So, it seems that Nokia is dumping Avkon in favor of Qt. The timeline seems to be around Symbian^4 (who was the idiot that figured out that notation?). So, currently application developers are at a strange situation: Qt is not working at the moment (although Nokia has constantly stated that it would be available right now) and Avkon is going to be dumped. Nice.
So, what should we do if we want to create applications for S60? Create the applications with Avkon and rewrite them for Qt next year? Try to use Qt as it is and force users to install it separately and suffer the bugs? Wait a couple of years (decades?) to see when Nokia will get their act straight? That's for each to decide for themselves.
Me? I've gotten fed up with Nokia's stuff a long time ago. I would like to create some business applications for S60, but currently it's still too difficult. XML parsing takes huge amounts of memory, which is not available so I'd have to use some SAX+own code stuff, which is not nice. User interface controls have lots of annoying panics if you don't make sure everything is exactly as they want it (and this changes intermittently - older versions allow you to call method1 before method2, newer crashes if it's not method2 and then method1 etc).
What would it take to get me interested in developing for S60? Qt would probably be a good start. I haven't had much experience with it, but it can't be worse than Avkon and other Symbian APIs. And then I'd like to have a real IDE for S60 development. Carbide is still slow, bloated and buggy. Hell, Carbide.c++ has been available for 3.5 years soon and STILL it's nowhere near commercial grade environment. No wonder Nokia had to put it up for free.
Also one of the most horrible things in S60 development is the "emulator." I say "emulator" because it's just a crappy compilation of S60 on x86 architecture which allows you to code stuff that won't work on actual devices and also make code that works on devices but not on the "emulator." And the startup time... I have fast machines and still just to get the application to start in debug mode takes 1-2 minutes. Each time. Tak about efficiency. How about taking note about Microsoft's actual emulator for WinCE? It actually runs the same binary as the devices and you don't need to boot it every time you want to run an application. That's how it should be done.
What I'd like to see is a working emulator, working SDK (the current has lots of warnings and errors in their headers, for one and it can't even be compiled with current ARM compilers!) and preferrably a plugin for Visual Studio 2010 (and why not 2008, since it looks like the same plugins work in both). Then you could really do some development.
And a hint to Nokia: if you can't be bothered to update Carbide.vs to Visual Studio 2008+, just give me access to the source code and I'll work on it for almost nothing, maybe even for free. I know there are lots of people that would like to use Visual Studio for development since it's a lot better than Eclipse+CDT. CDT's code indexing is slow and many times doesn't even work. Intellisense works every time.
So it's very simple: provide me with the source for the previous release (under NDA) and you'll get a newer version. It doesn't take anything away from you and it only gives the developers the possibility to use the IDE they want to. Deal?