First contact with Sailfish SDK

Jolla announced the Sailfish OS SDK alpha release yesterday. I had to try it out and here are my first impressions.

Currently I have the 64-bit version of Fedora 17 installed. Although this distribution version wasn’t on the list of tested platforms (Fedora 18 is there) I thought that it might still work. A prerequisite for the SDK is to have VirtualBox installed. I already had that so I just downloaded the SDK and started installing.

I had no glitches whatsoever with the installation. I chose an installation location, read through the license agreement (yeah, right) and waited for a while. In a few minutes I had the QtCreator running that became bundled with the SDK.

I created a new Sailfish application project using the provided template (this is all explained in the Sailfish OS website so I won’t be repeating it here). The template is rich enough to contain an actually functioning application so I just tried compiling and running it. In no time I had the simple application running in the emulator. Without sweat!

This was probably the easiest SDK installation I have ever experienced. Well done, Jolla and others who have contributed to its development (that would include Mer folks at least I suppose).

Here are some thoughts that first came to my mind about the SDK:

  • I had QtCreator already installed before and I was a bit afraid if the Sailfish SDK installation would somehow mess with this. So far I haven’t found any evidence for that to be the case.
  • The graphics and responsiveness on the emulator are quite slow. I suppose it uses software rendering. It would probably really benefit from hardware acceleration.
  • I couldn’t find any hint about SDL being among the available development libraries. I wonder how I will port my games to Sailfish now…

I can’t yet say anything about actually developing any software for Sailfish, about the Silica API or any such things because I didn’t yet write a single line of code myself.

Note: although I was lucky to have a smooth experience with the alpha SDK others have encountered some problems on their way. Should you be one of those unlucky ones remember to check the known issues page. Your problem might have a solution there.

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