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Nokia to acquire Trolltech

So, this week didn’t start out the way I would like them to. Mondays will always be mondays, but not all mondays begin with the following words in an email to you:

“Dear customer, Nokia will make a public voluntary tender offer to acquire Trolltech. Trolltech’s management and board of directors support Nokia’s offer. We felt it was important to directly inform you about this.”

When I read those words my mind shorted (like PSU’s do when you poke them with screwdrivers), and I felt that all too familiar lump forming in my throat. ‘Why’ you ask? Well, I love Qt, and those few words made me fear I was about to loose her forever.

I did alot of thinking that day. Thinking about my applications, the fun being removed from development, and many other things. When I went to bed I was not able to sleep. I just laid there, wondering how such a thing could happen.

The next day I felt a little better, even though I didn’t get any sleep, and I was able to process the information with a little more rationale. My initial reaction was due to my experience from working in the telecom-industry, having seen how Nokia behaves towards both competitors, ‘partners’ and end-users.

Sure, when companies become huge they tend to forget what ‘ethics’ mean, and deal potential devastating blows to others, seemingly on naught more than a whim. Some middle-manager might have had a bad day or something like that, and company X (that Nokia just bought) get fancifully drafted letters saying that they will be ‘put down’, and their employees scattered throughout the big beast that is Nokia. Ok, so maybe that is overly dramatic, but you get my point.

When thinking about Trolltech as an organization you usually think about a collection of skilled and dedicated developers, squeezing every last bit of genious out their brains, so they can release the #1 open-source, cross-platform toolkit for developers.

It is now my belief that these people never would accept seeing their 10+ years undertaking ruined because of some buy-out or quazi-political decision from Nokias side. I am confident that should Nokia somehow ’sabotage’ Qt, at least a good deal of the developers at Trolltech would continue developing Qt some way or another. Through The KDE Free Qt Foundation the codebase could be released under eg. the BSD-license, and everyone would be relatively free to do as they please with it. However, looking at the quality of the different Qt-releases, I pray that won’t come to pass. The troll’s have been doing a great job so far.

My hopes are that Nokia will help bring Qt and Qtopia to the next level, and that Trolltech will be kept ‘as-is’ management-wize. This is something they can do, if they so choose. I hope and pray that is their intention. It would reflect very good on both Trolltech and Nokia, the latter needing every bit of good publicity they can get.

I’ll end this somehow chaotic post with the following pleas: - Trolls: Keep shipping great products, listen to your community and help us fans show the world that Qt is the toolkit to use. - Nokia: Help bring Qt and Qtopia to the next level. Show us that you too can to ‘The Right Thing’. It is never too late.