Several months ago we share the news here on the blog about the decision they had made inside from Qt Company about making some changes to their licensing models and that they announced that the Qt long-term support edition is only included in commercial licenses, in addition to restricting access to the project in one way or another.
And it is that as such it was mentioned that the community will only be able to access new versions of Qt one year after their release real (if you want to know more about it about the note, you can consult the publication In the following link).
Well, now after that time elapsed from the news to date, the restrictions of Qt Company have already started and is that Tuukka turunen, Development Director of Qt Company, recently announced the access restriction to the source repository for the Qt 5.15 LTS branch, a version that was only released last May and the first release of the commercial-only Qt 5.15.3 LTS patch is scheduled to be released in February.
With Qt 6.0.0 released and the first patch version (Qt 6.0.1) coming soon, it is time to enter the commercial-only LTS phase for Qt 5.15 LTS.
All existing 5.15 branches remain publicly visible, but are closed for new commits (and selections).
The exception is Qt WebEngine (and deprecated Qt Script), which have a third-party LGPL dependency.
After this, the selections go to another repository that will be available only to commercial licensees.
We will organize access to the repository for commercial license holders, so in addition to the official versions, it is possible to use the repositories. Instructions on this will be available to business licensees within the next week, after we have completed the license change and other preparations.
We can arrange access for external module maintainers to commercial-only repositories.
The limitation was introduced according to plan announced a year ago, which involves the public release of the change code at LTS branches only before the formation of the next significant release.
And it is that just a few weeks ago the release of Qt 6.0 was formed, whose code remains available and the publication of the first corrective update 6.0.1 is expected in the next few days.
But as of today (January 5) only owners of a commercial license will be able to access the code with updates for Qt version 5.15.
Even though it is mentioned that public access to all versions of Qt 5.15 will be retained previously published, but new confirmations will be added behind closed doors. The exception is made only for the code of the Qt WebEngine and Qt Script modules, which are linked to external dependencies under the LGPL license.
A Qt 5.15.3 patch is scheduled to be released in February for business users only. The Qt Company has expressed its willingness, upon separate request, to provide external Qt module maintainers with access to private repositories, which will provide community members with the opportunity to observe changes in Qt 5.15 LTS.
Bug fixes and vulnerabilities can also be ported from the development branchor in which the new versions of Qt are developed. As a general rule, patches appear first on this branch, after which they are transferred to branches with stable versions.
Support for the previous branch of LTS Qt 5.12 will last until the end of 2021. Distributions that need to ship packages with Qt 5.15 will be forced to keep the branch themselves or switch to the Qt 6 branch, which does not guarantee full compatibility with Qt 5.
Qt maintainers on Debian have stated previously that they will not have enough time to support Qt 6 in the distribution. The community is discussing the creation of a joint project to organize support for their own LTS branches of Qt, independent of Qt Company.