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Ubuntu Qt equality promised post Narwhal

'Not a criticism of GNOME'

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Ubuntu is getting enhanced support for Qt tools, paving the way for wider deployment of the Linux distro on a range of devices.

Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth has blogged that Canonical is driving development of dconf bindings for Qt and that it's working with dconf expert Ryan Lortie.

The idea is that with a release of Ubuntu after Natty Narwhal in April, Qt apps will be able to use the same framework as other Ubuntu apps. "We're confident the result will be natural for Qt developers, and a complete expression of dconf's semantics and style," Shuttleworth said.

Shuttleworth positioned the move as providing choice by putting Qt on an equal footing in the Ubuntu ecosystem and distro. Qt libraries will be put on future Ubuntu CDs.

"We will evaluate applications developed with Qt for inclusion on the CD and default install of Ubuntu," Shuttleworth said.

Qt is a cross-platform application and UI framework that runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac. It lets you write a single web-enabled application for deployment on desktop, mobile and embedded systems.

It's been Shuttleworth's mission to put Ubuntu in a greater number of embedded devices, such as in-car systems.

Qt customers include Genivi, which offers in-car systems; the European Space Agency; and Nokia's Windows7-based Booklet 3G and Asus EeePC running Linux. Nokia bought Qt maker Trolltech for $153m in 2008.

Shuttleworth said the decision to be more open to Qt is not a criticism of GNOME. Nice words, but GNOME has been demoted as the default interface after six years in Natty Narwhal in favor of Ubuntu's Unity multi-touch interface. GNOME will be offered as a non-standard installation.

Shuttleworth said at the time that GNOME was slipping behind in development. Unity will mean a new application dock and launch bar as well as multi-touch application use. Unity started as Ubuntu's interface for netbooks and devices, but it has graduated up to desktops. ®

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