VTK Designer

I just got a mail from Prashanth Udupa informing me that a release candidate of VTK Designer 2 has been made available. I've tried VTK Designer a few times in the past months. Despite this, each new version surprises me. This application is really cool, both when looking at the technology and visually. More interesting to fellow Qt developers is that the user interface feels really solid, but also provides a whole bunch of quite advanced widgets.

Just looking at the screenshot above, you will see a professional looking expandable tree to the left, a graphics view showing a bunch of interacting objects in the middle and a the top - like it or not - the newest kind of toolbar as introduced in the last incarnation of Office.

Switching tab in the work area reveals the visually pleasing part - a live VTK rendering. The view can be rotated and turned around - live. Apparently, for those of you with a bigger gadget account than me, it also supports haptic input. This means that you can actually feel and prod at objects in your scene. For those of you interested in more than my basic screens - check out the video.


Digesting the week so far

This week as been really intense. I visited DevDays 2007. Got a chance to meet lots of interesting people - some of which I've known on-line for years, other who where totally new acquaintances to me, and some that I've known and met before. I'm really glad that I got the opportunity I've to meet them all. All this resulted in a rather large pile of business cards on my desk that I will try to follow up in the next couple of weeks.

I received a lot of praise for my book, which feels great. The Trolls even had a copy in their help-desk :-) . The talks given where great - both the road map and management style talks and the in-depth technical details talk (Bradley even showed his favorite function - sendPostedEvents - in one of his talks). Since there are so many impressions from this event, I will try to collect my thoughts during the weekend and blog more about it next week (with photos included).

On the business side, my colleague Marcus, has been making progress on Bitsim's Qtopia based demo platform. Soon there will be accelerated Qtopia running on top of a live video stream.

Finally, a quick note. Trolltech has decided to replace their open source software collection to Qt-Apps.org. Hopefully, the result will be a bigger, more lively community site listing Qt applications. When discussing Qt-Apps.org I feel that it is equally important to mention Qt-Prop.org. A site collecting Qt-based proprietary applications. This is a part of the on-line Qt community that would benefit from more common resources and places for exchanging experiences. Funnily enough, quite a lot of the commercial developers I met at DevDays knew about and used QtCentre's resources. Great!


Tickets, Hotel and Registration Confirmation

See you in München.


Qt Articles

I just received a nice mail from a guy called James S. Gibbons. He tipped me about his collection of programming tips, in particular three articles touching Qt. One on Qt in soft real-time systems, one on Qt, threading and sharing and the last one on data-aware dialogs using Qt. As I love to see Qt writing in the wild, I used these as a starting point for the articles collection for thelins.se/qt.

Personally, I was intrigued by the article on the real-time aspects of Qt. James has spent some time benchmarking some Qt classes to their corresponding STL and VCL (Borland stuff) classes - and Qt proved to be very competitive. Yet another proof of the quality of the Qt product.

Relating to my last blog post on Qt communities, these articles is something that are a Good Thing. Providing the community members with articles (i.e. knowledge) must be one of the pillars of a good community. So all of you writing out there - keep it up. And if you want me to link to your articles, tell me.

Also on community issues - I'm going to DevDays in München. Hope to see you there!


Get Started!

Finding the Community

I got some nice reactions to my last blog entry about creating connections between Qt developers. There are so many projects out there, and some seems to get lost in the noice. This is only natural, and hopefully, the best projects are the one that gets noticed. The problem that I seem to run into from time to time is that the Qt community is divided into a set of groups that are (partly) unaware of each other. So, in order to build a bigger, stronger, more lively community we must bring these groups together. How? That is, indeed, the question.

Before we can start "uniting" groups we need to know what we want to do. In my opinion, the goal isn't necessarily to join the groups into one super group. Rather, the goal is to make the groups aware of each other and their different projects, resources and solutions. How? That, again, is the question.

As I don't have a clear answer to the questions that arise, I want to show a few resources to all of you. I will most likely miss a few (or a lot). In that case - use the commenting feature or mail me (e8johan, using gmail).
  • QtCentre's wiki - a collection of tips, tricks and other Qt-related resources.
  • QtNode's wiki - another collection of Qt-resources.
  • A Qt Blog - this is, in my opinion, a great blog because Matt picks up items from many different groups within the Qt community.
  • QtApps and QtProp - two collections of Qt applications. The first for open source and the later for proprietary.
  • Trolltech's list of open source projects - overlooked? small? hard to navigate? This list have a potiential to grow.
And then there is my tiny list of resources at thelins.se/qt which I want to grow - if you have anything that you want me to add. Feel free to tell me about it.

By the way...

For those of you wanting to get started with Qt and KDE development, bookpool is having a sale. For example, you can get Foundations of Qt Development with 50% off, leaving you with a cost of 27.25 USD.


Contest Ponderings

QtCenter's programming contest has had a few good effects. For instance, QXML-RPC has been released into the wild. Also, GCF has also been released. I'm sure that both these projects would have been released anyway - hopefully the contest results inspired earlier and better releases. The interest expressed in both these projects, and others, prove that competitions and other events really are needed in the Qt community. They provide additional inspiration, motivation and contacts between developers and that is what drives us all to create better software.