Nokia today announced 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 IDE. Qt 4.5 and Qt Creator combined comprises the Qt SDK, an easy to install package that will let developers create applications quickly and easily. “Qt 4.5 is setting the benchmark for application development,” said Benoit Schillings, Chief Technologist, Qt Software, Nokia (and for those who remember, one of the original BeOS developers). It’s also the first release of Qt under the LGPL.
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.