Quim keynote on Maemo's switch to Qt as the main toolkit
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07-05-2009 , 08:18 AM
Posts: 3,105 | Thanked: 11,057 times | Joined on Jul 2007 @ Mountain View (CA, USA)
Hi, this topic started in another thread but I guess you want to discuss more here.
About the switch GTK+/Qt in Fremantle/Harmattan, providing commercial support on both frameworks for both releases implies an amount of work that we simply can't nor want to commit. Qt in Fremantle is in pretty decent shape now and we expect to fine tune it more to make it a realistic option for developers in Fremantle. GTK+/Hildon support in Harmattan depends nowadays on the interest to support coming from players other than Maemo Devices (the Maemo community, the GNOME Mobile initiative, else...). Technically it shouldn't be that hard to port the related libraries to Harmattan and allow the current applications to run, even if not fully integrated. We can help, but the initiative needs to come from someone else. The good thing is that there is a whole Fremantle maintenance period to think and discuss this.
The Maemo API in Harmattan will be Qt based and this is all what application developers willing to deal with the native environement will need to care about. But... actually I don't expect the majority of developers willing to deal with native environments by the time Harmattan goes aout, and actually the GTK+/Qt or even C/C++ will sound to far from their interests and concerns.
GTK+/Hildon won't be used by the applications shipped with Harmattan out of the box and therefore won't be pre-installed. When we say that GTk+/Hildon will hopefully be there as community supported we really mean that. If all things go well developers interested in these libraries would find them in Extras, just like they are finding e.g. the Python bindings there now.
You can't really compare the GTK+ in 2005 and Qt now when it comes to mobile UI friendliness. You can't compare either the position of the Nokia developers working on the first Maemo release under the hood that time and the position of the Maemo developers now that the intentions about Qt have been communicated, even before Fremantle is out. For these reasons it is more feasible to say that plain Qt applications should be able to work in Harmattan much better than plain GTK+ applications have been able to run in Maemo until now. But be aware that Maemo will develop a lot more on top of the Qt & Qt Mobility APIs, as explained yesterday in the presentation (I will link to the audio file asap).
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