Archive for April, 2012

The problem with supporting Windows

April 9, 2012

I guess many Linux users know the problem that some Windows software, they would like to use on Linux, isn’t ported for some reason like a too small market etc. What’s funny is that the problem also exists in the other direction, although for totally different reasons.

The problem really showed in recent development of Krita. For a long time Krita was only available for Linux and other Unix-like systems, but in the last time we got more and more requests from users for a Windows version. So we want to support Krita on Windows. Since we are using Qt and KDE ported to Windows shouldn’t be a big issue, right? Well not exactly, while these libraries take most of the work away the port still needs continued maintenance. To make a good user experience you need some developer(s) working on Windows to iron out the platform specific problems.

Which leads us to the main problem: We simply don’t have any Windows developers. My impression is that by now almost all open source developers are working on Linux and are not particularly interested to work on Windows on volunteer basis. Working on Windows simply isn’t fun. Unlike for conventional software development the mere mass of users on a platform doesn’t provide any advantage to support it.

How to solve the problem? Easiest would of course be that we find a few volunteers that have fun working on Windows. Something that I think is not very likely. Only alternative is to pay someone to work full time on it, which of course means that Windows users would need to pay a few euros (at least on average).

By the way, the Mac OS version is also affected by a similar problem. No Krita developer has a Mac anymore, so development on that platform has ceased.