Last Tuesday, I wrote a blog post on my frustrations with setting up a Mac OS X and/or Ubuntu Linux Qt install that would also compile Qt’s Symbian modules. I received quite a bit of feedback in comments, emails, Google Buzz and via Twitter.
Feedback saying everything from, “Duh, just use Windows!” to “Ugh, I hear you and I also really want a full working for Qt toolchain for Mac/Linux” to nice Nokia/Qt employee-type folk* who checked and double-checked facts for me.
Thank you to all of you for your comments, be they helpful or not, as it spurred on my overly persistent nature and I spent most of Saturday trying out several different options to see what would work to set up a full working Qt Mobility/Symbian/QML development toolchain on my MacBookPro.
1) Per Emmanuel’s suggestion, I decided to install VirtualBox on my MacBook Pro rather than fiddling with my previous Bootcamp set up. The pros of VirtualBox is that you don’t have to reboot to access the other OS, but merely tab in and out of VirtualBox as it is just another window on the desktop. Very Nice.
The sad thing is that neither of my Windows disks would activate on VirtualBox at all.
2) So, I called Windows’ Customer Service to see if we could get a new activation code for me, and after two fruitless calls with nice customer service agents who listened to me talk about how my Dell was dead and I was using the really old Windows XP SP2 disk on a virtualization and could they just give me a code. Really, I swear that this copy of Windows is not being used on another machine, no, it isn’t. No, PLEASE don’t forward me to Sales, Ugh.
Like I said before, I am not interested in purchasing a whole new copy of Windows just to run Qt with Symbian compile & build, as I have other financial goals for the next few months. That $200+ could be better spent in Austin, TX, not to enriching Redmond, WA, – not when I have 2 perfectly good copies of Windows that no longer have working computers attached to them.
This is a dead end for now. But of course, there is a back-door here.
3) After Lucien Tumota of Forum Nokia, advised that I take the wiki info I had that Qt’s remote compiler was not working with Ubuntu 10.10 with a grain of salt, he followed up with the nice folks who are on the remote compiler team and confirmed that it is working with Ubuntu 10.10 (aka Maverick Meerkat).
4) By late Saturday afternoon, I had 2 installs of Windows**, both un-activate-able, and 1 install of Maverick Meerkat on Virtual Box. The remote compiler is working on Ubuntu 10.10. But still no long term solution for developing a Qt or QML app for my Nokia N8 on my Mac.
After all of this fiddling, installing, being patient, learning the ins and outs of Virtual Box, enjoying myself thoroughly, I decided that rather than arguing farther up the food chain at Windows Customer Service to get a working activation code, that I would do the following until Nokia and Qt provide a full Qt Symbian dev toolchain for Mac or Linux:
I will develop my app in Qt on my Mac as if I was only developing for Maemo, then when it is time to test for Symbian, I will put the project files in my shared folder, open up Virtual Box, hope my 30 days of non-activation aren’t over yet, and then build the Symbian app on the Windows Qt. When my 30 days are up, then I will delete that Windows VirtualBox, and start again.
A hack, yes. A bit overwrought, yes. And yes, it will be 2 hours down the drain to reinstall Windows & Qt to full working order, but hopefully, within 30 days, Nokia will have released a full working Qt for Mac & Linux.
A mobile dev girl can hope, can’t she?
* Big Thanks to Lucien Tumota, Henrik Hartz, and Ville Vainio for all the help. Y’all rock.
** Once I got Windows installed on Virtual Box, I then installed Qt SDK from Forum Nokia and Qt for Symbian from qt.nokia.com, so that I could ‘harvest’ the Symbian folder and sis files for later use, of which the biggest goal is to make sure that my N8 is ready for dev testing.