Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 9th Apr 2012 11:03 UTC
Qt "The Qt development toolkit is undergoing a major overhaul. The developers behind the project announced the availability of the Qt 5 alpha release this week. It's a key milestone on the path to the official launch of Qt 5, expected to occur later this year." The kind of stuff to read Ars for.
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Sweet, more javascript and OpenGL...
by Neolander on Mon 9th Apr 2012 14:24 UTC
Member since:

I wonder how badly the KDE project will be hit once Qt starts to mandate the use of OpenGL.

I mean, they will have to deal with either buggy Linux GPU drivers or ridiculously slow software OpenGL renderers, neither of which sound like a very attractive option.

Maybe, being KDE, they will try to provide users with a honest choice between both, in a dialog that shows up on first run : "We're very sorry, but it seems that you didn't get lucky as far as Linux GPU support is concerned. So, would you prefer your desktop unstable or sluggish ?".

I guess I'll have to learn wxWidgets on my side. Too bad, Qt4 was a nice toolkit...

Edited 2012-04-09 14:26 UTC

Reply Score: 1

abdulhaq Member since:

A slow GPU is still far faster than is needed to render typical application widgets. I feel some sympathy for the wxWidgets developers but when Qt went LGPL it rang the death knell for wx.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Neolander Member since:

I'm not talking about slow GPUs but CPUs emulating GPUs, which is much worse than even the crappiest Intel GMA chip out there.

This is what awaits the numerous people whose GPU does not have proper support on Linux. Unless they are ready to endure the driver crashes.

Edited 2012-04-09 14:40 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 0

CapEnt Member since:

Several large QT customers use it on applications that hardly requires OpenGL, so if GL becomes mandatory, it will be for QT Quick only, i think. The old QWidget will be there forever for us.

But, putting a little though about this issue, KDE already requires OpenGL to be usable, even if they don't admit it yet. When you disable OGL compositing, Plasma became so badly broken that you simple can't consider it a serious option.

Reply Parent Score: 1

boudewijn Member since:

I don't see anything broken in plasma with composition disabled. I always run without composition because it slows down other apps that need/can use opengl, like Krita.

But no, never seen anything that looked broken.

Reply Parent Score: 4

diegocg Member since:

Yeah, every Linux user wants a toolkit that avoids completely using modern hardware-accelerated functionality. We all should aim for mediocrity.

Reply Parent Score: 5

Neolander Member since:

There is a world between avoiding something and forcing its use.

Take cairo : it can use hardware acceleration when available, but does not ask you to emulate a GPU in software (which is pretty much what an OpenGL software renderer does, applying GPU-optimized rendering techniques to hardware that has a fully different set of capabilities) when no reliable driver is around.

This is how things should work when one cannot assert the presence of a decent GPU driver, as is the case on any minority OS due to the broken way GPUs are designed today.

Edited 2012-04-09 16:25 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

YEPHENAS Member since:

It works well for Gnome Shell.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Neolander Member since:

That must be why for about a year it wouldn't start up at all on my computer, simply redirecting me to a software-rendered fallback mode. Then open-source drivers finally got around supporting my hardware sufficiently well for Gnome Shell to work.

I do not blame driver manufacturers, don't get me wrong, reverse-engineering proprietary drivers (that won't even work on my machine) must be an awful lot of work. I do, however, blame Gnome Shell for relying on stuff that is only there late in the life cycle of a piece of hardware.

If you have the strong arm of Microsoft or the limited hardware range of Apple, you can work out the quirks of modern GPUs. But desktop linux does not have this luxury. Even Microsoft had some serious trouble when they updated their GPU driver model in the Vista days.

Edited 2012-04-09 16:44 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

WorLord Member since:

Is that why the shell freezes, and then disappears, at least once every two hours?

Reply Parent Score: 1

anda_skoa Member since:

I wonder how badly the KDE project will be hit once Qt starts to mandate the use of OpenGL.

This is a academic question since Qt does not nor will it in the forseeable future do that.

Since you are posting this as a comment to the Qt5 alpha announcement, I guess you might have misintereted the part of QtQuick2 now using an OpenGL/ES bases screen graph.

QtQuick2 is new in Qt5 and can therefore have update requirements, however everything that is in Qt4, e.g. normal widget based GUI, still has its present requirements.

The X11 platform plugin, for example, implements those parts via XCB, i.e. standard X11 capabilities.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Neolander Member since:

But as far as I know, the Qt teams have pretty much stated that they are not interested in developing the QWidget part of Qt any further.

So for KDE, it will either be switch to QtQuick, or stick with a portion of Qt that is deprecated without saying it.

Reply Parent Score: 1