Qt apps on Ubuntu
This page contains some FAQs further to the announcement at http://www.markshuttleworth.com/archives/568
Why is Ubuntu shipping Qt on the CD in 11.10?
There are two drivers behind this decision. Firstly, the Ubuntu project is working to ensure that Qt application developers can write apps which fit into the Ubuntu desktop smoothly. It is important that Ubuntu, as a platform, address the needs of developers, giving them as much flexibility as possible while retaining a coherent standard experience for users.
Secondly, giving developers the extra toolkit option should mean we end up with better apps all round as the range of apps for assessment and inclusion will be wider. The key criteria for evaluation of any app for inclusion are independent of the actual toolkit. We won't ship an app by default that we don't think offers a great experience, not just on a standalone basis but as part of the whole system.
Does this mean you are moving away from GNOME and GTK?
We will still continue to ship Unity and GNOME applications. The decision to support Qt in the default install is an additive decision. It is not intended to replace GTK+ or GNOME. Qt has proven itself as a high quality toolkit, popular with developers, and we want to be able to support this effectively in Ubuntu as well as Kubuntu.
Does this mean you are supporting GNOME less?
Not at all. Ubuntu will continue to be built on GNOME technologies and ship GNOME applications. This decision is not reducing our commitment to GTK or GNOME, it is merely expanding it to include Qt.
Are you now therefore moving to KDE?
We have no plans to ship KDE as the default desktop in Ubuntu. We will of course continue to provide the KDE experience in Kubuntu.
How will you manage some of the outstanding technical integration issues?
There are some areas in which Qt does not neatly fit into the Ubuntu desktop experience and Canonical is investing in resolving some of these issues with Qt. Our desktop team engineers will be performing work to first ensure Qt is a well supported component in Ubuntu, but also so it integrates as best as possible in the Ubuntu desktop experience. We are also going to fund the work needed to make Qt / QML apps talk dconf, which means they can share settings and setting-update behaviors with GTK apps very easily. This work is being performed by Ryan Lortie from the GNOME project under contract to Canonical.
Does this mean Qt apps could be included on the CD?
We'll be open to Qt apps being included in Ubuntu if they are appropriately integrated. If an application integrates well into the Ubuntu experience, we would be open to its inclusion in a release to offer the best experience for Ubuntu users. By “integrates well” we mean things like: uses the dconf configuration system with live adoption of settings changes, follows Ubuntu font and theme settings automatically, uses our menu and indicator and notification system appropriately etc.