[Development] Future of QBS

Kai Koehne Kai.Koehne at qt.io
Mon Oct 16 11:57:02 CEST 2017

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Development [mailto:development-bounces+kai.koehne=qt.io at qt-
> Subject: Re: [Development] Future of QBS
> Hi Jake,
> to use your version control picture: Are we trying to sell subversion by
> showing how great that is compared to CVS and RCS, while git is just getting
> introduced into the market?
> I am still missing a comparison of qbs and *current* build system options. All I
> see is qbs vs. qmake and qbs vs. cmake 2.x. Neither qmake nor cmake is
> what qbs will be competing with by the time it is ready to be used in earnest.

Why do you think Qbs cannot be already used today 'in earnest'?

But yeah, switching Qt isn't something that will happen overnight.
> So far we excluded most possible build systems on the grounds that they do
> not support the mixed host/target builds we do. That requirement is going
> away. So we have more options now. Just to name two: Bazel promises great
> scalability and reliability, meson claims to be simple and fast. Even CMake
> made a lot of progress since version 2.x.

At this point in time I'm afraid this will bring us directly into the 'curse of choice' dilemma [1]. The best way to make sure we stay on qmake for the foreseeable future is to bring up more and more alternatives to the table, and all consider them as equal contenders.

I think it was actually Jake who asked about Meson @ the Qt Con. The only one in the room who claimed to have any experience were you, and you said 'you played with it'. Which aspect of Meson do you suggest to look into specifically?

We've been investing into qbs since a while, and have been open about our plans for building Qt itself with it. Even if there is no official decision by the Qt Project to switch yet (and I think this can only be done once we have a full port working), I think it's only fair for the people involved to acknowledge that qbs is the most likely contender. So, if someone cares about the Qt build system, I suggest to at least try out qbs, and provide feedback, especially if you have experience with other build systems.

> I would also appreciate getting some numbers to back up the claims made
> about qbs.

Which claims specifically?

[1]: https://www.psychotactics.com/the-curse-of-choice/ . Yeah, just the first search hit ...

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