Leadership, Strategy and Qt

Last week has seen the most devastating cuts into the funding of Open Source projects in the history of Qt (and KDE). Not that it was completely unexpected – on the contrary, in the light of the recent decline in market share and turnover, it was obviously only a question of time until Nokia had to decide for one platform or the other. Of course we all wished that the advantages of using an open, competitive platform that had a proven ability for community building would be convincing enough.

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QMake, Unit Tests and dynamic libraries under test

A repeated problem we run into when using QMake is that it focuses on being a build tool, and because of that does not implement some features for executing parts of the project (like tests). Others ran into this issue as well, as for example this discussion of specifying run configurations from QMake on Qt DevNet indicates. Multi-part projects often consist of dynamic libraries that contain the features, and applications and tests that link this library. Amongst other things, this approach allows tests to link objects which contain the application’s code. Now when the tests are executed, the dynamic linker needs to be able to pick up the freshly built library and link the test with it at execution time. Projects usually run test cases with make test, and ideally the tests should execute out of the box after the sources have been configured and built (out of the box meaning that no tweaking of the environment variables should be needed between make and make test). After all, it should be as easy as possible for developers to execute tests.

This is also a problem in IDEs like Qt Creator, but also others – for every build configuration (having separate shadow build directories), the developer needs to configure the library path before being able to debug the application. This second problem needs to be fixed in the IDEs. For the first one – configuring test runs from the QMake .pro file – we have developed a solution called QMakeTestRunner that takes care of the problem.

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Qt, QMake and Mac Os X SDKs after the Xcode 4.3 update

Mac Os X finally gained the capability to automatically manage and update Xcode installations with the Xcode 4.3 update. A couple of changes are introduced by the new version that caused problems reported all over the place. Read more for the various things that need to be taken care of for a smooth Qt-on-Mac development experience 🙂

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“Managing Trust” in mixed commercial and volunteer Open Source communities

After an extensive collection of feedback, “Managing Trust” was chosen as the keynote theme at Cebit this year. Most commentators relate that to building up trust in the commercial offerings of software and hardware companies. Making Free Software, the KDE community does not have this kind of problem – it enjoys a high level of trust and goodwill in its solutions by end users. The fact that what our software does is verifiable by looking at the code, further improves this impression. Instead, potential points of conflict lie within the community, where volunteers and companies are working on a common product based on their own sets of potentially conflicting interests. This is the article to the presentation with the same title that was given at Cebit’s Open Source Forum. The accompanying slides can be found here.

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Presentation on “Open Source, Free Software and Intellectual Property”

Today I presented about the complicated relationship between FLOSS and Intellectual Property at the Technical University of Berlin. The presentation was part of a lecture about IP Management course, targeting students in an international master’s program in business administration. This setup guaranteed for a kind of culture clash, since the motivation for students to attend this lecture is to learn about how to increase the value of their companies by building IP assets. Openness, sharing and collaborative development is usually not the focus.

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