Chapter 22. Portability

One of the great advantages of Qt is that you can write your programs on one platform and then simply recompile them to run on another. Of course, you need to take some precautions.

Qt is not the only platform-independent library that allows you to deploy your programs on Windows, Unix, and MacOS X systems. Some other libraries, such as wxWindows, even support OS/2 and other platforms. What is so interesting about Qt is that it does not simply use the widgets that the platform in question provides and encapsulate them in its own structures, but it emulates them. Thus, you can run your program on Unix, but make it look like a Windows program. Of course, this also works the other way around. All of these looks are available on embedded systems as well, using Qt/Embedded. Having these systems embedded is very useful when your users migrate from one platform to the other. With Qt, you can provide them with a familiar look and feel that can reduce migration costs since users will feel more secure about how the application works on the new platform. Also, this avoids “locking in” your users to a certain platform.

Why Portability Is Desirable

If you are a software contractor hired to design and implement a specific product for a specific client on one specific platform, portability is not of much use to you. If you sell your applications to a larger market, however, being able to deploy your application on a wider scale can be a great benefit. All of a sudden, you ...

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