Monday, September 19, 2011

Some random things about Qt & QML!

Someone asked a question in stack overflow about the future of Qt and Qt's future support for Desktop. A thought of sharing you what my answer was to him.

The future of Qt is never uncertain. The one who said, "there is not interest in desktop" is not the owner. The future of Qt is well mentioned after the Feb'11 (announcement of WP7 collaboration). In fact, QML is Good way to go for future UIs.

For your proof, the new Unity Interface for Ubuntu is going to have a 2D QML interface and the future editions are going to have QML 3D interface for some applications. The new Ubuntu is highly integrated with Qt.

The way Qt is going is too good so far. As a regular reader of Qt blogs and labs, I can say it for sure. The new Qt 5 is going to have lot of features and performance improvements. Also, they have committed its development to the successful Open Governance model. So, everyone can contribute.

Since the future of development is going to be for Mobiles and Tablets, most of the tutorials you will find may seem to create an illusion that Qt has no support for Desktop, but its not the case.

Download the latest Qt SDK 1.3 and you will find the Qt 4.7.4 for Desktop.

To ease the use of Qt, for developing both mobile and desktop applications, Nokia has combined both development environment into one SDK called Qt SDK, unlike the previous Nokia Qt SDK.

Moreover, I think no other C++ development framework can support a wide range of platforms like Qt supports now.

I supports: -
  • Desktop OSs: Windows, Linux, Mac OSx. 
  • Mobiles OSs: Symbian, Android (Community cupported), IOS (Comunity supported), Windows CE, Embedded Linux devices, Meego, Maemo. 
  • Tablet OSs: Android, Meego, Tablet Linux ports.

A new opportunity for porting it to is available in the name of Qt Necessitas- The Android port and IOS port of Qt are based on this only. If you have doubts check the YouTube for videos.

And regarding Java, I have read it is not that cross platform as Qt is. I also doubt whether any IDE, other than Qt can give you the comfort of cross compiling.
The Documentation is too good that, for rare cases where cross platform is not supported (for some Window functions) is mentioned explicitly along with alternative methods to implement it in that particular OS.

QML is awesome, since its behind the scene actions are performed using C++ to give you similar performance (85% as fast as Qt C++). And you don't have the head ache of Memory Management (if you are not used to with C++). If you really want a beautiful GUI and fast performance go for QML and C++.. Else the easy option is to use QML and Javascript.
I'm developing an application for Symbian, using heavy animations in my Nokia E63 with a CPU clock speed of 386 MHz and QML performance is smoother and doesn't hangs at all.

You can even find the OS and version with an if else statement, that easy. Give it a try before deciding it by reading some reviews.

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