[Development] Future of QBS

Jake Petroules Jake.Petroules at qt.io
Mon Oct 16 12:36:19 CEST 2017

> On Oct 16, 2017, at 11:14 AM, Tobias Hunger <Tobias.Hunger at qt.io> wrote:
> 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?

Your analogy is stacked to support your (biased) argument. In my (admittedly also biased) version, autotools, qmake, CMake, etc., are RCS, CVS, and Subversion. Qbs is git. Rhetoric like this is good for presentations and advertisements, but not very good in logic-based debates.

> 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.

Please give concrete examples of how CMake 3.x is so much more competitive now vs 2.x before continuing with this sort of argument. I'm also not opposed to comparing against a wider range of build tools, but keep in mind it's more useful to compare against what's actually relevant to our users in the market *now* (as in what people are already using), rather than options that do exist but no one has actually considered or used yet in the context of Qt.

> 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.

Qbs also promises scalability and reliability and also claims to be simple and fast. Apparently, stating the tagline of a product somehow means that product is the best choice...?

Meson is the same age as Qbs, so you can't reasonably put it into the conversation, because it did not exist at the time we invented Qbs. Do you expect us to simply give up because competition *exists*? They have most certainly not magically leapfrogged over us in the same amount of time.

Same with Bazel - released in 2015. Again, some new software comes around and we just give up? Sounds good, let's abandon Qt and sell Xamarin consulting services instead since they're better than us now. Hey Microsoft, since clang is simply way better than MSVC now, why don't you just stop developing your compiler? Absurd.

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

Well, you heard what I said on Thursday. Maybe you could volunteer some time to help do this. The rest of us are already heavily booked working on features and doing the Qt port so it's much lower on our list of priorities now.

> Best Regards,
> Tobias
> --
> Tobias Hunger, Senior Software Engineer | The Qt Company
> The Qt Company GmbH, Rudower Chaussee 13, D-12489 Berlin
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Jake Petroules - jake.petroules at qt.io
The Qt Company - Silicon Valley
Qbs build tool evangelist - qbs.io

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