The Qt Marketplace(qt.io)
Wait, do I read it correctly? A GUI library has its own appstore now? How? Why?
Your comment may read as condescending or snarky but I was wondering the same thing. Then I went and looked at a couple of extensions and the cheapest was $2,000. The button says "Buy extension" and right above the button it says "Subscription will renew in one year". Is that for updates or what?
At the bottom of the page it says "Kuesa 3D Runtime may be used as a tool in the creation of applications. To incorporate it as a library into an application and sell on as a commercial application, ask us for Kuesa 3D Studio. Read the complete EULA."
What am I buying? Am I just buying the privilege to be able to develop with their proprietary software but I can't actually distribute it? Also, why is there a link to github. Is this open source? I'm so confused. I shouldn't have to read a complete EULA to get a basic understanding and I shouldn't have to already know what something is to purchase it in a marketplace. Marketplaces are for discoverability.
> What am I buying? Am I just buying the privilege to be able to develop with their proprietary software but I can't actually distribute it?
Frontend developers have at their disposal template stores where they can purchase ready-made components and templates to include in their projects.
The rationale is that buying specialized web components saves development time and budget.
This isn't any different.
Well I think in this case the price may indicate it’s a fairly specialized tool. I’m not sure the benefit of putting something like that on a marketplace, since anyone spending $2,000 on Kuesa definitely knows where to find it already...
I don’t do anything even close to this space, but I found https://www.kdab.com/kuesa/ was a fairly good overview of their offering, as far as these pages typically go.
wow this reminds me of borland delphi and mfc components and libraries. now with subscription on top of it. it might actually work because it did before for highly specialized gui components.
The cheapest/only paid one that put a price in the store.
That's the initial problem they clearly have (aside from it being fairly bare-bones design and feature-wise): The big players in the ecosystem have their own sales systems, often quite specialized products and thus only a nominal presence in the store pointing you to them: E.g. Felgo has the closest to a commercial component library, but they don't sell that through the store but just have the free level there and a pointer to their own site. Kuesa seems complex enough that you'd probably contact them for a demo and a more conventional enterprise sales process anyways. Or maybe someone who wouldn't do that might actually buy it there.
The small ones that probably would like a store don't have products yet because there wasn't a store until now. Or maybe didn't have access to Qt-the-company to get into the launch. I assume that's why they've seeded it with a bunch of Open-Source libraries too, to at least give it some discovery value.
A store has been asked for a bunch, and it's not as weird as GP makes it out (tons of sites sell HTML/JS components, game engines have stores for assets/scripts, ...), we'll see if it actually works out.
a simply "how" & "why" at HN will be deemed as "snarky" easily? I wonder "how" and "why" a lot and thought it's a quick way to start a constructive(provocative, but not negative) discussion, not sure why some of readers here are so easily got offended and started to down-vote, well I'm used to it nowadays.
Yes, since the 90's when the businesses selling GUI components for VB, Delphi and Motif started.
Qt is a bit more than just a GUI library. It's pretty much an entire application framework, and probably the most popular one for C++.
> GUI library
Qt has been used to build multiple OS userspaces - LG WebOS (https://github.com/webosose/luna-surfacemanager/blob/08a73ac...), Jolla, Ubuntu Phone, Plasma Mobile, AsteroidOS... and a damn high amount of embedded devices.
It's a bit more than a "GUI library"
Qt is a GUI library in the same sense as node.js is a GUI library.
You never used/seen Delphi?
Last I used it was ~11 years ago. I never realized it's anything more than a Windows IDE for Pascal with a GUI builder bolted to it.
It had a pretty big ecosystem of people selling components (both GUI and not) for said GUI builder (but as far as I remember no central store, that was less of a thing back then I guess). Kind of similar to how now companies sell e.g. good table-widgets, fancy form elements, ... for web developers.
I see this as a failed launch. The website looks like it has been knocked up using standard components by a small team over a couple of weeks. Ask yourself 'What problem does this solve?' If I wanted a C++ library that was Qt friendly I either know about it already or I Google for "doxygen qtcreator" or "qt vlc". If this site going to be more up to date than the entire Internet?
Key things are clearly missing, the description of what components do (you get a logo and a name) or their license is not forefront. A lot of KDE stuff is in there which really doesn't fit well, KDE Icons were not high on anybody's list. If I am in the 2D space, I'd want to browse 2D libraries and tools. The tag cloud at the bottom is a massive blob of un-curated words: https://marketplace.qt.io/
Oh, lets pick the doxygen plugin for QtCreator and click 'Get Extension' . hmmm I have to compile it myself!
This is little more that a collection of links to the real products. Often you are better going to the original source to find details of what you need. Browsing this site adds little value.
When I first hear about Qt Marketplace, I (wrongly) assumed they were going to solve package management for Qt development which would be game changing. Instead we get a wiki linking out to existing libraries which you have to take care of yourself.
Cross-platform C++ package management would be a breakthrough and I was expecting Qt to hook up with conan and a build farm. That would be a game changer.
The dev team did a good job but the stakeholders and the product management need to really reflect on what value they added to the lives of their target users. If this thing cost £50k to produce then I don't see it making that money back for the Qt company in the next 12 months.
No free extensions allowed at first and 30% tariff for selling through the Qt marketplace.
I think platform companies, like Apple and Qt, should not be able to impose such a high percentage as gatekeepers.
Where does it say that free extensions are not allowed?
I don't see anything like that either. The second paragraph even says this:
> Either for free or for a price.
Also, there's stuff from KDE in the marketplace too:
It seems like they don't host the binaries for free projects, but instead you provide a markdown file with installation instructions, like this:
And when a user clicks "Get Extension", they are sent to this page.
I think you misread: In the beginning, we’ll only allow companies to add paid extensions. There’s still some work to be done when it comes to automation of the publishing process and the financial process. Our goal is to make the necessary enhancements by the end of next year so that we can start onboarding paid content also from individuals. We will inform you about this later.
The next paragraph has We, of course, promote the individual developers and companies to use standard “copy-lefts” ranging from GPL to MIT especially for free extensions.
TLDR: For now, individuals can _only_ publish free extensions. Companies can publish either free or commercial extensions.
> I think platform companies, like Apple and Qt, should not be able to impose such a high percentage as gatekeepers.
I don't understand your complain. So there was no service available to the public, and people at Qt decided to invest their time and resources to provide a service where there was zero. Do they deserve criticism for doing something?
I think pointing out that virtually all the (near-) monopolies we see in the IT market place are (naturally) used to extract significant rent, that this is a canonical case of market failure and demands some sort of corrective is a valid point to make when yet another market sees a player trying to establish themselves as such a monopoly.
You can't pull the "market failure" card when someone just launches a service where there was none.
I can totally point out that in similar situations, the result was a market failure, and that it might be good to do something about that before it happens again.
Now, to put up a straw-man against that, why not wait to see, usually these platforms fail pretty quickly anyhow? Well, if the outcome is either failure of the platform, or success of the platform by capturing (nearly) all of the market, then why no regulate it?
Free extensions seem to be allowed. Check this one for example: https://marketplace.qt.io/products/incredibuild
Obviously it needs Incredibuild server and license, but the plugin is distributed via Qt Marketplace free of charge.
I don't find 30% outrageous at all. They do what I suck at as a developer, to market my products. They handle credit card transactions, recurring payments, marketing and distribution. Meanwhile I can focus on what I like, to develop cool shit. It's a win-win in principle.
They do what I suck at as a developer, to market my products.
Except they won't market your products, they will market the App Store and if you happen to be buried under a million other listings then tough luck.
Well build stuff that solves a problem, name it properly and it will surface.
When app stores launch they start with a handful, it makes sense to jump on early.
That's like rolling a dice and hoping you get lucky.
That's pretty much how life works :)
"should not be allowed"? Not be allowed by whom? It doesn't take permission from anyone to open up an online store. Why shouldn't they, anyway?
Can you recommend an objectively more fair alternative? It costs money to run things, and it’s fair for any vendor to charge what they will for a vig, participation in the marketplace should keep them “fair” in the sense that an unfair market wouldn’t have any participants...
Also, if limiting the high percentage does end up being the plan of attack, who exactly is in charge of that?
>Also, if limiting the high percentage does end up being the plan of attack, who exactly is in charge of that?
a regulatory agency. Credit Card transactions in the EU, for example, are capped at a fraction of a per cent and they still make plenty of cash. Infrastructure providers are essentially just glorified landlords and should not be allowed to extract economic rents from market participants.
This is becoming a very blatant and obvious problem on a largely privatized internet. Enforcing low margin incentivises the correct behaviour which is openness and continued innovation. If steam would be forced to build new products rather than sitting on their platform we'd probably have had Half Life 3 a bunch of years ago.
> If steam would be forced to build new products rather than sitting on their platform we'd probably have had Half Life 3 a bunch of years ago.
Steam is a terrible example for this. First of all, Steam isn't a company, it's a product. Valve is the company. Second of all, unlike the App Store or other similar infrastructure, it's not like you're locked into Steam, so they're not really rent-seeking. Steam has had plenty of competitors over the years(Direct2Drive, Games for Windows Live, that garbage GameStop store), they all sucked, and as far as I know there's nothing stopping me from publishing on multiple stores & ignoring Steam. Third, Valve hasn't exactly been doing nothing - they've done more than any other company to the gaming experience under Linux & have pioneered VR. Odds are good they wouldn't have taken those risks had it not been subsidized with comfortable margins they got from Steam.
If you had cited, say, the App Store, or something that has actual monopoly power in terms of infrastructure (like our good friends at Comcast) it would have been a much stronger argument.
>it's not like you're locked into Steam, so they're not really rent-seeking
rent-seeking and monopolistic behaviour aren't the same things. Rent-seeking is the extraction of economic rent without providing new wealth with one prominent example being someone putting a chain across a private plot of land and charging you every time you want to cross over. Whether you've five guys doing that or one isn't particularly relevant.
So while competition ameliorates the negative effects of these private platforms slightly the more fundamental broken part is really that they should not be allowed to exist in the first place. What is economically desirable is competition between developers and service providers on a common and open infrastructure with ideally all reimbursements beyond maintaining the platform going to the content creators.
In fact, competition among platform owners in many ways makes the system worse because it incentivises walled gardens. This is starting to become obvious in the streaming world with Netflix gaining competition and as a result, platform-exclusive content becoming more important, or companies like Spotify or Stitcher enclosing the podcast ecosystem which used to be a prime example of openness.
Their point still stands by your analogy. There is no plot of land over which a chain has been put by Steam, users can still acquire videogames outside of proprietary platforms as easily on desktop PCs as they could before Steam was created. The only thing they are extracting rent from is their own brand and infrastructure.
Smartphone OS vendors make it hard to venture outside their walled gardens, not Steam. There are no exclusivity deals (afaik), no all-encompassing SDK developers are incentivized to integrate with (Google Play services), even SteamOS doesn't lock users down.
It’s a wonderful point, and the fact that even Steam can monetize an App Store under those conditions just goes to show that these delivery channels are actually incredibly valuable and worth a significant percentage cut due to the difficult real-world problems that they solve, and the access to a customer base ready to pay money for your product (versus pirate it).
They are perfectly capable of operating at a flat-rate service cost.
I'm not sure what you mean by this? Anyone is perfectly capable of operating their business at a flat-rate pricing structure versus a commission structure. That's the beauty of our economy; that companies can make these decisions for themselves and their customers can then vote with their wallets which solution they like better.
Steam is the perfect example because it started from nothing, did not leverage any existing device-base to shoe-horn it's solution, and they exist in a marketplace littered with a long list of failed competitors who couldn't beat them in a fair fight.
And yet still people will hate on them for nothing more than being successful apparently, and offering a service that game studios throw fist-fulls of money at.
> Rent-seeking is the extraction of economic rent without providing new wealth
I assume what you mean is "providing new value"? Regardless, Steam doesn't fit this description at all:
- Valve doesn't own the vast majority of games on Steam (i.e. they aren't just buying IP and "rent-seeking" using it)
- Steam adds value that consumers want, which is why it is so popular (friends, achievements, marketplace, workshop, etc)
- Even ignoring the previous point, the basic premise of a game store isn't rent-seeking, because download bandwidth and easy installation are added value by themselves
- Steam isn't a walled garden: they do not prevent you from selling on other stores or pay for exclusives or other similar behavior - Steam wins by out-competing the competition, it doesn't create artificial advantages for itself
"Enforcing low margin incentivises the correct behaviour which is openness and continued innovation. "
Wow, no, this is just not true.
'Margins' vary widely from system to system, and it's generally best left to industry to figure that out. We spent a good part of the 20th century figuring out why central authorities are not good at setting prices.
Where monopolies/oligarchies develop, there are possibly problems, which is why there are regulations against cartels, price fixing, anti-competitive behaviour etc..
Qt is just a small player platform, they are well within reason to charge 'whatever' prices they want for their 'marketplace'.
If 99% of software was developed using their tooling, we might want them subject to their tooling, but this just isn't the case, so best to leave them be.
Cool. So what alternatives to the apple store do I have to reach iPhone users?
Choice is why Apple isn't gouging developers with 100 dollar service subscriptions just to sign packages right?
The choice is in you wanting to reach iPhone users in the first place. If you don’t want to support Apple and their App Store, don’t make apps for iPhone. Maybe spend your time developing for a platform you feel more ideologically-aligned with. If you can’t make a living doing that, accept the hobby status of that endeavor and live your life. There are plenty of projects I’d love to get paid to work on but can’t yet, because I don’t care to sell to the speculative software development market.
> I think platform companies, like Apple and Qt, should not be able to impose such a high percentage as gatekeepers.
I don't think Qt really can... Feels like they're charging way too much, there's not much content and Qt itself is not exactly "hot stuff" right now. (Compared to, say, Apple as the % is same)
Qt is not targeting app developers.
They tried that a couple of years ago, only to find out most weren't willing to pay jumping into Xamarin, while their license was even cheaper vs the Xamarin one.
They now care about enterprise and specialized embedded markets.
They seem to be continuing to support Android and iOS. Their platform works great and they've continued to add features over the last year and in years prior.
It still doesn't match the mobile OS support that you can get with the competition.
For me it looks more like a nice to have than anything else.
Junior Qt/C++ developer here. In my opinion, the Qt community is poorly developed and not booming at all currently, which I greatly regret.
What are you thoughts about this Marketplace and it's future potential impact ? Is it gonna promote the open source and "plugin" community around Qt/QML ? It seems pretty "company" oriented.
Interesting statement, but I see a thriving community asking and answering questions on stackoverflow: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/qt