ICS Insight Blog

ICS Insight Blog

A Blog for Application Designers and Developers

Connecting software developers and UX designers with ideas, inspiration and insight to build really cool stuff people want to use.

August 24, 2015  •  By Jeff LeBlanc  •  User Experience  •  User Experience, technology, software projects
By Jeff LeBlanc “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” – Arthur C. Clarke As technologists, we are privileged to be working in a time of magic, or at least working with technology that would have seemed magical to our grandparents. Many of us have more computing power in our pockets than was used to put men on the moon.  Even Hollywood is finding it hard to come up with technology to show in movies that is much beyond what we use and envision daily.  With the Amazon Echo coming out, my hope of having my own personal J.A.R.V.I.S....
August 19, 2015  •  By Jeff Tranter  •  Qt & QML  •  Qt, language bindings
By Jeff Tranter  Most Qt developers use C++ (the language that Qt is written in), often in association with QML. There are however, other programming languages that can be used with Qt. In this blog post, we'll look at some of the alternative language options. Rationale You may wonder why anyone would use a language other than C++, as it is the most well supported language for Qt programming. Some possible reasons include a personal preference based on one's knowledge or experience, or a particular programming language may be a better fit to the problem domain at hand...
August 5, 2015  •  By Eric Stone  •  Qt & QML  •  Qt, QML, OpenGL, scene graph
By Eric Stone This blog post presents a short example program that illustrates how to use OpenGL and Qt in a scene graph. The two main goals are to show how the scene graph can be used, and more importantly, how to incorporate your own OpenGL code as part of the scene graph (as opposed to overlaying them). The code is relatively short and commented so rather than describe it here in detail, I suggest you build and run it, and then study the code, possibly making some changes of your own. The complete source code can be downloaded from here. The example will build with recent...
August 4, 2015  •  By Jeff LeBlanc  •  User Experience  •  User Experience, UX, interactive devices, Design, engineers
By Jeff LeBlanc One of the challenges to creating effecting and engaging User Experiences (UX) for interactive devices is balancing the creative aspect with the functional. Talented visual designers can create amazing works in Photoshop, some of which make even experienced software engineers cringe when it comes to having to implement them. Knowing the capabilities of your development team can be critical when trying to make the right decisions in the early phases of a design effort. As part of a consulting organization, ICS designers have become skilled at recognizing that...
July 27, 2015  •  By Jeff LeBlanc  •  User Experience  •  developers, designers, user experience design, UXD
By Jeff LeBlanc  Before getting the opportunity to run a design team, I worked as a Qt developer and trainer for many years.  This has given me some insights into the development pipeline that I think a lot of people have missed. I’ve heard both developers and designers complaining about one or the other many times, but the reality is that both disciplines are more alike than many people would believe.  I’ve blogged about this previously (Lean UX and Agile Development: Not So Different After All ) and I have to say that the similarities grow stronger the...
July 22, 2015  •  By Jeff Tranter  •  Qt & QML  •  Qt, commands
By Jeff Tranter In this blog post, the last in the series, I'll cover the remaining Qt command line tools as there are only a few programs we have not already discussed. xmlpatterns and xmlpatternsvalidator These two XML-related tools are for working with Qt's XQuery support. XQuery is a query and functional programming language for querying and transforming collections of structured and unstructured data. The xmlpatterns command is a tool for running XQuery queries. The xmlpatternsvalidator program is used for validating Qt XML Patterns. As a piece of useless trivia,...
By Dorothy Shamonsky Qualcomm and Cisco have been pushing the term, Internet of Everything (IoE) while most others are using the term Internet of Things (IoT). As could be expected, confusion about the difference between the two has ensued. Is there a difference or is it just rhetoric? Some people use them interchangeably but there is a clear conceptual difference. IoE encompasses a wider scope and takes into consideration the infrastructure needed and the potential impacts that will occur on data, privacy, security and usability as a result of connecting billions of devices to the...
July 8, 2015  •  By Jeff Tranter  •  Qt & QML  •  Qt, commands
In the next installment of this blog series on the lesser-known Qt commands, we'll look at the QML-related tools that come with Qt 5. qml This program is the so-called QML tooling, which allows running QML files directly like a script, much like UNIX shell scripts or Python programs. I've covered this specific topic before and and refer you to that previous blog post 1 for more details. qmlbundle Qmlbundle is a tool that allows combining resources, like QML and JavaScript files and images, into a single file. The idea is to simplify deployment by combining multiple...
The user experiences (UXs) of Internet-enabled devices that are part of the Internet of Things (IoT) are expected to require little or no learning for users to be effectively proficient with them. As these devices proliferate, it’s inconceivable that users will have any patience to figure out complex or confusing user experiences. This is particularly so with public devices where the time that any one user might engage with a device is measured in minutes. How does a designer deal with this dilemma? To add to the challenge, many of these connected devices are not built upon platforms...
June 24, 2015  •  By Jeff Tranter  •  Qt & QML  •  Qt, commands, documentation
In this next installment of our blog series on lesser-known Qt commands, we'll look at four tools related to documentation: qdoc, qhelpgenerator, qcollectiongenerator and qhelpconverter. Qdoc Qdoc1 is the tool used to generate the developer documentation for the Qt Project. It is not specific to Qt, and can be used to create documentation for other projects or applications. Similar to tools like Javadoc2 and Doxygen3, it works by extracting structured comments from source files and using them to generate documentation in HTML or other formats...

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