With Qt6 already available, the KDE project plans to migrate all its software to this new version. However, this is not an overnight task, and while that is happening, you need to “make sure the KDE products are as reliable as ever,” which is why it will be the community itself. the one that will keep «a set of patches with security and functional fixes»Until taking the leap.
They tell it on the official KDE blog and although the only reference to this movement is, “as Qt5 support is coming to an end”, the already stated, the reason for having to do this work internally and not Being able to take advantage of the maintenance provided by Qt Company is found in the restriction applied by the company that we have been talking about for almost a couple of years, and which especially affects Qt 5.15 LTS and its updates.
There’s not much more to add, really: it was early last year when it was announced that Qt LTS releases would be restricted to commercial customers and this has been done with the latest maintenance release, Qt 5.15 LTS. In between, it was even proposed – by Qt Company – to restrict each new version of Qt to paying customers for a year … and the fork alert was hovering, although the change did not materialize.
Everything was left up in the air as the imminent launch of Qt6 opened a new framework for action. But it is at this moment, in which the development of Qt5 is reduced to its maintenance and the migration to Qt6 must begin, when it has become evident that the Qt Company strategy to make companies pay also affects parties such as the KDE project, which needs to ensure the stability and security of its software until the transition to Qt6 is completed.
From this need arises the Qt 5 Patch Collection, “a set of git repositories based on the latest commits publicly available for Qt 5.15 with a curated collection of patches to ensure open source products can be used comfortably until users transition to their Qt 6-based ports ″; and that’s why it’s called a patch collection, and not fork, to this initiative.
«In order to transition to great future technologies like Qt6, we must have the peace of mind that our current users are satisfied. With this collection of patches we gain the flexibility we need to stabilize the status quo. In this way we can continue to collaborate with Qt and offer excellent solutions for our users.“, Writes Aleix Pol, President of KDE eV