Qt and the Future of KDE

Following Nokia’s recent announcement about its future smart phone development strategy, KDE has received a lot of questions. Many of these questions have been related to the future of KDE and KDE’s commitment to the Qt framework. In this statement we set out what we see as a bright future for Qt and KDE software.

Qt

We chose Qt in 1996 because it offered the best software development framework. Today, it still does. Over the last fifteen years, KDE has worked to ensure that Qt will always be available, leading to the creation of agreements such as that which underpins the KDE Free Qt Foundation. The future of Qt has been further strengthened in recent years by Nokia’s decisions to release it under the LGPL and begin the process of giving the community greater influence through Open Governance. We are working with our partners to speed up this process and make Open Governance a reality. In the meantime, we welcome Nokia’s ongoing commitment to Qt, as well as their continued support of KDE, as a Patron and as a sponsor of our annual conference.

KDE

Today, KDE faces new challenges and opportunities. Traditional desktop and laptop computers are no longer the only means for users to work on documents, entertain themselves and interact socially. Innovations such as netbooks, tablets and increasingly capable smart phones have changed computer use, introducing new form factors and new use cases. For the first time since KDE was founded, we have the chance to shape the nature of computer use, rather than competing with established computing paradigms.

Our Plasma framework puts us in a strong position to develop innovative and beautiful user interfaces for smart phones, in-vehicle systems, desktop computers, portable computers, home media centers and more. Few, if any, of our competitors have an application and user interface framework that is as portable, attractive and easy to develop with as ours. At the heart of Plasma and the portability of our applications is Qt. Code developed for one platform can run with minimal changes on legacy platforms such as Microsoft Windows and Max OS X and, crucially, on Linux and other free platforms that can scale from the handheld device to the desktop powerhouse. Recent innovations in Qt, such as Qt Quick, make it easier than ever for designers as well as developers to turn their ideas into applications and offer them to users. KDE is only just beginning to take advantage of these new opportunities.

The Future

Qt remains the strong, cross-platform foundation of everything we do. Combined with KDE technologies, we believe Qt is the compelling framework for cross-platform software development. There has never been a better time to shape the future of computing. Join us and make that future a future that is free.

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