“The goal of Qt since its very beginning has always been to allow developers to code less,” Barrios said. “We have had a large focus on embedded development and making what can be a cumbersome process easier and faster by providing an integrated tool chain, pre-configured software stack and reference boards, as well as adding embedded Android as a supported platform. Together with our Qt for Android, iOS and WinRT ports released in the past eight months, Qt runs on at least 16 platforms.”
Qt remains a widely used framework despite the tectonic shifts in development over its more than two decades of use, but not everyone sees the changes in Qt’s new company or version 5.4 as significant enough to keep it relevant. Forrester analyst Jeffrey Hammond believed the framework’s time as a significant piece of software is winding down.
“At this point I’m not sure how much more life Qt has left, other than as a legacy platform,” he said. “That’s especially the case as Microsoft winds down Nokia platforms not built around smartphones. Maybe we’ll see some folks take a look at it for [Internet of Things] or small-scale devices, but other than that, I’m not hearing about it at all.”
Despite this sort of skepticism, Digia and the Qt Project are confident the framework’s C++ core and more than 600 APIs will ensure Qt’s continued role in cross-platform application development as its developer community works to advance its IDE and UI technologies and platform support.
“The emergence of new platforms and the need to target various screen types and sizes makes the software industry a multi-platform world,” Barrios said. “Even though it has changed owners in the past years, its foundation remains the same with its goal of making developers’ lives easier. The continued tenacity of our Qt [developers] is what drives our technology and its relevance in the software industry.”