Nokia announced today the availability of version 4.5 of the Qt cross-platform application and UI framework. It also introduced Qt Creator, a new lightweight cross-platform Integrated Development Environment (IDE), Qt 4.5 and Qt Creator combined comprises the Qt SDK, an easy to install package that will let application developers to create applications quickly and easily.
"Qt 4.5 is setting the benchmark for application development,' said Benoit Schillings, Chief Technologist, Qt Software, Nokia. 'With the performance improvements in Qt, the introduction of Qt Creator, and the release of the Qt SDK, developers looking for a native or a hybrid native/web application framework now have the power and flexibility they need.'
The release of Qt 4.5 also marks an important milestone for the open source community. For the first time Qt will include the LGPL licensing option to go along with the Commercial License and GPL licensing options currently available. By adding the LGPL license for Qt, developers can now add their proprietary applications on top of Qt without paying a licensing fee.
In addition to the new product releases and licensing changes, Qt Software is also introducing a new flexible technical support package for LGPL and GPL license users. Developers using these licenses will now be able to purchase technical support from Qt Software.
Qt 4.5 includes several new features, but sees the greatest improvement via a concerted effort to increase performance across the entire framework. Significant performance enhancements were made to the graphics system, data handling, and the web engine. These improvements result in an appreciable performance increase in Qt-based applications.
Qt 4.5 also improves integration with the WebKit web rendering engine which will blend web and native content into a richer user experience. This includes:
- Netscape Plugin API support; allowing Qt applications to load Flash (such as the YouTube player)
- More advanced web UI effects, including animations, transformations and zooming
Qt 4.5 has also been ported to Apple's Cocoa framework. Previously Qt supported only the Carbon framework, but with Qt 4.5, Qt can now support both. This means developers can create applications that support 32 or 64 bit, Intel or PowerPC Mac binaries from a single source.
Developers can now download version 1.0 of Qt Creator, a lightweight cross-platform IDE for Qt development. Qt Creator has been designed to deliver two key benefits: it provides the first IDE designed specifically for cross-platform development; and it enables developers that are new to the Qt framework to get up and running more quickly.
Qt Creator includes an efficient tool set for creating and testing Qt-based applications, including:
- An advanced C++ code editor
- Context sensitive help system
- Visual debugger
- Source code management
- Project and build management tools
Qt Creator will be available under the terms of the LGPL version 2.1 license and will be open for contributions. Currently Qt Creator only supports desktop platforms for Qt development (Windows, Linux, and Mac OS), however support for embedded platforms will be added in the coming months.
The Qt SDK
The new Qt SDK, downloadable from www.qtsoftware.com
, is a comprehensive package designed to provide developers everything they need to begin cross-platform Qt development from a simple-to-install binary package.
The Qt SDK includes the Qt libraries, the Qt Creator IDE, and the Qt tools, all integrated into one easy-to-install package. It has been tailored to the needs of cross-platform developers and is designed to make new Qt developers more productive, more quickly.
Contribute to Qt
In the coming weeks, Qt Software will be launching the Qt Contribution website where developers will be able to see the Qt code repository and also be able to contribute to Qt, Qt Creator and other Qt-related development projects. More details will be announced soon.