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Trolltech Expands Qtopia Mobile Linux Offering

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Mobile Linux vendor Trolltech announced today its new Qtopia Phone Edition 4.3. Among the new enhancements that Trolltech  claims are faster boot times, Microsoft Outlook synchronization and a 'Finger-touch user interface'.

The finger touch interface capabilities sound interesting and could lead to a new generation of easily developed touch screen products.

On a broader basis, Trolltech also announced today that WebKit was being integrated into Qt. WebKit is an open source web browser engine used by Apple in its Safari web browser.

"The Qt WebKit Integration helps developers to combine live
web content with mobile and desktop applications," Lars Knoll VP of Engineering at Trolltech wrote in a statement. "This erodes the boundaries
between the desktop, mobile phones and the Web. It also enables graphics and
Web designers to join developers in making user interfaces more advanced than
ever, no matter which device or desktop application you are using.
"

What's interesting about WebKit is that it's essentially a fork of KDE's KHTML rendering engine. It's not yet clear whether or not this new Trolltech Qt and WebKit integration will trickle back down to KDE or not.

When I spoke with Knoll back at the time of the KDE 4 release (which is based on Qt 4), I asked Knoll about WebKit. His responces didn't make the final published story, (but as always I keep all my notes). Knoll noted that WebKit was not integrated into KDE4 for several
reasons. The main one being the fact that WebKit was not part of any released version of Qt.

Knoll also noted that:

Apart from that there are some reservations from parts of the KDE
community against WebKit (preferring KHTML which WebKit originated from), while
other parts love the idea. So it's an open question that will most probably
be solved in the usual open source way: The best technology will win. I personally believe that WebKit is superior to KHTML, and that
adopting it would be a very good move for KDE.

If this news does in fact lead to a reconciliation between WebKit and KDE's KHTML developers that could be very good news for KDE overall.

It's also important to note that this set of releases is the first since Nokia announced their intention to acquire Trolltech for $150 million. Interesting times are certainly ahead for Trolltech.