In my role as Qt Product Marketing Manager, I’m proud to be able to say that Windows 7 launched today. Why would this fill me with pride, you may ask? It’s not so much because I’ve been waiting on the edge of my seat for the arrival of this much-anticipated OS, but because support for Windows 7 is already primed and ready to go in Qt 4.6. A worthy topic for my first post on the new Qt blog.
Our plans to ensure that Qt 4.6 would support both Windows 7 and Mac OS X 10.6 were achieved and we’re really excited about this milestone, as it shows off our promise to Qt users to futureproof their investments. In essence, this means that we spend a lot of time protecting Qt users from changes on the platforms (or platform) they target. We realize that platforms move at different speeds, and even if Qt developers are targeting only one, it can be tough to stay on top of it all.
Futureproofing in Practice
One of the jobs of the Qt development team is to take the hit on changes made to the various operating systems Qt supports. To do this, we will follow the various OSs as they evolve and aim to get ahead of new releases to ensure that new features are implemented in Qt. Where it makes sense, these features are implemented in a cross-platform way so developers using Qt can not only take advantage of them on the OS that drives the change, but on others as well.
Generally speaking, we can sneak out ahead of OS releases and get a solid start on implementing most new features introduced in a new OS version like Windows 7 or Mac OS X Snow Leopard by using a technology preview kindly made available by our friends in Redmond and Cupertino. Although it should be said that we need to wait until the final release to get the complete gamut of quality tests up and running and guarantee compliance with them – the benefit of which usually comes to Qt users in a subsequent maintenance or minor Qt release. We’re only human (or actually Troll) after all.
Tell us What You Think
The Qt 4.6 Beta will hopefully put you in a good spot to get a head start on updating your applications to utilize the latest and greatest features in the Windows OS. Now is the time to put Qt 4.6 through its paces and tells us what works and what doesn’t – and if you’re ambitious enough, tell us how you think we should fix it by contributing code to Qt at http://qt.gitorious.org.