So, once again I wanted to try out Qt for Symbian, just a bit. I've installed Nokia Qt SDK previously but not used it. I've once tried Qt Creator and found out that for me it looks like a quite horrible thing. But now I wanted to try it again. So, please correct me if/when I'm wrong about something.
So, let's start by creating a project for a mobile application. Very straightforward thing. Naturally I wanted to use the UI designer, since it's supposed to be so great. Not so straightforward.
I put a list widget on the main window. Looks like a normal Windows list. Run on simulator. Looks like the horrible basic Symbian list. Umm... So, the UI designer is useless, since the Qt applications won't look the same on different platforms? Great. Just great. So it's all to be done in code, just like before. Why am I thinking about Java all of a sudden. "It's portable, one app will run everywhere" and all that jazz. And the reality? Different apps, different UIs for different platforms etc are/were required. And that seems to be the case for Qt also.
What I would've wanted was a separate thing for developing different platforms, if indeed Nokia didn't want to make Qt look and act the same on Symbian as it does on desktop platforms. Why clutter the property view with dozens of settings that do nothing on Symbian? Why show the list control very differently?
I run the application in debug mode. Complains about cdb not being installed (hey, it's Windows. Why would I use some mingw crap when I can use real tools?). Ok, I turn it on and it finds the path. Still complaining. Until I restart the whole Qt Creator. Nice.
Oh, every time I run the application, the UI designer turns into some XML view, which can not be edited, and I have to switch it to GUI mode every time. Why? What's the point? Why do I want to watch read-only XML when I run the app? Hello?
The simulator/created application shows Options and Exit menu buttons. Even the Exit button won't work. The red phone key doesn't exit the app. Why oh why?
Updating the Qt stuff is also nice. Lots of updates, crash when it has downloaded 2 GB of stuff. Naturally we'll start all over again. Great. Wonderful design. And why the heck are there always mingw and MSVC2008 versions of stuff? And why the heck is mingw simulator twice the size of MSVC2008? Come on, Qt people, MSVC compiler/debugger etc are available for free. Just ditch the whole minwg already, or at least make it an option, not a default...
So if I understand things correctly after this test: I can use Qt Creator for coding, but not the UI since it won't look the same in different devices. And I can't create separate UI designs for separate devices easily. So it's all code, code, code.
I'm thinking about testing custom drawn list items. They should work. But I'm tempted to bet that they won't get drawn correctly in the UI designer, only when running. But we'll see.
So not a great start, but not a horrible one either. What I (emphasis on the word I, others may have other needs) would want is to do everything in Visual Studio (2010, thank you, 2008 is already old). I would like to have an UI designer that actually shows how the application will be in the actual device. I would like to have a possibility to design different kinds of UIs if I want to. I know that QML is coming, but...
More when I have time to write it. Too busy doing other work on platforms that behave better (yeah, Interface Builder from Apple is horrible crap, but even that seems to be better than this).