Monday, July 14, 2014

QML in the Wild

In my previous post, I included a brief rant on the current trends of using raw HTML+JS+CSS clusterf***s to develop applications. After doing some more digging, it turns out that a group of devs in the KDE/Qt communities have had the very same thoughts, and have actually done something about it...

Introducing QMLWeb: A JavaScript port of the QML engine for use in web browsers. From the tests I've played with, it is somewhat functional already (though I'm sure it still has many rough edges if you poke hard enough). Hopefully in time this does get somewhere. In the meantime, I know what I'll be playing around with next time I'm looking at hacking together a webapp :)


It turns out that there are also some other interesting projects going on out there with QML - All of which are exactly the kinds of things I'd been dreaming about for a while. A prime example is SlideViewer (an as-of-yet unreleased system, which the guys at KDAB have been teasing us with). It certainly shows promise of finally being that tool for defining dynamic presentations where you can bundle up certain assets so that you can progressively build on them (vs having to create new copies on each slide, and manually propagate changes to each). Though their variant probably doesn't do this, there's nothing stopping us from doing it in standard QML :)


Finally, to conclude our little tour of QML-based systems in the wild, it turns out that it is already in wide use for things like the KDE "Plasma" widgets and Ubuntu's Unity Launcher. Then again, I should have guessed that that would be the case, as it's clearly battle-hardened in ways that Gnome/GTK simply isn't :P

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