Since Typica was recently accepted and listed in the Qt Ambassador program, Nokia sent me some stuff. I knew that something was coming, but didn’t know what until today when I arrived at work and found this bag waiting for me.
Inside the bag was another large envelope containing a note with a packing list.
There were a couple different types of stickers. I’ll have to put some thought into where those will end up.
Then there’s the shirt. Front:
Now, most of my shirts are promotional from other companies I’ve worked with or events that I’ve attended (today I’m wearing a Specialty Coffee Wars shirt from the last Roaster’s Guild retreat) and this new shirt fits, so I’m sure I’ll get a lot of use out of it.
Then there’s this:
It’s a spiffy new phone to play with. Personally, I hate talking on the phone (any phone) so there’s a good possibility that I’ll never make a call with this (though it might not be a bad idea to have some sort of minimal plan for emergency use, I’ll think about it), but I love light weight small form factor touch operable computers that let me run run my own software. I haven’t had a chance to do much with this yet (other than get it charged and get the language set to English) but this gets me another platform to target for the initial release of Catimor. (Yes, development on that is running a bit behind schedule, but it’s worth the wait. This is going to be much cooler and more useful than you expect.) A quick note to other companies that might be reading this, sending me stuff and saying, “here’s some stuff, do something cool with it,” will probably get me to do something cool with your stuff.
There were a couple of oddities (which aren’t so odd considering where the package came from). No English instructions (I assume I can find these online if I need them, there also seems to be some help on the device itself that I haven’t gotten around to looking at yet):
And as suggested by the picture above:
That charger won’t fit into any of my outlets. I have adapters, but they all go the other way. Oh well, I’d never use it anyway since USB charging is more convenient for me.
Note: all of those photos were taken with my Nokia N900 (which I also have never used as a phone, but get a lot of other uses out of).
Some might find the timing of this a little odd in light of the recent partnership between Nokia and Microsoft and some might wonder where that leaves someone like me writing software using Qt, so I’d like to say a bit about my immediate development plans.
First, Typica. A lot of coffee roasting firms are using Typica. I also use this program every day at my shop. While the program is already far enough along that it’s useful, there are still a lot of things that I intend to add to it. There are some things that should be easier, there are features that I’d like to add. There’s going to be a 1.4 release, possibly a 1.5 release, and a 2.0 release with just the things that are on the development roadmap right now. To get everything on my to do list finished, I’m looking at another year, minimum of development. I’m not going to move the code base off of Qt in that time frame. There just isn’t a need to. Qt, as it is right now, can be used to do everything on my roadmap. Long term, there is the concern of operating systems changing out from under the library, but I don’t see that happening in the next year. For the moment, sticking with Qt for Typica is the only sensible thing to do. There isn’t really a viable alternative. Removing Qt would mean finding a hodge-podge of cross platform libraries to duplicate that functionality or writing native versions of the software for Mac, Windows, and Linux. It would mean spending a lot of time rewriting something that already works. I don’t want to do that, so I’m going to take a wait and see approach. There are a lot of other people and organizations who find a lot of value in this great framework that I don’t expect there will be a problem. In the worst case, the LGPL license lets me maintain the portions of Qt that I use in Typica myself if I need to. If that happens, I’ll have to move Typica to something else for continued long term development, but I consider the probability of that worst case to be very small.
This is more concerning for Catimor, however the scope of that program is much smaller. Maemo was chosen for the initial development simply because Qt made getting the designs and prototypes done much easier compared with learning new tools and frameworks. I’ve kept the program design very simple and everything I’ve had a chance to look at in the way of non-Qt mobile platforms provides the functionality I need for this. The initial release is still going to be limited to devices with Qt. As for other platforms, I expected that I would have some hardware running Android by now, but that seems to have fallen through. I don’t intend to do anything with iOS unless someone else wants to send me a device and pay for access to the SDK. (Really Apple? You want me to buy the device and then rent the ability to put software I write on it? Charging for app store access I can understand, but as much as I love my Mac, I’m not touching your mobile stuff until I can make it useful for my needs.) Catimor will be released under the MIT license, just like Typica, so perhaps developers on other mobile platforms will adapt it and maintain interoperability. They’re welcome to do that as it would save me the work of porting Catimor myself and give me something to point at when someone says, “hey, that’s really cool, but does it run on x?”