Qt as a Rich Client Platform (a marketing question)



  • I'm sure all of you know very well Eclipse and NetBeans. Both of these systems
    are both a IDE (Integrated Development Environment) and a RCP (Rich Client
    Platform). Both of them are widely used to develop applications for scientific
    research, aerospace, military industry and other "niche" markets. Both of them
    are usually perceived as being much easier to use (because of Java) and much
    more modern than other tools (because of the explicit mention of a
    internet-based, client/server architecture).

    Qt could be, and actually is, a much better RCP than Eclipse and NetBeans.
    Should not believe this, just launch Eclipse and Qt Creator and compare the
    responsiveness of each of these systems and the amount of memory they use.

    Strangely enough, Qt (and Qt Creator, in particular) is not actually advertised
    as a RCP. It is advertised, and used, as a general purpose
    (and cross-platform) development platform. In particular, it is usually compared
    to WxWidgets, GTK+, MS Visual C++ or Apple Xcode/Objective-C. All of these
    systems are much more intimidating than Eclipse/Java.

    This is quite strange both for technical and strategic reasons.

    From a strategic point of view, it is surprising that Qt (Digia?) seems to be not
    interested in getting a share of the Eclipse/NetBeans market, in
    particular if you consider the current concern about the future of Qt in
    the mobile field (related to the Nokia switch to MS).

    From a technical point of view, it is even more surprising. Qt already is a
    quite good RCP and Qt Creator already has a plugin-oriented architecture that
    makes it comparable with Eclipse and NetBeans. The C++ subset used by Qt is
    quite simple and could even be compared to Java, making Qt/Qt Creator even more
    similar to Eclipse/NetBeans.

    And Qt Creator is not alone. There are at least three platforms derived from Qt
    and/or Qt Creator that could easily be considered explicit competitors of both
    Eclipse and NetBeans RCPs:

    "The Common ToolKit":http://www.commontk.org/index.php/Main_Page (OSGi
    plugin-based)

    "KDAB GCF":http://www.kdab.com/kdab-products/kdcf-overview/ (Component-based,
    commercial)

    "VCreateLogic GCF":http://www.vcreatelogic.com/products/gcf (Component-based,
    commercial and open source)

    There is even a SPL (Software Product Line), component-based, development
    platform based on Qt:

    "FW4SPL":http://code.google.com/p/fw4spl/ (Qt and WxWidgets support, GPL)

    Hence, I wonder: what if Digia advertised Qt as a modern, easy-to-use RCP in a
    much more explicit way? What if Digia/TheQtCommunity used VCreateLogic GCF to
    assemble a real, explicit competitor of both Eclipse and NetBeans?

    Would this attenuate the concerns about the future of Qt?



  • I think the two GFC's are the same; KDAB is just a reseller for it AFAIK, just like ICS acts as a reseller for KDAB's libraries.



  • That is correct.

    [quote author="Andre" date="1333097743"]I think the two GFC's are the same; KDAB is just a reseller for it AFAIK, just like ICS acts as a reseller for KDAB's libraries.[/quote]


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