Episode 20

Wednesday, April 13, 2011
  • CuteHacks ports their Qt Apps to Android
  • Qt SDK 1.1 RC
  • Qt Creator 2.2 Beta
  • Qt Contributors Summit
Mark Hatch and Justin Noel

Intro: Welcome to ICSNetwork's This Week in Qt, the podcast that keeps you informed of significant events that may impact your engineering projects. If you have not yet heard about ICS, please visit our website at www.ics.com. As an organization, we believe we have the best independent team of Qt and MeeGo engineers in the world. Whether you're starting a new project or need help solving a Qt or MeeGo development challenge, please contact us at sales@ics.com.

Mark: Good morning, this is Mark Hatch and I run the Qt business here at ICS, and with me today is Justin Noel, one of our senior engineers, and this is This Week in Qt. So Justin, what are we going to talk about today?

Justin: Well previously we talked a lot about business stuff and in this section, or segment I should say, we are going to talk a little bit more about some of the fun stuff that's going on; some releases, and some interesting things going on with Qt apps on Android.

M: Well that's cool, so tell me about that.

J: So the guys over at Cutehacks have basically taken some of their applications that had previously deployed into the Ovi store, went ahead and quickly ported them to the Necessitas, the Qt on Android libraries, and deployed them on the Android marketplace. And good old Espin and Marius, the guys who run Cutehacks, basically said that their changes were less than 10 lines of code. Required a couple quick ifdef blocks, a java wrapper, and they were able to deploy very quickly on the Android marketplace the same exact app, and same exact code.

M: So the Cutehacks guys are what, former Trolls right?

J: They are actually, yeah. In fact you might remember them from their various DevDays presentations.

M: Good guys, so that's pretty cool. In fact we're actually seeing some customers which are looking at this as a way to deploy their applications on Android and Android devices, since they are currently the dominant device other than the Apple's.

J: Yeah it really gets two birds with one stone. So you can check out their code up on their website up at cutehacks, they also got posted to blog.qt.nokia.com, some of the work they have been doing there. And just a note to our audience, Necessitas is the name of the package for Android that you download through the marketplace. Bogdan Vatra is the guy who has been heading up the project. It is in the Alpha state right now. Bogdan does not suggest that you deploy all of your apps as quick as you can. He would rather the code mature and have a final release before everyone makes the big splash. But he has a really nice 3-click installer that will get you everything you need to develop with Qt on Android in 3 clicks.

M: I've been wondering why I've been signing all these purchase orders for Android tablets. I think I figured out where all of these things are going here at ICS.

J: Yeah, it even includes a version of Creator that's downloaded with it that has integration for the Android emulator inside of it.

M: Oh that's cool! These guys are unbelievable

J: They've made it incredibly easy to move your application to Android, and this is all done by the community. Nokia was not involved in this port at all, which goes to show the portability of the Qt code, and this also leverages that lighthouse project that we've been talking about for the last year. This shows how easy it is to port all the graphics and windowing system structures to a new platform like Android.

M: One of the things that we're actually seeing here, is we're starting to see the revival of what the original Qt goal was, which was really a cross-platform foundation. And I know over the last couple of years, it's no secret that Nokia has really been focused on the Mobile market, and we haven't seen as much on the cross-platform, but it really fun to see this Android... We continue to monitor the iOS work that's being done separately using Lighthouse too. Gee, we just completed the QNX port, to put a plug in for ICS.

J: Yes, and then of course as everybody knows, or, well if you listen to this podcast you'd know, that Qt is also on the distribution list of things that are inside Web OS 2. So if they were nice enough to make that a public API, your applications might run there as well.

M: Hey HP, are you listening here!?

J: So that's sort of a fun thing that's been happening. So you can check out the videos and code up on Cutehacks. Up on Sourceforge, on the project page for Neccesitas, the Qt for Android project, it has all the wiki instructions and the big download that you can basically get everything in one download in 3 clicks. So happy hacking everybody out there!

M: That's cool! Thank you Cutehacks!

J: So another thing is, there have been a couple of releases, and this is for things that are also getting a little bit confusing, but Qt SDK 1.1 has entered the release candidate stage. This was released today, and I haven't downloaded it yet, but I did notice that it comes with the following, Qt 4.7.3, Mobility 1.1.2, and Qt Creator 2.1. So this is the latest officially released software for Creator, Mobility and Qt. Interestingly enough, I had never seen referenced before now, to Qt 4.7.3, which makes me think that Nokia is either ready, or very close to ready to dropping another bug fix release to the Qt 4.7.2 that was recently released.

M: I almost remember that there was something going on in the blogosphere that there was some major bug in 4.7.2?

J: Yeah there's actually regression in 4.7.2 when it came to Graphics View and Symbian, which meant that QML was affected, which is extremely bad. So I heard something was going to come out rather quickly for that, and I assume that's what this is. There won't be a whole lot of bug fixing in 4.7.3, but I can't say that for certain. I haven't seen the changelog. And then we have Qt Creator 2.2 beta. So the way this works is the SDK is really a combination of all the Nokia products; it's Creator, it's Mobility, it's Qt itself. They actually released the individual components on their own cycle. So, while the release candidate of the SDK comes with Creator 2.1, you could at your option separately download Qt Creator 2.2 beta, which has a lot of new features, mostly having to do with having better QML editors, so as you highlight over QML items in the text editor you'll actually get graphical helps, so when you over-font you can actually visually pick the attributes of the font rather than having to look them up or memorize them or use the keyword completion. There's also a lot of work that's been done on the back end, especially when it comes to debugging support, especially on Windows. So things should be faster and easier.

M: We still don't have Visual C++ 10, or Visual Studio 10 yet?

J: Well, actually Nokia's policy when it comes to new compilers is that they won't support them until the next major version. So official support for Visual Studio 2010 will be in 4.8 when it's released. So until then, you're on your own if you have any issues, although I'm sure that the mailing list and even Qt support might be able to help you out a little bit.

M: Excellent, excellent. So, one other question was, I seem to remember there was some event going on in June with Qt contribution...?

J: Oh yes, that's right! There is actually a Qt contributors summit that is going to go on. It is by invitation only, but you can ask for an invitation. So if you have made contributions to Qt, or if you are serious about making contributions to Qt, you can get in contact with the Trolls that are running the Qt contributors summit. You can find information on that on qt.nokia.com. There was a blog about it on blogs.qt.nokia.com, and you can apply to enter, but they really want to start ramping up the open governance project, and the core to open governance is having lots of contributors.

M: I believe it's sometime in June in Berlin. Great, sounds like we had a pretty good week since last time we talked! As always Justin, thank you for your insights here, and I appreciate everybody continuing to listen to and support the podcast.

J: See you next time, same time, same channel.