Can D be cute? (Qt)

Justin Johansson no at
Sat May 8 03:34:13 PDT 2010

A week or two ago I started a thread suggesting that JavaScript might be 
an interesting "VM" for D to target for web apps.  A thriving discussion 
ensured and it was a delight to read the opinions posted by many on this 

The idea came out of a frustration I had with having to develop a rather 
complex application using browser-only technology, JavaScript being 
somewhat awkward to deal with the task at hand.  In the process of 
pondering the scalability of the programming task I looked to many 
different ways of circumventing programming plain old JavaScript and 
considered such things as Haxe, Cappuccino (Objective-J) and SproutCore. 
  Then it occurred to me everything I liked about D and had this fairy 
wish that D might be ideal for client side programming down to JS.

Since then, my client has gone completely off web apps for this 
particular Linux-embedded hand-held mobile device and has mandated that 
the apps will now be written as desktop apps in Qt.

Qt, as many of you will know, is a C++ GUI framework produced by 
formerly TrollTech and now acquired by Nokia for $xxx million (60 or 
160M I read somewhere).  So Nokia pays megabucks for a GUI framework 
that is C++ at its core.  Questions are, why is Qt worth so much to 
Nokia, why is Qt so damn popular on the Linux platform and what is the 
secret of Qt's success given that it is basically a C++ framework 
wrapped in some "meta-object compiler"?

Having now been exposed to Qt for a few weeks and beginning to 
understand its architecture of "signals and slots" and a pre-processor 
that compiles down to C++, I am now wondering whether D is powerful 
enough to achieve the same sorts of things that Qt seems to be doing.

If I understand correctly, Qt brings a degree of "reflection capability" 
to C++ amongst other things.  Qt does a tremendous job of circumventing 
the gaps in plain old C++ to achieve great goodness for GUI development 
by way of its meta-object compiler.

May I ask if others on this NG are across Qt and D might be capable of 
slotting into some of this market for cross-platform GUI development.

As always, discussions such as these can go anywhere and everywhere on 
DigitalMars D NG, and that's much of the joy in staying with this NG if 
only as a bystander at times.

Cheers and best regards to all,

Justin Johansson

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