Early last year Qt Company had disclosed about the license changes on LTS releases and which had a significant impact on the communities and distributions that use Qt. Since from version 5.15, the QTS LTS branches will be supported until the formation of the next significant version, that is, about half a year (updates for LTS versions are released for three years).
After that, one year after the announcement (this year 2021) in the month of January these restrictions were put in placeAs the community will only be able to access new versions of Qt one year after their actual release.
And it is that Qt Company has restricted access to the code with updates for the version of Qt 5.15 from January 5 and on the version released in March (corrective version 5.15.3), which includes around 250 corrections and was made available only for commercial licensees.
At the same time, Qt Company expressed willingness to provide access to private repositories that maintain external Qt modules. The repository of the development branch is also open, in which the development of new versions of Qt takes place and through which most of the corrections of the previous branches pass.
Faced with this series of restrictions by Qt Company to access the source repository for the LTS branch of Qt 5.15, the KDE project has started supplying its own patch collection, Qt5PatchCollection, whose objective is to keep the Qt 5 branch afloat until the complete migration of the community to Qt6.
KDE has taken over the maintenance of patches for Qt 5.15, which include fixes for functional defects, crashes, and vulnerabilities. The patches are available in the qtbase Git repository.
Currently, lThe collection includes only patches that have been reviewed and approved by the Qt project, but in the future patches may be accepted that for some reason were not approved by upstrem. The criteria for including patches in the collection is the importance of the patch being implemented and the demand for open source software.
KDE has no plans to release separate versions from the patch set and will develop it as a continuous collection evolution based on the latest publicly available snapshot of the Qt 5.15 repository. Distributions are encouraged to include patches.
This is a set of git repositories based on the latest public commits available for Qt 5.15 branches with a curated collection of patches on top to ensure open source products can be used comfortably until users do. the transition to its ports based on Qt 6.
This patch collection includes patches that fix at least one of the following:
We only include patches that were approved in the initial phase of the Qt project. If a patch cannot be merged upstream for technical reasons (for example, the class no longer exists), it can also be merged.
The patches to be merged will be decided based on their relevance to open source products and their feasibility.
What’s more patches are planned to be compatible as long as there is a need from users for the open source products tied to the Qt 5.15 branch, and until Qt 6 finally replaces Qt 5 in open source development.
Qt Company has already commented on this and states that it is committed to contributing to the KDE initiative, has expressed his understanding that a project as large as KDE takes time to migrate to Qt 6. Providing fixes for the Qt 5 branch will help make migrations smoother and allow more time to stabilize the code.
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