31 October, 2008

Qt Creator

Hi everyone,

Just enjoyed the article about the new Qt Creator from the trolls. I knew the guys at Qt software were excited about it. They announced it at the Qt developer days in Redwood City, California.

I had seen the website & some screenshots. I must say - looking at most modern IDE's doesn't make me consider learning C++, this one kind'a did. Well, at least, it looked like I could give it a shot. Lovely interface.

So I was pleasantly surprised to see such a extensive, interesting dot article from Richard Moore about it. Of course, some to-be-expected comments followed about KDevelop and duplication of effort. On one hand, I see why - duplication of effort is sometimes a waste of resources. On the other hand, it can enable innovation, bring new things - and sometimes working with a community can have downsides as well. Qt Creator has some different goals as KDevelop, and hopefully in time they can coƶperate on some stuff.

This project seems to be off to a good start, and many in the comment section noted they are happy with a cool Qt IDE - clearly, the verdict up and until now is good. I'd say GOOO trolls!

Moving on, I'd like to mention how KDE trunk is getting impressive lately. Konqi is really getting in shape, to such an extend that I just decided to stop using firefox and get back to my dear old dragon again. Don't ask me what's so good about it - it's really hard to say. Just works, I suppose. Smooth scrolling doesn't slow down on some sites anymore, zooming works great, google maps works like a charm (me big fan), it's bloody fast and I love the integration & decent session management. Oh, and the bookmarks-as-homepage rocks :D

Plasma is improving still, getting a bit more crash-resistent. Sure, applets can crash it, but it just tries to start again - which often works. Not always, and I'm wondering if there is (should be) some routine to figure out what applet caused the issues. Then again, it's probably hard - esp since it's often not me adding an applet which crashes stuff, but simply starting plasma after an upgrade which (clearly) broke things.

Oh, and KWin has done some great things as well. I love (no, **LOVE**) the present-windows-alt-tab-application-switcher. Whatwhatwhat? Yeah, it's the old and well-known alt-tab window switcher which doesn't use a boxswitch (just showing a list of running apps) or one of the good-looking-but-not-too-useful other effects like coverswitch or MS clone flipswitch. No, it shows windows thumbnails like the expose/present-windows effect. You can even use the mouse in there. VERY useful, I must say. Meanwhile, eyecandy is improving as well.

Then there are dolphin & gwenview, improving the little-things-which-count. I'm addicted to show-in-groups, sorted on date, as a way of viewing my files. The most relevant (recent...) are always on top, and the filterbar is there for other files.

Clearly, Amarok rocks harder every day. I do miss some of my favorite features (the que manager and quickfilter in the playlist, boy, do I miss those) but it does the job while looking very good. Does work better on widescreen than my 4:3 one, I must say, but everybody is buying widescreen these days - I really don't understand why MS introduced the ribbon which clearly does NOT take advantage of that. KOffice is imho 'slightly smarter' in the direction they've chosen ;-)

Further down the stack, KDElibs has seen a new & improved file open dialog - really worth it, though it still needs some refinement. The default size & settings, for example, aren't always great (I sometimes see a preview on the right just giving 1 row of icons - turn that preview off, and enable previews on icons - which shouldn't be so darn small either). But hey, details, and there is still a lot of time until it's januari ;-)

Of course I'm skipping over the many many many other apps which are being improved - sorry about that, these are just the ones I use all the time...

From what I can see in trunk, 4.2 will be lovely... KDE, rock on!