Next Ubuntu Release to have Qt Applications

Ubuntu‘s founder and CEO of Canonical Ltd., Mark Shuttleworth, declares the probability of including Qt applications in the release after the next (Ubuntu 11.10), of the popular Ubuntu distribution, which is based on the Gtk toolkit.

“As part of our planning for Natty+1, we’ll need to find some space on the CD for Qt libraries, and we will evaluate applications developed with Qt for inclusion on the CD and default install of Ubuntu.”

Ubuntu  logo
Gtk and Qt have traditionally been “rival” toolkits for the GNOME and KDE desktops respectively. Choosing either of the sides in any self-respecting Linux forum, is considered a sure-shot way to start a flame war. However, Mark Shuttleworth, as always, decides to wade through uncharted waters in proclaiming the co-existence of Gtk as well as Qt applications in a production, mainstream and popular OS like Ubuntu, notwithstanding the fact that there exists seperate distributions for each Desktop environment, viz. GNOME and KDE (Kubuntu)

In his blog, Mark explains his controversial decision by pointing out that Canonical is dedicated to providing best-in-class software to it’s users and to this effect, a “capable toolkit” like Qt could certainly be looked upon as a “divergence from the canonical way to maintain a vibrant ecosystem”.

Qt logo
Apart from aspects like sociological backlashes, Mark and his team of developers will also have to face some pretty daunting technical issues. For example, Qt-based applications will have to talk to GNOME’s dconf configuration system to have a seamless integration with the GNOME Desktop. Although projects like the GTK-QT Engine are already out there, their credibility of being more than “hacks” is yet to be verified for their inclusion in a mass-deployed project like Ubuntu.

Is the Gtk-Qt marriage possible ? And if this does turn out to be a successful venture, will Ubuntu see other toolkits and libraries like Enlightenment, being included in future releases ? With so many changes to Ubuntu, can Canonical manage to uphold Ubuntu’s status as one of the most popular Linux Operating Systems ?

Do let us know what you think ?

Hours of Fun with SoupToys on Your Desktop

souptoys-icon [Windows Only] Souptoys is a collection of toys that you can play with on your PC desktop. Rather than tell you about it, I’ll show you in a video …

Link to video

As you can see, each type of toy has it’s own physical properties and you can place them on your screen so that they form a Rube Goldberg device. If you’re a kid playing with this, you may not care if you make anything interesting. These toys are simply fun to play with.

Here’s what the home site says:

Designed with players aged 5 to 12 in mind, but enjoyed globally by everyone, this physics sandbox game replicates a child’s wooden toy box full of toys, including basketballs, robots, wooden blocks, snowmen, cannons, flying bees and a pirate ship. With its open-ended design, the possibilities are endless and players are limited only by their imagination.

As you continue to build your own playground, you can save the toy placements as “playset” files. You can also download playsets from the home site or use any of the dozens of playsets that come with the program.

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Download Souptoys

Techie Buzz Verdict:

I had fun playing with Souptoys and I can’t wait to show it to my nieces and nephews. The only thing I’d wish for, is that Souptoys was an open source project that everyone could contribute to. I’d bet there’d be an explosion of new toys to play with every day.

Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)

Screenshot Tour of KDE SC 4.4

Earlier, the KDE team had announced the availability of version 4.4 of the popular desktop environment, KDE. I’m a big KDE fan, and have been a KDE user since KDE 3.5. Despite the criticism faced by KDE4 for its initial release, I’ve always been impressed by KDE. I’d been running the RC2 version of KDE 4.4 since it was made available. And today I’ve upgraded to the release version.

Here are some screenshots of the DE:

KDE 4.4 in its barebones view

KDE 4.4 in its default avatar
KDE 4.4 in its default avatar

The folder view plasmoid in KDE 4.4 – indeed I’m hovering my mouse pointer over the folder, not clicking on it!

Folder View Plasmoid in KDE 4.4
Folder View Plasmoid in KDE 4.4

Revamped interface for adding new Plasmoids on to desktop. As you can see, the widgets (“Plasmoids” ) are categorized, and can also be searched.

Add new widgets or "Plasmoids" as they are known
Add new widgets or "Plasmoids" as they are known

Multiple windows can now be grouped into one, providing a tabbed interface across windows. Individual windows can be further split and remote protocols do work

Multiple windows grouped into a single window
Multiple windows grouped into a single window

KWin’s composition engine is now a lot smoother, faster and my preferred composition engine

CoverFlow effect of switching tasks in KWin
CoverFlow effect of switching tasks in KWin

KDE 4.4 comes with Amarok 2.2.2 as the music player. Amarok can make use of KNotify for displaying Now Playing information, instead of its OSD feature.

Amarok 2.2.2 on KDE 4.4
Amarok 2.2.2 on KDE 4.4

KRunner functions well as an application launcher, as well as a search bar

KRunner functions well as an application launcher
KRunner functions well as an application launcher

Konqueror is a fine browser, based on KHTML – the foundation for WebKit. However Gmail is not fully supported under Konqueror

Konqueror
Konqueror

So, what’re your thoughts about KDE 4.4 ? Or are you still hanging onto KDE 3.5 ? Post a comment and do let us know!