Qt SDK 1.1

While working on my PhD, I got to know the Qt software developers kit from (then) Trolltech. Nowadays, the Qt SDK is property of Nokia and is available under both a commercial and a LGPL license. The older free GPL license did not allow people to develop non-free software using the free version of the libraries.

The idea is still the same: in an abstracted fashion, you can develop applications, by writing them once and compiling them on different platforms. At the time I used it, I did manage to compile my proof-of-concept on Windows, Linux and OSX, with very little platform-specific lines of code.

The newest release of the SDK is a merger of the former desktop-oriented and the mobile SDK's, meaning that a single SDK allows you to target Windows, OSX and Linux computers, but also a wide range of mobile devices.


The released version is a technology preview, which means it is deemed rather complete, but is still undergoing further testing before it is officially called a released product.

My main reasons to go for something like Qt:

  • abstract platform-specific (and nasty) things into a logical and consistent API
    • networking
    • reading/writing files
    • User Interface (very important > GUI behaves as "native" as possible, e.g. you get the real OSX menu on Mac, while the same code gives a typical Windows menu running on Windows)
    • lots more: OpenGL, utility classes, XML, SQL
  • They are working hard on responsive interfaces, supporting multi-touch
  • Good use of design patterns: abstraction, model/view framework, graphics framework...
  • Mostly C++ but can be used from other languages: java, Python...
  • liberate license: free to use
  • well documented
If you do, I suggest to buy a good book. I can recommend:
I recently bought "Advanced Qt Programming: Creating Great Software with C++ and Qt4", but haven't found the time to read it yet.

And if you are curious, it does not support the iPhone/iPad or Android, but some clever people seem to get away with it anyway: http://www.qt-iphone.comhttp://code.google.com/p/android-lighthouse