Let’s just be absolutely ‘Oktoberfestly’ clear about this can we? I am in Munich for the start of Nokia Qt Software’s Dev Days 2009 to learn more about customers’ use of the Qt cross platform C++ GUI tool kit. There is beer, there are huge pretzels and there is mustard – but these factors did not influence my decision to attend.
Actually, it has been a year since I was last here and around the same time period since ZDNet.co.uk first reported on Qt’s purchase by Nokia. Since that time we have seen the platform pushed out to open source, or as the company somewhat stiltedly puts it, “Extended to support the open contribution model.”
With open sourcing in mind, I will do my best to try to ascertain just what kind of impact this has had upon Qt in the last 12 months while I am here. Although I fear I may be presented with more fiery-eyed Norwegian and German engineers that customers. Let’s see what the two days entails.
So what else is likely to be new? If I can count properly and use a calendar then I think it’s a safe bet to expect a new version of Qt. Well we already know about the Technology Preview of 4.6 so no major prizes on that level.
Over last night’s pretzel and beer rituals there was talk of a new certification programme and a new developer zone, possibly in ‘closed beta’ at this stage. I imagine we should learn more later. The entire Qt roadmap seems to have been given a good set of new clothes and is being presented online in a more digestible format, so hopefully more on that later too.
As a keen ZDNet.co.uk reader you’ll already know about the official Maemo port to Qt for the Nokia N900 operating system as reported last week – and we’ll be hearing more on this no doubt from company chief Sebastian Nyström after some nice instant cups of Café Hag later this am.
So there you go, that’s just a taster of the morsels I think we can expect over the next two days. I guess if you were a hard core programming purist (or dare I say it - an analyst) of these matters, the most important thing you’d want to know about is:
a) has the open model really benefitted Qt and have companies evidenced continued use of the technology over the last (busy) months?
b) have companies, individuals and practitioners at all levels supported the open model?
c) do all of the above still recognise (or now recognise even more) the benefits of the technology proposition that is being brought to the table here?
We shall see, but at least you know my plan this way. If I can answer a b or c and still consume the statutory required amount of beer and mustard under Bavarian state law then I think I’ll have done my job.