PySide – Nokia-sponsored LGPL bindings to Qt

August 19th, 2009 at 5:07 am

When I wrote about moving to PyQt (from wxPython) a few months ago, I cited the transition of Qt to a LGPL license as one of the reasons, and conjectured that in a short time PyQt will have no choice but follow suit.

I got quite a few criticism on that statement, but now it looks like things are moving this way after all.

PySide is a LGPL licensed Python binding to Qt, initiated and backed by Nokia.

Nokia will provide multiple developers working on the project, but contributions will be encouraged and the contributors need not transfer their copyright or accept a code reuse license

How long will PyQt be able to hold on to GPL and a closed development model? It’s hard to say – but my guess is – not long. PySide plan for API compatibility with PyQt, so I think that in a few months more we’ll just start seeing people move to PySide. They openly encourage a community-aided development, which will positively affect quality.

To be fair, PySide isn’t mature yet – no Windows support for now, for example. But they’ve only just started and there’s a roadmap at least a year forward. There’s a lot of interest in Python and Qt integration in the Python community, so I don’t think PySide will stay immature for long.

There’s no doubt that in the long run, there should be just a single Qt binding for Python. No matter which one it will be, it’s pretty certain at this point that it will be liberally licensed. This is great news!

Related posts:

  1. Moving to PyQt
  2. matplotlib with PyQt GUIs
  3. Book review: “Rapid GUI Programming with Python and Qt” by Mark Summerfield
  4. Tetris implemented in PyQt
  5. A year with Python

2 Responses to “PySide – Nokia-sponsored LGPL bindings to Qt”

  1. JamieNo Gravatar Says:

    This is why I will NOT be using Qt for Python. I had started teaching msyelf Python with PyQt, as I wanted a good solid GUI, and now with this it’s all for naught. PySide is not ready yet, but they will kill PyQt anyway, they’ll change the API (they’ve already promised to do it in future versions) meaning changing your code in the near future, and I look for it to be dropped in a year or two anyway (just like QTJambi was) leaving developers with no supported toolkit. Looks like I need to buy the wxpython book. Thanks for nothing Nokia.

  2. elibenNo Gravatar Says:


    I think you’re overly pessimistic. PyQt isn’t going away so soon – it will take time. Moreover, PySide will start with full API compatibility and then maybe add some Pythonic APIs. The whole process is open and rests on user participation, which makes me think it can’t end up too badly for the users. I think it’s in their interest to keep backwards compatibility as much as possible, and I’m confident they will. Besides, their license for PySide is very liberal, so one can always take the code and create an alternative of keep it alive if Nokia gets bored and leaves it.

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