change.)
As a third measure, we have made sure that the repository is complete, meaning that it contains the revision history from the very moment we took Qt Jambi out of research and made a product branch of it. The inner workings of Qt Jambi are complex, so being able to do a "git blame" and find the change description that explains exactly why, for instance, a particular function requires a recursion guard or a mutex lock, is a requirement when new maintainers take over control.
Fourth: As many of you know, we have always tried to keep a direct line of communication with users. So far this has been using the Qt Jambi Interest mailing list, and that will continue unless the community takes its discussion elsewhere. In addition, I want to make available as much information as possible on the processes we have established and experience we have gained while working on Qt Jambi for the past years. My current thinking is to put this here on labs in the form of blogs, but as the amount of information grows, a wiki might also be in order.
Finally, if you are interested in contributing to Qt Jambi, and you have any questions/ideas on how we can make it a success as a community project, please sign up to the mailing list and let us know. Also, clone the repository at http://gitorious.org/qt-jambi and start hacking! :-)