Aurélien Gâteau

Qt Contributor Summit 2011

written on Sunday, June 19, 2011

I came back yesterday from Qt Contributor Summit, which took place in Berlin from the 16th to the 18th.

Richard Dale blog post about the summit provides a good summary of the plenary so I am not going to duplicate his work, instead I suggest you just go read it.

A common pattern from the sessions I attended was that the Trolls want to make it easier for other developers to get involved. The new Qt 5 structure looks like this:

  • Qt framework: Mandatory components like QtGui, QtWebKit...
  • Qt tools: Official tools like Qt Creator
  • Qt add-ons: Complementary libraries to use with the Qt framework

They want people to get involved by providing new add-ons, but also by helping in maintaining/developing the Qt framework and tools.

Quite related to this Qt add-ons discussion was Cornelius Schumacher sessions about creating a "CPAN for Qt": a website listing available Qt-based libraries, making it easier for developers to find useful libs and for library developers to promote their work. I am quite excited by this project as I think it can really help fostering an ecosystem of Qt add-ons.

I also attended some QML sessions. I was really impressed by the QML debugger: having the ability to visually inspect the QML tree by moving the mouse over the view or being able to edit properties on the fly are two of the features which sound like great time-savers to me. I have yet to play with it, though.

Jens Bache presented his work on the creation of QML-based components. These component make it possible to create applications which look native while retaining access to all the power of QML (think animations or even 3D-based transitions...)

There was another interesting session about QML shaders. If you haven't heard about them, do it now, it's quite impressive. Shaders make it possible to create beautiful effects, but not everybody can write GLSL code so they are thinking about creating an add-on providing ready-to-use effects like blur, shadow, pixelize... This module actually sounds like a great entry for the "CPAN for Qt" project.

In other good news, I was able to make more progress regarding the upstream-ification of my appmenu branch. First attempt to merge it a few weeks ago failed because it didn't build on Mac OS (and probably other platforms). So I did what I should have done sooner: I enclosed all changes in "#ifdef Q_WS_X11", making it much safer to merge the branch. On Saturday morning I was told the branch actually built on Mac OS, and should be merged soon... My fingers are crossed on this one...

All in all, this summit was great, it was nicely organized, with a fine attention to details. Organizers went as far as ensuring we didn't stuff ourself too much at lunch (which often result in sleepy people during the first afternoon session...) by providing us with nice Qt-branded lunch boxes!

This post was tagged kde and qt