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Nokia adds Qt to Maemo

Apr 25, 2008 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 5 views

Nokia will support Qt application development on its Linux-based Internet tablets, it has announced. Noting that GTK and Qt co-exist in the desktop world, Nokia says it hopes to distribute Qt libraries for Maemo during Q4, enabling N8xx tablet ports of Qt-based desktop and device applications.

The news comes as no surprise, given Nokia's plans to acquire Trolltech, announced in January. Qt is Trolltech's flagship cross-platform application development framework, and one that has seen widespread use in:

  • The KDE desktop for Linux
  • Cross-platform applications such as Google Earth, Skype, and the Opera browser
  • Sharp's Linux-based Zaurus PDAs
  • Motorola's Linux-based mobile phones
  • Numerous Qtopia-based mobile phones

In a post announcing the port, a Nokia spokesperson said the company hoped to explore “explore cross-platform possibilities between S60 and maemo.” Nokia previously said it hoped Trolltech's software and expertise would increase the competitiveness of its S60 software stack for smartphones, which will also likely gain ports of Qt libraries.

Nokia hopes its port of Qt to Maemo will bring more developers to the platform, by attracting “more attention from the KDE community, a sensible move especially if the Trolltech acquisition gets completed.” Nokia itself has no plans to develop Qt-based applications for Maemo “any time soon,” however. Instead, it will continue development of its GTK-based “Hildon” UI for now.

Neither will Nokia try to “hildonize” Qt for use with Maemo, it said. Instead, Qt apps will have their own look and feel on the platform, “just like some successful third party applications.” Indeed, Skype and Opera have long been mainstays of Nokia's Maemo-based Tablet OS series, albeit likely with built-in Qt libraries or else in ported GTK builds.

The announcement, first posted on Apr. 15, may be available here, with a Google cache here. Meanwhile, a community developer has already managed to port KDE to Nokia N8xx tablets. And, Nokia is actively porting Ubuntu to ARM.

All in all, it looks like device and desktop software will continue to converge.

Henry Kingman

This article was originally published on and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

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