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Heartbroken app-maker Qt sneaks into Android's bed

The library that's too cute to kill

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The effort towards a Qt library for Android is progressing, with a fourth and final alpha release being sent out the door – despite confidence in the platform having steadily eroded since Nokia dumped it.

Qt is a library of cross-platform APIs which enables even complicated apps, such as VLC's VideoLAN, to run across operating systems. Nokia bought the owning company, Trolltech, back in 2008, then dumped the technology earlier this month. The move left Qt with an uncertain future, but seemingly a future which includes Android.

Qt ended up with Digia, who took on the 125 Nokia engineers still working on the project. Digia promised to keep the momentum going, with a new version of Qt scheduled to come out later this month, but that's for desktop systems, not phones.

Qt-on-Android is a community effort, developing an Android library as an open source project under the moniker "Necessitas", and optimistically promising to deliver on Nokia's dream of having Qt apps running on a billion devices, though the entreaties to get involved do smack a little of desperation:

You have to ask yourself which option is better for you:
  • to be selfless and to spend some of your time (or your money) to make the things you love better and to keep them free for everybody...
  • or to be selfish, forget about Qt and start learning some crappy closed source C# or iFramework instead which, some day (sooner or later), will die with the *ONLY* company behind it?"

One could learn a bit of Java, or Objective C, betting that Google and Apple will outlast one's professional career, but why bother when Qt Alpha 4 can (we're assured) be installed with a couple of clicks and provide cross-platform programmability? ®

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