Comments, Code and Qt. Some words about the wonderful world of software engineering

9Jan/1143

A developer’s experience with Qt 4.7 for Symbian^3 and Nokia N8

Posted by kypeli

Nokia is really pushing Qt to be the cutting edge framework of choice for developing on Nokia devices. I really want to try to develop for Symbian (since it still is the dominant smartphone operating system out there) but I have no background in Symbian development. But I do have a fair amount of experience with Qt and since Qt is a cross platform environment, it shouldn't be a problem for me as a Qt developer to work with Symbian too, I thought. This is what Nokia is also saying to us and it makes perfect sense. Qt works very nicely across Linux, OS X and Windows including deployment and debugging. I wanted to try Qt 4.7 on my Nokia N8 device so I headed over to Forum Nokia to grab the developer version of Qt 4.7 for Symbian^3. The first thing you notice is that the page already expects some previous Symbian development experience. Whilst many people might be confident in their ability to find Mobile Phones with which they can use Qt, or even in operating similar SDKs, it seems unlikely that a large number of people would have significant experience with Symbian specifically. "The following files will need to be installed:" and a bunch of .sis files. Ok. How? An educated guess is to copy the files over to the phone when it is in mass storage mode and install them on the phone. I'll get back to this in a moment. But just imagine if this would be the way for Apple to distribute beta framework components to their 3rd party developers. I would like the SDK to handle this for me. For example some add-on that I can install for the SDK and it will do the rest for me after I connect the phone. It would, of course, also update the SDK itself. "The Nokia Qt SDK does not support Qt 4.7 at the moment". What? Ok, great... So there is a developer tool available, but I cannot use it if I want to use the latest version of the Qt platform to do some Qt Quick application for example. And let me say that Qt 4.7 was launched in the summer of 2010. I would imagine Nokia SDK team would have had plenty of time by now to integrate a critical update of their development platform to the SDK. I can probably still develop with Qt 4.7 for Nokia N8, after I manage to install it on to the device. But when I create my cool Qt Quick application, I am not able to sell it or distribute it through OVI Store since Qt 4.7 is not officially supported on Symbian yet. So here are already two things that makes me as an application developer to look elsewhere; the tools don't support the latest version of Nokia's own development framework and there is no way for me as a developer to deploy or monetize my application through the OVI Store. Why is the life of a Nokia developer so hard? Which bring me back to my attempt to install Qt 4.7 on my Nokia N8. I copied the Qt 4.7 packages, that I downloaded from Forum Nokia, on to the device. Then I opened the file manager, opened the directory where I copied them to and tapped on the first .sis file to install. "This is a developer version of Qt 4.7 and could harm your device if you continue to use it". Hmm, ok, I can live with that. I just want to get started. "Accept". "This package is not compatible with your device".

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6Oct/105

Yet another Nokia N8 first impressions

Posted by kypeli

I am a MeeGo, Maemo and Qt guy, but I have been working with Nokia for a long time to have been using Symbian devices a lot. A have also owned a Nokia 5800 for a while, before I got my Nokia N900. I think I have enough credibility to be able to say a few words about the Nokia N8. I have only been playing with it for some hours now so these are really just my first impressions and I doubt I will even write a more thorough review since the Internet is probably already filled with them. I would also like to say that since I have been using the Nokia N900 for a year now, I will automatically compare the N8 to it.

Nokia N8 captured with Nokia N900

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