QNX RTP: What lies beneath?
QNX RTP's environment. Booting into the GUI presents the user with a Release
note, which introduces the RTP, covers the file organization of the OS and the
various packages present in the CD ROM.
By default the Photon microGUI has a task bar located at the bottom and a
favourite programs bar on the right (which takes up a lot of real estate!).
All items are customizable and even on a lowly P200 the GUI performs
operations fast. There are no groundbreaking technologies at work in here, but
full points go to it for an easy and fast user interface.
All the applications present in the core package are well written and rarely
crash. The usual set of applications like terminal, web browser, file manager,
Internet dialer, e-mail software and media player are included. The package
manager is a surprisingly clever RPM (Red Hat's packaging system) like system.
I found that it was much easier to keep track of packages using QNX's system
in comparison to package managers in Windows and Red hat. The package manager
can download up-to date packages from the QNX site or from a CD ROM
repository. The QNX RTP CDROM contains some development packages like GCC/GDB,
APIs, TCP/IP tools, browser upgrades, language extensions and games. The game
in question is Quake 3, most likely to catch the interest of people running
I tried installing the Quake3 Arena demo but failed to run it as QNX presently
supports only the 3DFX chipset technology for 3D acceleration. The full Mesa
API, 3dfx Glide API and Renderware 3 API have been thrown in to keep game and
graphics programmers happy. For the net savvy people, RealPlayer 7 provides
streaming content and Flash 4, interactive web media.
If you are a developer, the CD is packed with documentation and tools that you
will find invaluable if you intend to start developing under QNX. QNX RTP
includes PhAB, a Visual Basic type RAD tool. I did have problems compiling a
C++ program using qcc/g++! The documentation covers programming topics related
to the OS, making final images, development techniques and other useful areas.
If you specifically chose QNX as your target platform for development, you
will not be disappointed. The strong set of tools, the accompanying online
documentation, comprehensive web support and the RTP make QNX an excellent
choice if you are into embedded applications development.