Why is Qtopia much faster?

Shawn Rutledge shawn.t.rutledge at gmail.com
Wed Jul 23 03:05:40 CEST 2008

On Mon, Jul 21, 2008 at 4:38 PM, Tilman Baumann <tilman at baumann.name> wrote:
> I might do qtopia more wrong than is fair. But they modelling just a
> regular smart phone like you can get from most vendors.
> With a very closed (but opensource) framework wich you can develop for.
> You can not port your garden variety x11 app to qtopia. Which you can
> (almost) do with the other frameworks.

This bias makes no sense.

QT is a toolkit.  So is GTK.  It's OK if you prefer the APIs of one to
the other, or prefer plain old C to C++.

But what does "closed" mean?  It's been getting more and more open for
years now.  Finally even QTopia is GPL... I think that's the last
piece isn't it?  Is it because it already emerged fully-formed, and
was not depending on community help for its very existence, that you
think it's more closed?

What does "garden variety" mean?  I don't think there's any such thing
as a "garden variety X11 app" unless you are using xlib itself, which
very few people bother with.  Or maybe you are thinking about older
toolkits like Motif and Athena Widgets?

With QT, apps tend to be smaller because the toolkit is so complete,
that you have less code to write.  You pay a cost in having a larger
library to load, but then all the apps benefit from it.  So having a
simpler, more spartan toolkit can cut both ways.

But whatever, it's just Gnome/KDE all over again, I shouldn't expect a
logical argument I guess.

> And of course the fact that it does not use x11, i expected you to
> know that. ;-)

But the plan is that it will, right?  And then we will see, which is
really faster.  It would be an option in either case to do some
optimization: kdrive could accelerate some graphics operations, and
QTopia-on-framebuffer could do the same.  All else being equal, the
one with fewer layers ought to be faster.  But kdrive is likely to get
more community attention, so maybe we will realistically see some
hardware acceleration eventually.

> It really depends, many people like the simple qtopia stack. But i did
> not buy my Neo to have a phone that does essentially what any better
> Motorola or Nokia could do too.

Anyone can write new QT apps.  It's even fun, and fairly rapid
development compared to typical C/C++.  The Motorola phones
unfortunately made it difficult to install them though, used a very
old version of QT, and customized it too, so "garden-variety" QT apps
aren't too well integrated even if you can get them to run.

I think Nokia smartphones were mostly running Symbian until recently;
I don't have experience with their QT models (if they have some

> It would look great on a motorla razr (or however these things are
> called today)
> But i did not find it to fit very well on the extremely large screen
> resolution and touchpad only input.

The RAZR used a completely proprietary OS and toolkit.  The high-end
touchscreen phones are exactly the ones that are mostly running QT or
Symbian, in the commercial world.

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