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From greenhouses to round tables

UPDATE 30/10/08: Greenhouse has been renamed 'Qt Creator', and a technology preview is now available. More information can be found here:

I never did get around to writing my closing comments on the Qt Dev Days event in Munich. Looking back on it, I would say it went well. There were more people attending this year, and there was a lot of buzz surrounding the Nokia acquisition. Every time you asked anyone about how things are likely to be different with Nokia at the helm, you were reassured that things were only going to get better for Qt development, as well as KDE. It felt like Trolltech (now Qt Software), had been pulled by the bootstraps into a different league. And this was before the announcement on the 20th that Qt would be ported to the Symbian S60 platform. But at first glance, it does seem Nokia is serious about Qt. There's even Qt on the Maemo. Perhaps that's why there's been a real push in recent Qt releases to bring GTK theme compatibility to Qt applications. But as with any transition like this, I guess only time will really tell.

One of the best bits of news for me (as a Qt tinkerer), was the announcement of a new Qt Software developed IDE called 'Greenhouse'. This is badly needed in my opinion. KDevelop is a great application, but it has become far too complex. On more than one occasion I've had to delve into the depths of qmake because KDevelop broke something, and that's not pleasant - especially when you're just messing around in your spare time. Greenhouse should be easier to use and hopefully more productive. Matthias Ettrich showed a working alpha version during his keynote speech, and while there's obviously a lot of work still to do, the basic environment looks sound. A technology preview is planned for this Thursday.

We also had our Readers' Roundtable meet last week. Both Mike and I thought it went well. Six Linux users from completely different backgrounds met with us in a local pub, and we talked for hours. Far too much talk for the magazine in fact, which is a pity. I had a set of questions to ask if things got quiet, but we didn't need to resort to that once. From the minute everyone arrived to the moment we all had to go, we were talking. And I hope we can do something like that again.

Here are a few exclusive screenshots of Greenhouse:

1: Code Completion

2: A Webkit-based DHTML Frontend

3: Designer Integration

Your comments

Finally - a development

Finally - a development environment which seems comparable to Visual Studio! (Though coding at the terminal or using text editors gives a certain geeky kudos, I do yearn for a decent Linux IDE (granted it's for KDE rather than my beloved Gnome, but you can't have everything...! :D)).

Bluefish and Mono just aren't the same, and kDevelop (as the above article suggests) seems way too over-complicated. Greenhouse shows a lot of promise, and I'll be watching it with interest...

Yes the reader's round table was very enjoyable (as was the free food and drink!) and it was great to meet and talk to so many passionate Linux fans - and therefore avoid the usual glazed stares I get when I go off an a passionate rave about something 'Linuxy' (as they like to call it!).

Hear hear Bob. I also

Hear hear Bob. I also enjoyed the whole unique experience of talking to other people about Linux and them:
a) Understanding what I was talking about
b) Saying something (meaningful) back in return
c) Plying me with food and drink while we do it

I must say I wasn't envious of either Graham and/or Mike writing that lot up, and deciphering who was saying what!

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