Conan package manager pilot to end in December
We have piloted a Conan-based package manager as an alternative way to get the Qt binaries since the beginning of this year. While we have gotten a lot of good feedback and some users have found this approach valuable, overall, there has not been as much interest in Conan as we expected. We, therefore, plan to end the pilot by December 2022. No new Qt versions will be offered via Conan package manager, and we will take the experimental Conan server offline by the end of the year. Note that this does not affect the recipes on ConanCenter, which are maintained independently.
Most Qt users install Qt via our online installer and many also build themselves for source packages or directly from the repository. For those who prefer package managers, platform-specific package managers like Debian and RPM are a lot more popular than Conan. During the pilot, there have been over 1000 external users who have at least once downloaded Qt via the Conan package manager. This is far less than what we set as our goal. The package download numbers from the server have been rather low as well.
Conan provides a nice feature set that seemed to match our needs well, so we decided to start investigating it a few years ago for Qt. It’s a cross-platform package manager, supporting both source and binary distributions. It could have been used to distribute the latest 3rd party libraries with critical fixes as well, instead of bundling the libraries into Qt. Source distribution helps when using Qt modules for the targets not officially supported as well as for embedded targets.
Compared to the open-source Conan server (conan.io), our server provides a Qt Conan package per git repository and the idea was to continue this per Qt module level (Qt SCXML implemented this already). In addition, The Qt Company Conan packages contain all configuration options and features in recipes, not only a subset like in recipes in conan.io.
We will keep the existing Qt 6.3.x Conan recipes in the repos to enable the possibility to continue the work if Conan will become more popular in the future. We are not going to create recipes for Qt 6.4 or continue maintaining the existing recipes. We may let the community continue maintaining the recipes, but this has not been decided yet.
In case you want to continue using existing recipes, you need to export (using the export cmd) the Conan packages per the Qt git repository (qt-conan-common) and per each conanfile.py in each Qt6 submodule. In addition, you need to host the packages (e.g., using the Conan server) for your team or organization.
We want to thank all of you who have participated in the Conan package manager pilot.
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