It was a first. Jono Bacon’s joke about early Linux user interfaces resembling “Kim Kardashian without makeup” was almost certainly the first ever reference to Ms Kardashian in a Qt keynote. And what’s more, the joke got laughs. So began the Ubuntu Community Manager’s keynote address to the capacity audience at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco.
Around half the crowd should have been in the mood to laugh, having just been given a beautiful Nokia N9 by Nokia VP Global Head of Developer Relations Richard Kerris (event badge holders with the red dot were the winners this time).
"I'm new to the company, but not new to Qt. We relied on it heavily at Lucasfilm" - Richard Kerris
Although only a few weeks into his tenure at Nokia, Richard had the audience’s attention from the minute he began, thanks in some part to his disclosure of his long history as a user and endorser of Qt, especially during his time as CTO at Lucasfilm.
As Marco Argenti had done in Munich, Richard demonstrated the growth of Qt application publishing, downloads and revenue inside the Nokia Store. The numbers were strong proof of the growth of Qt within Nokia. A drastic upswing in downloads of Qt, from 250,000 in 2008 to 2,000,000 in 2011 punctuated his presentation, which also featured some interesting asides about his thoughts on Qt and Qt-powered devices.
"Free software doesn't mean anything if nobody can use it" - Jono Bacon
Jono Bacon and Ubuntu are both known to many Qt developers, and his keynote showed the progress being made integrating Qt into Canonical's popular Linux distro. He made a compelling case about the reasons why Qt offers benefits for developers looking to deploy to Ubuntu, and also offers benefits for end users.
"Why Qt? Because it's pretty awesome. We almost couldn't find a reason why NOT Qt" - George Staikos
Research in Motion (RIM) is not a company typically associated with Qt or Qt events. For this reason much interest surrounded the third keynote of the day, RIM Vice President George Staikos. What he showed the audience left a lasting impression.
RIM is embracing Qt. Qt will be supported on their BBX operating system for tablets, phones and embedded platforms, and George's keynote included an impressive live display of Qt demos running beautifully on his Blackberry Playbook tablet.
"QQ has 710 million active monthly users" - Vigo Zhang
Chinese internet portal Tencent is present at Qt Developer Days for the first time. Mr Vigo Zhang took the stage after the morning break to demonstrate Tencent's work in the Chinese market, including their efforts using Qt. The scale of what Tencent and its products such as QQ are currently achieving was certainly impressive. Chinese Qt developers will be pleased to know that Tencent will also be keynoting the upcoming Qt Developer event in Beijing.
The Qt Project is excellent news for those who want to influence Qt
" - Lars Knoll
The final keynote belonged to Qt Chief Architect and Qt Project Chief Maintainer Lars Knoll.
Talking in detail about the vision for Qt 5 and the technologies that will be used to deliver that vision, Lars took the opportunity to articulate why the Qt Project offers a great opportunity to the Qt community, and update the audience on progress so far.
In all the keynote morning delivered five diverse speakers with five very unique perspectives. Each had the common thread that Qt is a vital part of their future plans, and that they are looking forward to the future possibilities Qt 5 and the Qt Project will deliver.
Follow Qt Developer Days 2011 on the Qt blog and on Twitter with the #QtDD11 hashtag