KDE has started a patch collection for Qt 5.15 that offers long-term bug fixes for the discontinued 5.x branch of the cross-platform framework. The Qt5PathCollection is intended to ensure that operators of open source software can work with a stable variant of the last major version until they switch to Qt 6.
The motivation for the project is likely to be the decision made by the Qt Company in early 2020 to limit LTS (Long-Term Support) releases to paying customers. The last minor release of the 5.x branch was released in May 2020. The first LTS update came at the beginning of March and, as announced, is only available for the commercial version.
Steep version step
The latest release is still available as open source software. However, the leap in the main version not only brings numerous changes, but at least in version 6.0 released in December 2020, some important features of 5.x are still missing. The Qt 6.1 currently available as a preview adds some modules, but still has gaps compared to 5.15.
Will take place on June 23 the betterCode () Qt 2021 instead of an online conference on Qt 6. The focus is on the one hand on the innovations of the main versions and on the other hand on the sometimes steep migration path. The presentations should help, among other things, in deciding how and when it makes sense to migrate Qt 5 projects to the new main version.
The The chief maintainer will hold the keynote of the Qt project and CTO of the Qt Company Lars Knoll. He will report on the goals in the development of Qt 6 and give an outlook on the releases from Qt 6.2.
This means that users of the open source version are faced with the difficult decision to take the leap to the new main version and to cushion missing connections with potentially cumbersome transitional measures or to use a version that is not maintained and therefore potentially vulnerable for a longer period of time.
Bridge builder KDE
KDE would like to fill this gap with the patch collection that has now been launched. It is primarily aimed at KDE software, but is generally open to open source software. These are exclusively security fixes and functional bug fixes. In addition, only patches are entered that are also included upstream in the Qt project. This also means that everyone who wants to submit a patch has to sign the Qt Contribution Agreement.
The only exception applies to corrections that, for technical reasons, cannot be integrated as an upstream patch, for example because a class no longer exists. A group of curators who have the final say on merges to be integrated decides on the inclusion of a patch.
The patch collection will not explicitly include any new features, but only deal with bug fixes. The licenses of the patches are the same as the licenses of the open source variants of the respective modules.
Further details can be found the announcement at KDE remove. The page for the Qt5PatchCollection offers an FAQ, among other things, for downloading and submitting patches and for general terms and conditions.