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In-Depth With Qt 4.4

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the cute-and-brainy-with-it dept.

Programming 253

QtPi writes "Trolltech has announced the availability of Qt 4.4, the cross-platform software development framework. Ars Technica has an in-depth look at the release, which include an integrated WebKit-based HTML rendering engine, the new Phonon multimedia framework, support for Windows CE, and significant improvements to the QGraphicsView system. 'Qt 4.4 brings a lot of rich new capabilities to the toolkit that are sure to please open source and commercial software developers. It sounds like Trolltech already has some nice plans for Qt 4.5, and we will hopefully get to hear more about the long-term roadmap after Nokia completes its acquisition.'"

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253 comments

Widgets in QGraphicsView look *really* promising (5, Informative)

Enleth (947766) | more than 5 years ago | (#23318368)

Graphics View alone is an extremely powerful tool - now it seems to be able to do things no other toolkit comes even close to. I can't wait to use 4.4 in an application I'm developing right now (a game map editor), this feature will allow me to make some parts of the user interface a whole lot simpler and more intuitive, throwing away a bunch of docks and toolbars in favor of a more interactive workspace.

Re:Widgets in QGraphicsView look *really* promisin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23320428)

Like OpenStep can rotate or sheer their graphic views 10 years ago?
Thus, it seems QT significantly improved(?) that by adding one more dimension to the view's transformation.

FP (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23318384)

Just started learning Qt. It's really well made toolkit. Looking forward the windows version of KDE.

I stopped caring about Qt (2, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#23318414)

Great as it is, I can't use it.

On Linux the libraries are now so damn big that non-KDE users wont install them.

On Windows the best development tools are moving away from C++.

On Mac it's just plain ugly.

I'm sure the embedded developers are loving it though.

Re:I stopped caring about Qt (3, Insightful)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#23318468)

libqt-mt is about 10MB on my system. That doesn't seem too ungainly, not to mention QT4 has made large strides into componentizing the library so it's not all just one huge library to load, you can load only the parts you want.

Re:I stopped caring about Qt (5, Interesting)

Verunks (1000826) | more than 5 years ago | (#23318658)

libqt-mt is probably qt3 not qt4, but anyway qt4 provides a lot of things and nowadays disk space is not a problem, try to mix together gtk+libxml+webkit/gecko+many more things and you'll probably use much more disk space than qt4 with different api and with all kind of cross platform issue I don't understand your problem with windows, but qt4 isn't just c++, there are many bindings for python, ruby and even c# on mac os x qt4 looks good to me, there is even an alpha version of qt4 that uses cocoa instead of carbon

Re:I stopped caring about Qt (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23319474)

.

Know it. Love it. Use it.

Re:I stopped caring about Qt (2, Informative)

willy_me (212994) | more than 5 years ago | (#23320766)

on mac os x qt4 looks good to me, there is even an alpha version of qt4 that uses cocoa instead of carbon

The problem is not the look, it's the feel. It is the way the toolbars work, dialog boxes, etc. It is the way all the pieces fit together to provide a user interface. Qt is impressive but it is not native.

there is even an alpha version of qt4 that uses cocoa instead of carbon

Cocoa and Carbon are actually the same thing. Just different APIs used to access the same elements. Qt adds yet another API which is fine but there is no real difference in Qt using Cocoa vs. Carbon. Ok, there is one difference. Carbon will never be 64bit so if Qt wants to be 64bit native then they will have to utilize Cocoa. This is likely why the Qt engineers are looking into Cocoa.

Willy

Re:I stopped caring about Qt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23318478)

You should try it using Python with PyQt: a charm.

Re:I stopped caring about Qt (1)

flymolo (28723) | more than 5 years ago | (#23318502)

On Mac it's just plain ugly.
It looks native on Mac. I'm using it now. Sadly it isn't 64 bit yet, but that's slated for 10.5 .

Re:I stopped caring about Qt (2, Interesting)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#23318600)

I installed Vidalia on my mac and didn't realize it was QT until I found the option to change the appearance.

What about Google Earth? (2, Interesting)

IYagami (136831) | more than 5 years ago | (#23318574)

Google Earth is based on QT and it's avalaible for Windows / MacOS X / Linux.

I think that google engineers have studied several tools for developing this program for multiple operating systems and decided that QT was the best toolkit

Re:What about Google Earth? (4, Informative)

thzinc (679235) | more than 5 years ago | (#23318672)

It was Keyhole's engineers that made that decision, not Google's.

Re:What about Google Earth? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23320440)

As far as I know (second hand info), Google Earth moved to QT for version 4, which was done after they were bought by Google. It was probably still *former* Keyhole engineers who made the decision, but they were Google engineers at the time.

Re:I stopped caring about Qt (2, Insightful)

Enleth (947766) | more than 5 years ago | (#23318582)

While you are technically right on those issures, I'd dare to say they're, well, non-issues compared to what Qt offers, save for the Mac version ugliness.

Frankly, I don't see any reasonable, sincere and unbiased way of arguing that a few megabytes more is enough to dismiss a toolkit completely.

As for the Windows development problem, Visual Studio 2008 which is hailed even on Slashdot as the best (or at least one of the best) Windows IDE out there supports C++ just as well as other languages. So what did you actually mean by "moving away"?

And, actually, even the point about Qt being ugly on Mac, while true, is pretty meaningless, as the only other toolkit (AFAIR - please correct me if that's not the case anymore) that has native Mac OS X support is wxWindows and it's about as ugly there.

Re:I stopped caring about Qt (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#23318738)

Blah, if people won't install your app for any of these reasons then they are important.

Re:I stopped caring about Qt (3, Insightful)

Enleth (947766) | more than 5 years ago | (#23318934)

If your app risks being dismissed by the user for such reasons, you have some serious problems than just the toolkit you are using. Like, well, the app being nothing of particular value usefulness compared to the alternatives or something along these lines.

Re:I stopped caring about Qt (0, Offtopic)

Enleth (947766) | more than 5 years ago | (#23318966)

Crap, missed "more" and "or" even when previewing. Excuse my sloppiness, I think I need some sleep now.

Re:I stopped caring about Qt (1)

MalleusEBHC (597600) | more than 5 years ago | (#23320000)

If gaining Mac users is your goal, then the toolkit is not a trivial issue. Many Mac users, myself included, are very finicky about apps that do not look or feel like Mac apps.* Using an app that looks significantly out of place in an otherwise consistent UI is very annoying, and the app would need to be significantly better than the alternatives. I fully understand why some developers steer clear of Mac support for that very reason, but it is a reality, and it's not going away.

* In rough terms, a traditional Mac app will be Cocoa or Carbon and follow Apple's interface guidelines.

Re:I stopped caring about Qt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23320422)

That sucks, but as a developer I don't really care. I'd much rather compete with other products on features, and let Trolltech worry about making my app look pretty on Mac. Maybe they'll never do it, but as long as they're making Qt more awesome everywhere else I don't mind too much.

Then again, gaining Mac users isn't particularly something I'm aiming for.

Re:I stopped caring about Qt (1)

domatic (1128127) | more than 5 years ago | (#23318976)

It also means Mac users just make a pain in the ass of themselves to support. Say I develop an app. The Windows users like it. The Linux users like it and the BSD users like it. Hell, it even got ported to Amiga and they like it too. But then I find my inbox stuffed full of whinging from Mac users and maybe I don't even have a Mac. Some other developer was kind enough to fix it so XCode would build it so I chucked in my tree and why not?

Enough of that brand of bullshit, and I would happily say "fuck it" when it comes to Mac support. Hell, and I even like OS X. I'm not a Stevie jobs fanboi but I like it well enough. I don't if I'd like it well enough to give gifts to what seems to be it's typical user though.

Re:I stopped caring about Qt (2, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 5 years ago | (#23319316)

Blah, if people won't install your app for any of these reasons then they are important.

No Windows user is going to not use your app because C++ is out of fashion on that platform. Only the dumbest Linux users would do something like that.

Re:I stopped caring about Qt (1)

hazah (807503) | more than 5 years ago | (#23319774)

Only the dumbest Linux users would do something like that.
I would imagine that the OS of choice is not so much the issue. But the dumbness of a person would certainly play a crucial role. Or are you just flaming?

Re:I stopped caring about Qt (0, Flamebait)

Otter (3800) | more than 5 years ago | (#23320408)

I would imagine that the OS of choice is not so much the issue.

You imagine erroneously. Using one application over another because "I prefer to C to C++" is a form of stupidity unique to Linux users.

Re:I stopped caring about Qt (1)

Chris Burkhardt (613953) | more than 5 years ago | (#23320758)

as the only other toolkit (AFAIR - please correct me if that's not the case anymore) that has native Mac OS X support is wxWindows and it's about as ugly there.

There is an initial port of gtk+ to Mac OS X [imendio.com] (and an older, less complete port: gtk+osx [sourceforge.net] ). The Java toolkits run on OS X. Tk supports OS X natively (according to this [wiki.tcl.tk] -- I can't say I've ever come across a Tcl/Tk script on a Mac). There might be others.

wxWindows is just a wrapper around the Mac APIs, so it shoudn't be ugly.

As far as non-native toolkits go, I think qt actually looks pretty good under OS X. Here's a good link: Qt/Mac is Mac OS X Native [trolltech.com]

Re:I stopped caring about Qt (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23318638)

On Linux the libraries are now so damn big that non-KDE users wont install them. ...
I'm sure the embedded developers are loving it though.
Can someone here who is a neuro-surgeon PLEASE help me put my head back together...it exploded while trying to tie these two comments together

Re:I stopped caring about Qt (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#23318758)

Memory is cheap but downloading 10MB still takes too long when all you want to install is a tiny app.

Re:I stopped caring about Qt (4, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#23318824)

It's a most troubling prospect you bring up there, if only there was a way that several applications could share the same library. Maybe we could create some sort of package system, where you download the library just once from something we could call a repository. Then we could have a package manager to sort this out, so that you could have tiny 100kb apps using a 10MB library. Oh, a man can dream...

Seriously though, it might have been a semi-valid point on Windows but on Linux where he used it it's complete nonsense.

Framework hell (0)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#23319180)

Maybe we could create some sort of package system, where you download the library just once from something we could call a repository. Then we could have a package manager to sort this out, so that you could have tiny 100kb apps using a 10MB library.
But each of those 100 ko apps depends on a different version of the 10 Mo library. Using one version of a library with an application designed for one version often results in framework hell [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Framework hell (4, Informative)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#23319708)

But each of those 100 ko apps depends on a different version of the 10 Mo library.
In short, no they don't.

Using one version of a library with an application designed for one version often results in framework hell.
You linked to "dependency hell", which is a solved problem -- see package managers. It is not only possible, but easy, to install multiple versions of the same library. And if the library is reasonably high-quality (like Qt), you're not going to need ten versions of it. On a bad day, you might need two (3 and 4).

I haven't been on Redhat in awhile, so maybe it's still an issue there. I remember RPM being a bitch, but I haven't used RPM since 2002. On Ubuntu, I have exactly one version of libqt-mt installed, and it weighs in at about 11 megs. And because this is Kubuntu, it's installed already.

Re:Framework hell (5, Informative)

UngodAus (198713) | more than 5 years ago | (#23319978)

Actually, in Qt we have a mandate for backwards binary compatibility. Only if it's an absolute necessity is binary compatibility broken, and I honestly can't think of a single time in the 4.x stream of code that we have done that. So, your "framework hell" argument is moot. Only the latest version of Qt is "needed", and should support all applications compiled for previous revisions of Qt4.

Re:I stopped caring about Qt (1)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 5 years ago | (#23320498)

It's a most troubling prospect you bring up there, if only there was a way that several applications could share the same library. Maybe we could create some sort of package system, where you download the library just once from something we could call a repository. Then we could have a package manager to sort this out, so that you could have tiny 100kb apps using a 10MB library. Oh, a man can dream...
What? Sort of like FLASH? (ducks)

Re:I stopped caring about Qt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23321092)

Then we could have a package manager to sort this out, so that you could have tiny 100kb apps using a 10MB library. Oh, a man can dream...
Well, one example of such an app is youtube-dl gui [kde-apps.org]

Re:I stopped caring about Qt (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 5 years ago | (#23319650)

Dude, unless you're on dial-up, 10MB is nothing. I can download that in 10 seconds on my crappy Comcast. I've seen _websites_ that are bigger than 10 megs. Yea, they're extremely annoying websites, but they're there. Professionally done ones too.

Re:I stopped caring about Qt (2, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#23318764)

On Linux the libraries are now so damn big that non-KDE users wont install them.
I take it you run no Java apps at all then? One of those suck down way more than Qt does. Plus it's modular so you can take your pick, but if you want a core + ui + network + sql + xml + svg + unit test + opengl framework yeah it adds up. I think you get a lot more than GTK does though. And seriously, even with all of them you're talking 10-15MB in a world where 4GB DDR2 costs 60-65$.

On Windows the best development tools are moving away from C++.
We'll see, C++ certainly isn't going away fast. The tools are good and there's plenty developers so I wouldn't worry about starting a C++ project. DotNET seem to be going through pretty many and large revisions and I understand not all is happy in the land of managed code. I think C++/Qt has just as durable a life as C#/.NET.

On Mac it's just plain ugly.
Wouldn't know, don't have one. Worse than other cross-platform tools as it seems to be Mac users are never happy with anything not native Mac?

I'm sure the embedded developers are loving it though.
Probably.

This mobo doesn't take 4 GB, you insensitive clod! (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#23319208)

And seriously, even with all of them you're talking 10-15MB in a world where 4GB DDR2 costs 60-65$.
Older PCs like mine still make up a large part of the market for a Free app. How much does a new motherboard that has slots for 4 GiB of RAM cost? And a new CPU because they don't make motherboards for a 5 to 7 year old CPU's socket anymore?

Re:I stopped caring about Qt (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 5 years ago | (#23319758)

Wouldn't know, don't have one. Worse than other cross-platform tools as it seems to be Mac users are never happy with anything not native Mac?

Appearance is important, but more important is behavior. Most if not all cross-platform toolkits get a LOT of basic behaviors completely wrong, including Firefox. (Disclaimer: haven't been a heavy OS X user in about a year.)

For example, position the text cursor at the bottom of a multi-line text field, then hit the down arrow. What happens on Windows? What happens on OS X? How come your supposedly cross-platform toolkit gets this wrong?

Re:I stopped caring about Qt (1)

Cardoe (563677) | more than 5 years ago | (#23320036)

And seriously, even with all of them you're talking 10-15MB in a world where 4GB DDR2 costs 60-65$.
It was this mentality that brought us Vista. Seriously folks, just because the RAM is there and the CPU is there does not mean you should be extra wasteful. This is why computers are following Moore's Law but not really getting any faster.

Re:I stopped caring about Qt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23321124)

Qt seriously doesn't have much of a memory or CPU problem. I mean if it works fine on cell phones, its obviously good for your computer.

Re:I stopped caring about Qt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23320044)

I take it you run no Java apps at all then?

Does anyone?

Re:I stopped caring about Qt (4, Insightful)

pherthyl (445706) | more than 5 years ago | (#23318818)

>> On Linux the libraries are now so damn big that non-KDE users wont install them.

That's ridiculous. Only the hardcore GTK purists won't install qt libs. No one else will ever know or care. You can never please those fanatics. If you use GTK you will have the same problem with hardcore Qt purists. You can safely ignore those idiots.

>> On Windows the best development tools are moving away from C++.

As others have mentioned, that's not the case at all. Visual Studio has excellent C++ support in its latest versions, and there are lots of decent free alternatives (Eclipse CDT, dedicated stuff like QDevelop).

>> On Mac it's just plain ugly.

I can't say much about that since I don't use a mac, but some other people have mentioned that they didn't even notice the difference on some Qt using apps. Once again I doubt it's an issue for anyone except the hardcore purists.

And what's the alternative? Write a custom UI for each platform? Maybe if you have resources to burn, but these days it's just a huge waste.

Don't feed the trolls. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23319714)

People have REALLY got to stop falling for QuantumG's trolling. He's very subtle at times, but a troll is still a troll.

In other words, YHBT. YHL. HAND.

Re:I stopped caring about Qt (2, Interesting)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 5 years ago | (#23320236)

I'm not sure what a hardcore GTK purist is... is that someone who refuses to install Gnome because it requires about 50 different toolkits and frameworks? Someone who refuses to use Firefox because it uses XUL?

Honestly I used to run Gnome a long, long time ago, and avoided installing anything Qt-related because of how big it looked. Then I looked at the hundred or so separate libraries needed to run the bland windows 3.1 clone on my screen and I realised I had it completely backwards.

Re:I stopped caring about Qt (1)

PeterKraus (1244558) | more than 5 years ago | (#23321460)

I myself prefer GTK much more than Qt - maybe because most of apps I use are written in GTK (xchat, pidgin, FFx, quodlibet). But on the other hand, it's vicious circle - I've picked some of the apps, just because they use GTK.

Re:I stopped caring about Qt (1)

Fri13 (963421) | more than 5 years ago | (#23321246)

"That's ridiculous. Only the hardcore GTK purists won't install qt libs. No one else will ever know or care. You can never please those fanatics. If you use GTK you will have the same problem with hardcore Qt purists. You can safely ignore those idiots."

Yeah, pure hardcore GTK user wont install Qt because it's "not free". But they gladly installs Mono what is....

Re:I stopped caring about Qt (3, Funny)

aproposofwhat (1019098) | more than 5 years ago | (#23321288)

On Windows the best development tools are moving away from C++.

I think you meant that:

On Windows the majority of tools who think they are developers are moving away from C++.

Qt still has a point? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23318422)

Nobody needs Qt when there is WxWidgets and/or GTK. Qt's point is moot.

Re:Qt still has a point? (2, Insightful)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#23318498)

...right. Go look up what each of those libraries provides, and then post back when you've got a clue. Qt is much more portable, and provides a lot more for you than GTK or WxWidgets does. Qt ain't just a widget library.

Re:Qt still has a point? (3, Informative)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#23318538)

"Qt is much more portable"

bullcrap. name a platform qt works on that wx or gtk doesn't? i admit gtk looks crappy on some, but wx looks native on all of them AND provides a shit load of default widgets

Re:Qt still has a point? (2)

Enleth (947766) | more than 5 years ago | (#23318654)

Mac OS X? I wouldn't consider messing with an X server running along Aqua "native" at all. Sure, they're working on that, but it's still to be done.

Re:Qt still has a point? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23318696)

GTK looks terrible on Windows and Mac and doesn't even warrant consideration unless you're developing strictly for Linux or BSD. Further, GTK and WX are both lacking a ton of features that are found in modern toolkits like Cocoa or QT.

Re:Qt still has a point? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23318930)

Why are you comparing Wx or GTK to Qt? Does either of those have platform independent threading, sockets, etc?

As far as UI design, wake me up when either of those has anything even remotely competetive to QtDesigner.

Re:Qt still has a point? (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#23319142)

"Does either of those have platform independent threading, sockets, etc?"p. err yes for wx atleast. i can only conclude you don't know what your on about.

Re:Qt still has a point? (5, Informative)

Rhapsody Scarlet (1139063) | more than 5 years ago | (#23318546)

Nobody needs Qt when there is WxWidgets and/or GTK. Qt's point is moot

The ZSNES developers for one prefer how Qt works [zsnes.com] and R. Belmont (of MAMEdev fame) also stated that the only reason he used GTK+ on the Linux port of Audio Overload was because various portions of the code weren't compatible with the GPL. If they had been, he'd have used Qt instead. I also prefer Qt, hence why I use KDE in preference to anything else and why I view the possibility of Mozilla using Qt [vlad1.com] with some excitement.

I'd go as far as to say that GTK+'s 'killer feature' these days is the licence. The fact that it uses the LGPL as opposed to the GPL and was open sourced well before Qt is why it's remained so popular. In most other respects, Qt is the better toolkit.

Excellent (4, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#23318424)

I really look forward to the Phonon functionality. You can now finally write cross-platform players, capturers, encoders, indexers, mixers, filters and whatnot that'll work across all backends, as Qt is writing the backends for Windows (DirectShow) and OS X (Quicktime) as well. Note: I know not all of these features aren't in 4.4 some are pushed back to 4.5. I really hope this manages to unify the Linux multimedia experience. It's these kinds of deep changes I think are necessary for Linux to succeed in the long run, having to deal with xine/gstreamer/vlc/mplayer which all seem to work on different content but none on all is something the user shouldn't have to do. Having them all in one cross-backend API is a very big step forward.

Reinventing Wheels (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23318610)

Kernel Developer: Here's a nice, easy to use sound backend. Enjoy.

Userspace Soundserver developer: Hey, since the Kernel guys can't provide autosense and switching and networked audio, let's abstract it.

Multimedia Framework developer: Hey, because one multimedia backend isn't enough, and isn't portable across OSes, let's abstract it and make it support many different sound servers.

Phonon developer: Hey, because one abstraction's not enough, let's abstract it again!

At this point, you have to wonder, what the hell is the point? You're reinventing the abstraction that everyone else abstracted away. You're adding latency for no reason. You're forcing people to use a toolkit written in a silly language, with the complexity of binding it to other languages being astronomical. What's the win? What are you gaining from this? The answer is simple: GStreamer was Not Invented Here.

Re:Reinventing Wheels (0)

pherthyl (445706) | more than 5 years ago | (#23318938)

No, the answer is: gstreamer is effectively linux only. On Linux it makes sense to use gstreamer for the most part (lets not get into all the other equally capable frameworks like xine, mplayer, or vlc), but it would be stupid to use gstreamer on windows or mac, which all have their own native frameworks.

So in your narrow example, you considered Linux, but Qt runs on way more platforms than that.

Re:Reinventing Wheels (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23321218)

No, the answer is that GStream is crashy PoS, never approaching release quality. Oh, and performance sucks too - if you don't believe just try to play mpeg4 movie with mplayer or xine and then gstreamer. See CPU usage doubling?

Re:Excellent (1)

Deanalator (806515) | more than 5 years ago | (#23318808)

having to deal with xine/gstreamer/vlc/mplayer which all seem to work on different content but none on all is something the user shouldn't have to do.
I disagree with the idea that throwing another player into the game is going to do anything to help the user.

Re:Excellent (3, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#23318922)

I disagree with the idea that throwing another player into the game is going to do anything to help the user.
Actually, they're throwing one out - the arTs sound server. Phonon is not a multimedia framework, it has no intention of implementing anything. It makes life easier for application developers, which honestly shouldn't care more about which media backend is in use than what scheduling algorithm the kernel uses.

Re:Excellent (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#23320104)

Seems like on Unix, Xine has pretty much become the official backend for KDE. It might be via Phonon, maybe not, but I seriously doubt this is "another player" in the sense that you mean.

Re:Excellent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23321106)

I'm sure you just "forgot" to write down why you think so.

Re:Excellent (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23319356)

I don't know what piece of shit distro you are using but on my Ubuntu/Medibuntu machine Xine, Gstreamer, VLC, and mplayer will all play the same things.

Help get Qt working in Firefox (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23318500)

Vladimir just posted about working more on Qt for Firefox - http://blog.vlad1.com/2008/05/06/well-isnt-that-qt/ - the more devs that can help, the quicker this will happen.

ActiveX WebKit (2, Interesting)

Xaroth (67516) | more than 5 years ago | (#23318754)

This is only tangentially related to the Qt 4.4 release, but it seems to me that, when combined with ActiveQT, this theoretically provides the first ActiveX wrapper around WebKit. This sort of thing would enable hobbyist C# or VB users to quickly get web-driven applications up and running.

As I understand it, at current ActiveQT is only available under the paid licenses, which makes it difficult to create a F/OSS Windows application that uses such a control (which I happen to want to do).

Are there any ActiveX wrappers to WebKit out there (whether using Qt or not) that are suitable for use in F/OSS projects, or - failing that - any other drop-in ways to get a standards compliant browser pane up and running?

Re:ActiveX WebKit (2, Informative)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 5 years ago | (#23318918)

http://www.iol.ie/~locka/mozilla/mozilla.htm [www.iol.ie]

Wine uses it. It's as standards-compliant as Gecko, which is probably enough for you (unless it's an evangelical thing)

In any case, it's better than Internet Explorer's ActiveX (where standards are concerned)

NOTE: That link's a bit old, but should be more than adequate.

Re:ActiveX WebKit (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#23320138)

Question: Is this actively developed at all? I don't see any updates since 2005 or so.

And if not, shouldn't it be incorporated into Wine? Or at least available as a package that Wine can optionally depend on?

Trolls are great :) (5, Insightful)

alberthier (998375) | more than 5 years ago | (#23318832)

The only drawbacks on Qt I see in the comments here is that the lib is too fat or that C++ is dead. But let's concentrate on What Qt provides:

A API that covers the purpose of glib + gobject + gio + atk + pango + cairo + gtk + gstreamer + gecko + libxml2 + goocanvas + internationalization + portability accross Unices, Mac and Windows This is splitted in several modules Core, Xml, Network, Gui, Phonon, Webkit And the main point is that you have all that in the same API with the same object design. If you never coded in Qt, try it before saying it sucks, you will see how straitforward everything is.

Signals/Slots in really a fantastic feature and massively used in Qt

Java / .NET descided like Trolltech that C++ was too complicated. Sun created the java language, MS the C#, Trolltech just decided to limit themselves to a subset of C++ and add some extensions via macros (and a precompiler which generates the boilerplates) but globally the aproach is similar.

I use Qt every day and I really don't think I could be as productive with WxWidgets or GTK. Maybe GTK / Vala will be the future real competitor to Qt.

Re:Trolls are great :) (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#23319218)

The only drawbacks on Qt I see in the comments here is that the lib is too fat or that C++ is dead.
That or the fact that you can't link Creative Commons CC-BY licensed icons into a GPL program.

Re:Trolls are great :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23319418)

That or the fact that you can't link Creative Commons CC-BY licensed icons into a GPL program.

Why on earth would you want to link image data into your application? Were you being serious, or is this just yet another weird anti-Qt troll where you attack it for everything possible, no matter how inane?

Re:Trolls are great :) (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#23320192)

On Windows, at least, it's possible to include things like an icon in the executable.

On Linux, this is a non-issue, as icons are generally kept separately, and you never actually click on an executable -- you click on an icon, somewhere, which is a file which refers to the binary and the image by name.

On OS X, I don't actually know, but I suspect that the icon is in the .app bundle, which isn't technically linking.

But on Windows, I can see this being a problem.

Oh, and there's the whole issue of not all programs being available under GPL-compatible licenses. Doesn't affect me much, as I mostly work with interpreted languages, and Trolltech has said that python-qt only requires Python to be GPL'd (it is), and not any programs interpreted by Python.

It's not usually a huge issue, as if you're writing a new app from the ground up, you can always choose to GPL3 it, or if it's commercial, you can probably afford to license Qt. But it's still a selling point for gtk.

Re:Trolls are great :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23319728)

Fine post. Please contribute more of your QT insights. Seriously.

'splitted' is not a word. It's engrish and particularly hideous engrish at that. 'split into' is the intended grammer.

Sigh, I was hoping for a free WM devel platform... (4, Informative)

Yosho (135835) | more than 5 years ago | (#23319004)

I was pretty excited about the Windows Mobile support in this, until I downloaded it, read the FAQ, and discovered that you have to have the Windows Mobile SDK installed to use it. While the SDK is free to download, you must have Visual Studio (not an Express version) to install it, so developing mobile applications is still going to cost you at least a few hundred dollars.

So, just a heads up to anybody else who's interested: Don't bother with it unless you have Visual Studio Professional 2005 or later.

Why does Qt get such kudos? (0, Troll)

PipingSnail (1112161) | more than 5 years ago | (#23319258)

Why does Qt get such kudos?

Its mad, it doesn't bear scrutiny. And yet I find time after time people holding up Qt as wonderful, often in open source circles, whilst at the same time doing down Microsoft. But for the cost of one license for MSDN you can only license one application for Qt development, both per year. MS provides more value for equivalent fees.

I'm not knocking Qt's technical merits. I'm sure its great. We have customers telling us they use Qt and its great etc. No problem with that.

But, per application, recurring per year, its expensive, and yet Microsoft is attacked for its licensing while Qt is seemingly venerated, left right and centre, but Qt is the more expensive. MSDN professional costs the same (no matter how many applications) and you get shed load for that.

Just to give you an example: For MSDN we pay £563.xx (approx $1116) per year, but for Qt, our licensing fees would be $42,000. And should we port to Linux and Mac OS/X, our licensing fees for MSDN would be £453 (approx $1116) and our Qt fees would be $126,000).

So why does Qt get such veneration when the value for money is so poor compared to the industry pariah (sic), Microsoft (I've excluded Apple because so many of you seem blind to the proprietary hardware lock-in on every Apple product past and present).

Even if you want to just do open source, you can have the platform SDK and Visual Studio Express for free, which is greater value than Qt. Thats not what I'm discussing, but I had to include it to stop the "oh but Qt is free for Open source" replies that miss the point.

Re:Why does Qt get such kudos? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23319386)

I am not sure but reading your post it seems you are under the belief Qt is licensed per application.

The Qt licensing model is that you a license fee per developer, depending on the number of platforms you want to target.

One of the key values Qt brings is the single codebase / multiple platform way of developing.

If you wanted to port a rich client application to Linux and Mac OS/X you would not be able to use your MSDN subscription for much, whereas with Qt you would recompile your app. You would have to be extremely fast and/or have a very low hourly cost not to save money on this relative to doing a rewrite / port / multiple codebase approach (for any non-trivial application).

Re:Why does Qt get such kudos? (5, Informative)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 5 years ago | (#23319438)

But for the cost of one license for MSDN you can only license one application for Qt development, both per year.


Huh? A Qt license is expensive, but once you have it you can create all the Qt apps you want. At least, that's what my Qt license says. I think you have been misinformed.


But, per application, recurring per year, its expensive


Again, there is no "per application" charge. The "per year" charge is if you want support -- if you don't want/need support, just buy the Qt license and don't renew it after a year. You'll still be able to use the version you bought indefinitely.


And should we port to Linux and Mac OS/X, our licensing fees for MSDN would be £453 (approx $1116) and our Qt fees would be $126,000).


Are you talking about porting a .net app to Mac and Linux? Most Win32 apps wouldn't be "ported" so much as "rewritten from scratch", and for a non-trivial app the rewrite would cost a lot more than $126,000 in developer time. Maybe C#/.net apps run just as well on Linux and OS/X as they do under Windows, but if so that is news to me. Portability what makes Qt worth the money... being able to support Linux, Windows, and Mac with a single codebase that you only have to write and debug once is a huge win.

Re:Why does Qt get such kudos? (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 5 years ago | (#23319488)

Except Qt is open-source (GPL, even)

If you want to sell a piece of (proprietary) software, well this is a framework that will potentially save you a lot of money. About as much or more as they're charging, they figure.

So - if you don't want to write your own graphics libraries, and don't want to go open source, but want to keep cross-platformness... you go with Qt. At least they give you the option of the dual-license, eh?

Or you could code only for Windows/Mac/Linux, write your own library, or go open source. Notice all those or's.

The veneration is for a fully-capable, nice, easy-to-use (or so I've heard) graphics library that runs across platforms with very little application code changes. And it's better than free, it's GPL. So if you're coding open-source and cross-platform (but even if you're not), you can save A LOT of time. Ever tried writing your own graphical framework while retaining all that abstraction?

I prefer SWT, but meh. To each his own.

Re:Why does Qt get such kudos? (3, Insightful)

croftj (2359) | more than 5 years ago | (#23319504)

Because MSDN only wishes they could touch Qt in ease of programming. C++ compared to Java (and I have to assume it's close cousin C#) is hands down the better choice, with Qt you get the cross platform, garbage collection (not 100% but I have less memory leaks with my Qt programs than with my Java programs) and so much more.

  Let's see do a decent GUI or even server using MSDN which will go cross platform!

  Speaking of licensing fees, just how many developers do you have? Is it safe to assume that MS sells one copy of MSDN and lets all of the developers in your company use it? I doubt that! We spend roughly 1700 per year for one developer doing MS/X11 I can make as many applications with it as I like (I'm good, I can write a lot of apps).

  So in the end, the Trolls get the Kudos because they earned them!

Re:Why does Qt get such kudos? (5, Informative)

codemachine (245871) | more than 5 years ago | (#23319590)

A number of possible answers, with varying degrees of importance/truth depending on your opinions:

- Because QT is cross platform.
- Perhaps it saves enough development effort over the MS stuff that it is worth the cost.
- It has a GPL version on all the major desktop platforms, so fully OSS apps are possible
- Is compiled instead of interpreted

There are probably lots more differences between the platforms that I missed as well. Not all of them would favour QT. Depends what you're looking for I guess.

But it isn't surprising that QT is popular with much of the Slashdot crowd, since it is GPL and supports non-Windows platforms. So I'm not sure why one would even have to ask why people here prefer QT over MSDN and Visual Studio.

Re:Why does Qt get such kudos? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23319782)

Why does Qt get such kudos?

I'm not knocking Qt's technical merits. I'm sure its great. We have customers telling us they use Qt and its great etc. No problem with that.

Well I hate to state the obvious, but that is why it gets such kudos.

I find time after time people holding up Qt as wonderful, often in open source circles

But, per application, recurring per year, its expensive

Not for people in open source circles.

So why does Qt get such veneration when the value for money is so poor compared to the industry pariah (sic), Microsoft

Let's see. TrollTech takes money from proprietary software developers, and uses it to fund excellent quality GPL libraries. Microsoft takes money from proprietary software developers, and uses it to fund an average set of libraries that are closed-source. Amazingly, open-source developers prefer the company that actually helps open-source software. Imagine that!

Re:Why does Qt get such kudos? (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 5 years ago | (#23320262)

Interesting claims you make there. I had no idea Microsoft were licencing out the Win32 API on Linux and OS X for a flat-rate fee...

Re:Why does Qt get such kudos? (4, Insightful)

justaguylikeme (963377) | more than 5 years ago | (#23320454)

Trolltech has never licensed Qt per application. It's per developer seat per year. At our company we use Qt for most major development we do. The ease of use, flexibility, outstanding documentation, cross-platform capabilities, and excellent technical support we receive for the price makes it definitely worth the while. We couldn't develop nearly as much as quickly if we didn't have Qt. We've been using it since version 1.2, and have watched the toolkit mature over the last decade. We're a relatively small shop (5 developers) that has to turn around products quickly across a wide array of platforms. For the things Qt does, we haven't found anything that comes close to doing it better or more simply. The up-front cost is an easy sell to our management team, who are thrilled with our performance.

Woohoo! The Trolls work only gets better n better (1)

croftj (2359) | more than 5 years ago | (#23319530)

I just love Qt! The signals and Slots are the best part. The Layout (geometry) management is 2nd. The face that I can make multi-threaded daemons is what takes it over the top. MS with it's C# and Java has nothing on Qt.

Please don't compare Qt to wxWidgets/Gtk (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 5 years ago | (#23319932)

Qt is a cross-platform programming framework which also includes a GUI toolkit. wxWidgets and Gtk and basically (if not only) GUI toolkits. Gtk (to my knowledge) doesn't do database driver abstraction, network abstraction, sound abstraction, etc, etc.

Re:Please don't compare Qt to wxWidgets/Gtk (2, Informative)

EvilIdler (21087) | more than 5 years ago | (#23320464)

Gtk+ does GUI and threading, but wxWidgets is a complete application framework with networking, filehandling and a whole lot more abstracted. Plugin libraries exist for both to extend them, and I'm sure there is at least some basic file abstraction in Glib (which is required by Gtk+).

Licensing aside, I rate Qt and wx about the same in features. They both seem to get the native look on OS X, and wxWidgets takes on the Gtk+ theme on X (which is an engine using the KDE theme).

Moderate library - poor company (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23321360)

I used to program Qt. I thought it was great. I needed to do some commercial development so I bought a licence. After a while I found that the build system on Windows/Cygwin/Mingw was pretty comprehensibly broken. So I submitted a bug report, detailing what was wrong with a few suggestions on how to fix it.

I got a reply that can be paraphrased as "We can't be bothered".

So I patched the code and sent them the patches.

Reply: "We still can't be bothered". The next release *STILL* had the bug in it.

That's when I stopped using Qt.

Yes, it might be a nice library, but the weiners who write it are still in the OSS mind frame, they think its their toy and they don't have to listen to their customers.

When I've paid money for something, I expect a higher level of support than something I use for free. I don't expect to have to maintain my own fork of the source just to get the bloody thing to compile. This is something that they've failed to realise and why I now use Gtkmm, a library system that *is* truely cross platform.

On a separate point: Once I realised quite how good Gtkmm is I was flabbergasted at how hokey Qt actually is. In comparison with most of the (correct) design decisions made by Gtkmm, Qt is riddled with absolute howlers, e.g. type-unsafe meta compiled signals/slots, arbitrary memory strategy, woeful integration into the STL and a designer that makes me cry with frustration every single time I use it.

(Posting anonymously because bad mouthing companies who have dicked you over now seems to be illegal)

KDE (1)

12357bd (686909) | more than 5 years ago | (#23321364)

Great, just waiting for KDE 4.x to stabilize usability/features, and we'll have a real killer graphic/desktop programming. Next is having major game makers to use it as his base platform.
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