Happy Holidays! Today we release the Qt 4.8 libraries for those of you that target Windows, Mac and Linux/X11. The stand-alone download of the Qt 4.8 libraries will be followed, in January, by a full Qt SDK update including the updated Qt 4.8 libraries as well as further improved Symbian and Nokia N9 targets based upon Qt 4.7.4. So for those of you that appreciate a nice packaged SDK or target “only” Nokia Symbian and Nokia N9, we recommend you wait for the full Qt SDK 1.2 release in January 2012.
For those using Qt for desktop and embedded Windows, Mac and Linux/X11 who want to get Qt 4.8 and start using it now – download it here.
In Qt 4.8 we focused on increasing quality and making it easier to create applications with improved performance. Qt 4.8 is an important step towards the Qt 5.0 release planned for 2012. We introduce Qt Platform Abstraction, one of the main architectural renewals in Qt 5 as well as we will move Qt 4.8 to the Qt project so it will be easier to make code contributions to Qt 4.8 by using Gerrit.
A few highlights with Qt 4.8 versus 4.7 are:
The Qt Platform Abstraction (the outcome of the lighthouse project) provides you with a clean abstraction layer that makes it easier to port QtGui to new windowing systems. The new RIM QNX / blackberry tablet project, as shown at Qt Developer Days is a good example of this at work, as is the Qt port for Android
Qt Quick improvements Qt 4.8 speeds up Qt Quick UI design and app development with ready-made components and features such as Right-To-Left support, Support for split-screen virtual keyboard as well as a pinch area to provide a declarative API for handling touch input. In addition there is also the possibility to embed OpenGL shader effects in Qt Quick apps with the help of a QML shader add-on.
Threaded Open GL in Qt 4.8 makes it much easier, and more thread safe, to render OpenGL from more than one thread concurrently (and avoid the main thread being blocked while the GPU is doing its thing)
Inspired by what I saw in China, I also want to draw attention to the ongoing (early pre-work) on Qt 3D for Qt5. It offers the possibility to create and destroy arbitrary 3D items on-the-fly. The module in use was shown by multiple developers at our Beijing event, which incidentally was the most populated Qt Developer Conference through the history – a really engaged crowd of close to 1100 developers.
I am now looking forward to the Tokyo leg of our Asia event tour, which will be our largest Qt developer conference ever staged in Japan.