Qt 5 Alpha is here – providing a taste of the future

Published Tuesday April 3rd, 2012
7 Comments on Qt 5 Alpha is here – providing a taste of the future
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Trolltech released Qt 4 almost seven years ago, and today the community is celebrating the first joint release of Qt 5 Alpha under the Qt Project umbrella. Nokia continues to be a key stakeholder and now the work done by Nokia is increased and supplemented by the efforts of Qt developers in other companies and contributors. As a consequence, more investments than ever go into Qt, and we are looking forward to an easier to use and more powerful Qt than ever.

Qt 5 reflects the changing landscape. The web and mobile devices have changed our lives. User interface technologies have moved from static widgets to a fluid touch based experience. The Qt user base has grown from primarily targeting desktop “only” to now targeting various desktop, embedded and mobile platforms – and with a strong need to provide a seamless interaction with the web and the cloud.

In this alpha release the first signs of Qt’s next generation are available for testing and feedback. For the Alpha we have focussed on delivering the foundation for Qt 5 – Qt Essential modules – and not the entire expected feature richness of Qt 5. The final release of Qt 5 will strengthen Qt’s position as a leading edge development framework for multiple industries, and offer a straightforward way to port Qt 4 applications to Qt 5.

Qt 5 will make it easier and faster to create
•    Smooth, accelerated graphics performance with limited resources by making better use of the GPU resulting in better performance on inexpensive hardware.  Qt 5 on Raspberry Pi is a nice example
•    Advanced UIs and applications with QML and Javascript. See the Qt Media Hub as an example
•    Powerful apps connected to the web.
•    Product variants through lightweight, project-specific builds.

With Qt 5 it will continue to be easy for you to maintain code as well to jump on new market opportunities on other desktop platforms or by targeting industries like Medical and Oil and Gas or Home Media link to IPTV blog post, and Automotive Infotainment by re-using code for different targets. We believe that the amount of maintained ports will grow beyond the Windows, Mac and Linux Wayland/X11 ports.  The QNX and Android ports, created by the Qt community, give a glimpse of what is possible. Qt 5 aim to offer the best possible functionality on each platform, while still offering efficient re-use for the majority of the code across platforms – with a focus on the back-end.

Please note that the alpha release will be a source-only release without binaries to download, so you need to build the binaries yourselves: instructions on how to do this

For technical details, please read Lars’ post on Qt Labs blog

Given that Qt now is developed openly at the Qt Project, it is extra important that you contribute and bring your feedback to the table.

It is also important to realize that Qt has become a project developed and governed openly, providing a transparent foundation for both open source use as well as commercial use offered by Digia. The overall ambition is that more Qt users and contributors leads to more innovation which leads to easier coding and more opportunities for everyone… and we are encouraged by the increasing investments in Qt, in addition to Nokia’s.

We have asked some of (today’s) key contributors to comment on Qt 5 and the alpha release:

Cornelius Schumacher, the president of KDE e.V
“The alpha release of Qt 5 is a major milestone for the KDE community, technically as well as from a community point of view. The open governance model allowed KDE to contribute to Qt like never before, and Qt 5 will be the base of the next major release of the KDE frameworks. We are happy to see Qt prosper and being able to be part of that.”

George Staikos, Vice President at Research In Motion
“We’re making great strides with our newly released port of Qt 4.8 to the BlackBerry Native C/C++ platform and we are very pleased at the progress we are making with the Qt5 port for PlayBook. Developers can already use the Qt5 alpha for app development for the BlackBerry PlayBook.  We’re committed to enabling support for the Qt Project and look forward to continued contributions.”

Matthias Kalle Dalheimer, President & CEO Klarälvdalens Datakonsult AB (KDAB)
“We at KDAB are very delighted to see a first alpha version of Qt 5 being released, as this is a first step into securing Qt’s future and providing a new stable base to build on for many years to come. We have completed a first set of tentative migrations from Qt 4 to Qt 5, and it was a reasonably smooth procedure. KDAB engineers have contributed substantially to this release, among many other things to the QNX platform integration, the embedded Windows platforms, the model/view system, and an alternate CMake-based build system.”

Tuukka Turunen, Director R&D, Digia Qt Commercial:
“Qt 5.0 Alpha is really important to the overall success of Qt and it serves as the baseline for the maturation process of Qt. It is equally important that users try it out and provide feedback as this will also benefit Qt Commercial customers. That said, Digia, Qt Commercial will work diligently with the community to continuously – in addition to Qt 4.8 – improve the maturity of Qt 5 and have a fully stable and optimally-performing final version of Qt5 in the summer.”

Being part of this, from the Trolltech days to now the Qt community/Qt Project days, I know that there will be an intensive time ahead of us, to make Qt 5 mature and to perform as expected… And when that hopefully is in place, in proximity to Qt contributor summit 2012 in Berlin in June, we expect Qt 5 to enable Qt-based projects and products all over the world to be more successful than ever before.

Help us make Qt 5 amazing – Provide your feedback here

And for those involved in the development of Qt: please note that registration for the Qt Contributors Summit is now open, join us!

Thanks for all the hard work,


Global Director Qt Ecosystem
Nokia, Qt Developer Relations

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Joe says:

Nice work! but…when will the QNX and Android ports get to commercial mature level?

Alex Kerr says:

If Qt 5 is not coming to Symbian (pretty outrageous on multiple levels, but on the other hand I appreciate this would be a major (or MAJOR?) pain for the Qt developers given the brokenness of old Symbian?) then Meltemi had better be the natural successor to all of Symbian’s wonderful (from and end user perspective) power, flexibility, efficiency and features, because Windows Phone sure as heck isn’t by a LONG shot.

Yes, that’s a comment directed more to Nokia management than anyone else, but just saying we (the millions of users) want a natural evolution to the excellent Symbian+Qt 4 combination, and one if not (publicly) known about or available yet.

Anyway, great work on Qt 5. Thank you.

nacasa says:

The “community” will be the Qt guys nokia staf, oficial would need to be the meego guys all 3 of them. As it is nokia needs to make it work really well on the n9 or the only devices sporting it on the mobile space would be androids and the new blackberry (this one officially supporting Qt as a the first class citizen)

QtBaso says:

That’s a great achievement I hear about Qt future,

It will be a powerful key to concentrate even more on enhancing WebKit performance as the future is singing this song web+html5+css3 with a robust engine of type c++ and the hero “QtWebKit”. Please do your best to always take this song into your account with more features and support.

Really really you’r the best of best my favorite Qt with the team behind it.

Thanks to all.

Goz says:

So is there any chance Qt5 will get a static linking exception? It would turn Qt into something truly useful as we’d be able to develop cross platform apps for platforms like iphone. This would allow us to easily develop apps for iphone, android as well as windows mobile based devices (assuming tango supports C++ finally … but win 8 support for c++ is a definite anyway). I’m sure I’m not the only developer who would instantly move over to using Qt just providing I could static link the libraries!

rubi says:

So guys (no.. not the Nokia guys, but the open source one ..)
When are you going to bridge with MoSync .. so we can have support for mobile platforms (not S60).
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a MoSync lighthouse project?

mark says:

Re: comment above, I don’t see it that old Symbian is “broken”, but that Qt is the core API for Symbian, but not for other platforms. It’s not a limitation of Symbian to say that without Qt it’s hard to program, just as it’s not a limitation of Windows to say it would be hard to program without the Win32 API. (And if it is true that Qt on Symbian was implemented by building on top of ancient Symbian APIs, then that’s Nokia’s own fault for that decision. Imagine MS creating Metro by making it wrap ancient DOS APIs, and then saying it’s hard to maintain…)

I can understand it being therefore extra resources to maintain Qt as a core API, compared with building it on top of existing APIs as happens for other platforms. It is a shame though. Long term Symbian will go away, but the userbase is still massive – Qt for Android and so on is nice, but all the while my downloads on Symbian are a staggering 100-200 times those I get on Android, I’ll be sticking to Qt 4.x in order to maintain Symbian support 🙂

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