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Nokia Qt SDK, what is in and what is not and…. What is it?

Published on Tuesday April 27, 2010 by Maurice Kalinowski in Build system Qt QtCreator Maemo QtMobility Symbian | Comments

Hey everyone,

A release is only released as soon as you blog about it, a Troll once said. So here we go…

You probably have heard lots of buzz today about us releasing the Nokia Qt SDK. If not, find the announcements here  and here  as well as the download page here.

Still you might be wondering what this all is about. When I was asked to join this project, it has been described as “an evolution of the Qt SDK”, which still is the best way to do so. But let me go into details about the new elements contained in the package.

 

Targetting Nokia devices

Despite the classic Qt SDK for desktop, the Nokia Qt SDK aims at developing Qt applications for Nokia devices, which includes Symbian as well as Maemo (The N900 is still a Maemo device). Just like the Windows package, it includes a full toolchain with compilers and everything to create applications for both platforms. On the Symbian side we use a stripped version of a SDK for Qt development, while on Maemo we include Madde, the application development tool. The Qt versions included in the package are currently 4.6.2 for both operating systems, because 4.6.2 will be inside the upcoming PR1.2 on the N900 as well as it is the currently available stable Qt version on Symbian. This will change as soon as 4.7 will be mature and released. Furthermore we have added the Qt Mobility APIs 1.0 to use all the mobile features we support now.

 

Online, Offline installation, post-installation and updates

One of the seriously cool things about the Nokia Qt SDK is the ability to select the online installer. You probably know the basics of this from other products. Download the online installer, simply select what you want to install and only download those packages. In case you decide to add something else, simply select it in the maintenance tool (like targeting a new platform for your Qt application). Furthermore it includes an updating mechanism which will allow us to provide you frequent updates of the packages. This is especially helpful right now, as we published the beta version and want to provide bug fixes on a regular basis to you to verify that items have been resolved.

Qt Creator 2.0 beta

Qt Creator has been the choice as an IDE since day one due to the experience the developers have with creating a compelling IDE and adding the Nokia platforms as targets here. I will not go too much into the details of the upcoming 2.0 release, that is for the Qt Creator devs to do so, but extremely cool stuff has been added since the 1.3.1 release, including all aspects of the tool.

Qt Simulator

You might have seen some screenshots already like this one:

Qt Simulator

And especially those, who were with Qt/Embedded in the past might think that this is something alike qvfb, and actually it is. Well, it is for the user interface part, using shared memory to promote the content of windows to the simulator application, as well as using local sockets for IPC (this time actually QLocalSocket and not some linux implementation ;) ).But still it allows much more, you can switch between several resolutions as well as device classes. But the most two cool features are

  • Qt Mobility API simulator backends
  • Scripting for Mobility APIs properties

We have created backends for all Qt Mobility APIs of the 1.0 release, which has happened today as well. It allows you to write applications targeting the simulator and check how it will behave if you eg. get out of battery, change your location, access the contacts etc etc… even before you need to start debugging on the device and run with your development computer plus phone through the city :)

And even more, you can script the values of the Mobility API properties, allowing you to dynamically change values and have your program respond properly to those changes. This is also very useful for QA purposes when you want to check edge-cases of your app as well. During development phasis we have written scripts which takes a jetpack tour through Berlin, you will find examples like this in the installer.

On-Device debugging for all Nokia platforms

This is what the Hackfest attendees liked the most. It could go into one of the Qt Creator features for the upcoming 2.0 release, but personally I think it is worth mentioning as a single item. Andre has been so kind to blog about it as well.

Documentation

Using APIs and tools stand and fall with a proper documentation. Thus lots of it has been added recently. This includes the new tools like the simulator, updated behavior for Qt Creator, on device debugging, as well as the API sets for Qt and the Qt Mobility APIs.

What’s next?

  • Opening our repositories for eg. the simulator as merging the Nokia Qt SDK specific Qt Creator changes. We would like to avoid fragmentation of our tools hence we will use one proper codeline.
  • Stabilizing all components of the Nokia Qt SDK.
  • Working on the final version.
  • We are trying to get the Mac version running as soon as possible, though we cannot give any promises right now.

One thing I would like to point out to every reader here: You can pretty easily see how much stuff we have included in the Nokia Qt SDK and now has been the time for us to release the beta to get public feedback and through that make the product rock-solid. Please be patient with us, it _is_ beta. However, I would like to encourage you to download it, play with it, stress-test it and send us your feedback.

Although I have tried to describe all the potential questions you might want to raise, there is probably much more in your minds. So drop your questions here or on the Forum Nokia landing page, we will try to reply as much as we can.

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