Perth, Western Australia - 6th to 10th January 2014

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Gtk to Qt - a strange journey

Project: Subsurface

Subsurface is an open source dive log program with a relatively small but active set of core contributors. It was created as a Gtk application and did reasonably well with a number of successful releases. Early 2013 the developers decided to change course and switch to Qt. This presentation will discuss why we did this (interestingly enough, a good bit of discussion after my presentation at LCA2013 was part of the motivation to migrate), what obstacles we encountered and what advise we have for other applications frustrated with Gtk (or curious about what a migration to Qt might have to offer).
The presentation will cover many technical aspects of the migration: C vs. C++, coding standards, available libraries to use for tasks like XML parsing, connecting to web services, etc., compactness of code, boiler plate, issues with cross platform development, dependency on other projects... But we will also talk about more cultural and project dynamic related issues: what if your main Qt expert is not a subject matter expert in what your software is all about? what if your previous key developers like what Qt has to offer, but aren't experienced Qt/C++ developers?
We will of course do a side by side presentation of the two versions, try to highlight what we've gained, admit what we lost and provide an attempt to summarize and give recommendations about the two toolkits.

Dirk Hohndel

Dirk is Intel's Chief Linux and Open Source Technologist. He has been an active developer and contributor in the Linux space since its earliest days, among other roles, he worked as Chief Technology Officer of SuSE and as Unix Architect at Deutsche Bank. Dirk joined Intel in 2001 and since then has been working in the Software and Services Group with a focus on the technology direction of Intel's Open Source Technology Center and Intel's engagements in open source. His interests range from kernel to user interaction, from massively scalable cloud services to mobile operating systems. He is an active contributor in many open source projects and organizations, various program committees and advisory boards and currently maintains the Subsurface dive log project. Dirk holds a Diploma in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Würzburg, Germany. He lives in Portland, OR, USA.