With Nokia moving to Windows phone 7, an open question remains whether the company will be able to take their Symbian developers with them.
An encouraging sign is the first Windows phone 7 app showing up on Nokiaâ€™s Developer Forums by a developer called Tero Paananen.
We managed to corner him and ask him about his brand new experience developing for the OS.
I have long experience with Symbian and Qt / Qt Quick development on Nokia’s Symbian and Maemo platforms and I work as Team Manager of Mobile Qt team and Software Specialist in Digia Finland.
Projects.forum.nokia.com is free project hosting service from Nokia and I have many of my development projects there. I would warmly recommend the site to developers, if you need source code version control or want to share your code. It is also possible to keep your code private.
We have heard all that Nokia is choosing Windows Phone as its main platform in the future. Inspired by that, I tried to implement the Solitaire card game in the XNA Game Framework on Windows Phone 7. I have never done anything with C Sharp or Windows Phone before, and I have not even studied these.
I decided to jump into the deep end and try to development Solitaire without any XNA study and without any help searching from Internet. I was only allowed to generate empty XNA project with Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone and read only headers of classes. Empty project offered some help, there is for example TODO sections in the code that tells where to load resources for the application.
The most difficult problem were solve how to derive classes in C Sharp and managing to create some kind of pointer or reference to class. But I managed!
XNA feels a lot like Qt language and Microsoft Silverlight is like Qt Quick but a bit more messy and not as readable that Qt Quick. I would say that it takes the same time to implement Solitaire with XNA or Qt. Native Symbian C++ implementation would take x4 time as long.
Qt SDK and Qt Creator have become quite well developed. I am waiting the latest Qt SDK 1.1. release. Qt has its Qt Mobility that is mobile oriented functionality on Qt. Microsoft does not have that kind of features. Read more about Qt Mobility at doc.trolltech.com/qtmobility-1.2
Microsoft has always had good helps, but the same has nowadays Qt at doc.trolltech.com and of course Qt Creator is integrated into that help.
I choose still Qt and most preferably Qt Quick for platform of my next projects; it is so easy and fast to implement applications on it. When Nokia and Microsoft release their first common mobile phone, I think that XNA will be more interest.
There exists some Qt on Android project, read more and see video about it at labs.qt.nokia.com/2011/02/28/necessitas. Guess I am I waiting for Qt on Windows Phone?
Feel free to load "My best guess" XNASolitaire source from Project Forum Nokia at projects.forum.nokia.com/xnasolitaire.
"tepaa" nickname at Project Forum Nokia
While Tero clearly gave himself an extreme challenge in developing a game on a new platform in a new language without any study, he still managed to create a passable solitaire game on only 20 hours. While he still prefers the platform he is most familiar with, I expect it will not be too difficult for Qt developers to take up Windows Phone development.