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The State of the Project

The State of the Project

It’s been a while since The Qt Company discontinued development of the Qbs project and it became an open-source project, and it seems the current status is not clear for many people.

Qbs is now maintained by a small group of enthusiasts and we had 14 releases with lots of features since The Qt Company discontinued the development. Originally, Qbs was planned to be used as a build system for Qt itself, which is clearly not the case now and Qt is now built with CMake. Therefore, we changed our focus to be the general build tool for C/C++ (which wasn’t very hard as Qbs is designed to be independent of programming language). We added support for several BareMetal compilers such Keil, IAR, Digital Mars and others. If you are developing for BareMetal, we encourage you to try Qbs! As for the Qt ecosystem, Qbs keeps up with the latest Qt versions and as a Qt user, you can use any of the three build systems for your projects - Qbs, CMake and QMake. There are several open source projects that use Qbs (the most notable is Tiled) as well as some private companies. We also implemented the QBS plugin for Visual Studio Code that allows to use Qbs not only in QtCreator. The plugin supports all basic features such as syntax highlighting and debugging and is pretty convenient for development of Qbs itself.

Qbs still uses The Qt Company’s infrastructure for development which they kindly provided - such as Gerrit for code review and Jira for bug tracking. We considered migrating to GitHub entirely, but decided that it would take too much effort for little gain, as we are already using GitHub actions for our CI as well as GitHub pages for the Qbs website.

Future plans

Recently, we had a major release which replaced the QtScript backend (based on enormous JavaScriptCore) with a light-weight QuickJS Engine. As mentioned in the post, we will have a new implementation of the module loading in 2.1 release - the old code was quite obscure and had severe performance issues with huge projects. Another big feature we are working on is the management of external dependencies - searching for libraries in the system, as well as support for package managers such as Conan. We want to make this flexible so the users would have full control from where modules come - from package manager, system or built from source as a part of the project. We are also planning to add support for C++ Modules since most compilers finally support them.

Try it

We always encourage you to try Qbs in your projects. If you run into a bug or have a feature request, report it in our bug tracker. Or, if you are willing to implement it yourself, please upload the fix to the upstream, see the Contributing page for details.