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21 December 2009, 16:52

Qt applications in your browser

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Zoom A Qt application, running inside the Native Client sandbox, inside the Firefox browser
Source: Qt Labs
A first shot at creating a port of the Qt toolkit to Google's Native Client (NaCL) environment allows Qt applications to run as applets within a browser. The port is not yet complete, but it already offers mouse and keyboard support, rudimentary support for the QtGUI and QtCore libraries and several more complex widgets. The biggest problem with the current port though is that the event handling in NaCL is polling based which makes applications spin using 100% of the CPU; the developers descibe this as "not quite our preferred style".

Google's Native Client project allows native x86 code to run in a sandbox within a browser. The environment provides its own POSIX compatible API and a basic multimedia interface for mouse and keyboard events, audio and video, that can run code complied using a cross-compiling GCC toolchain. From a developer point of view, Native Client can be seen as an independent operating system platform.

The early port is available to download from the Qt Labs NaCL git repository, as is build documentation, and is licensed under the LGPLv2.


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