We are happy to announce the new Qt Installer release, based on the Installer Framework 3.1. The main reason for a new installer was that we wanted to provide a more intuitive and streamlined user experience.
We simplified the component tree view by introducing package categories. This has a significantly improved the metadata download performance, as there is no need to load the metadata of all the packages anymore. In addition, it is more intuitive for new users to pick up the right packages instead of selecting everything just in case.
The updated Qt Installer contains four package categories:
Latest releases category shows the latest supported releases, e.g. Qt 5.12.2. Additional releases may be visible, if Qt products have dependencies on them.
Preview shows the latest unofficial release previews, including snapshots, alpha, beta, and RC releases.
Archive contains all supported releases.
LTS contains the latest Long-Term Support releases, such as Qt 5.12.2 and 5.9.7.
Qt Installer does not contain unsupported releases anymore. This reduces the download size of the metadata even further which makes the installation process faster and smoother. Another reason why we removed the unsupported versions was that unsupported releases have known security issues that will remain unaddressed. Thus, we do not recommend you using them anymore. Lastly, having fewer releases available significantly lowers the amount of data our mirrors need to store.
The older versions of Qt have not completely disappeared. You can still find them in the archive on http://download.qt.io, where we keep a full history of all our releases. In addition, commercial users will still be able to see old releases in the Qt Installer, as they can purchase extended support.
The Qt Installer is still not yet perfect. We are considering improving login/sign-up experience, and adding a default installation option to improve the on-boarding of new users. However, right now we are researching how to separate the installer UI from the component model. Tight coupling of the UI and the package repository model has set several challenges to improve the UX.
Updates in Maintenance Tool
Qt Installer’s Maintenance Tool has a few improvements as well. Signing is now enabled in Windows. Note however that old Maintenance Tool itself breaks the signing. If you update from Qt Maintenance Tool 3.0.6 or older to 3.1, the tool still lacks the signing. However, after you have updated to 3.1, the future Maintenance Tools include the signing.
In addition, we have enabled the use of Qt Installer and Maintenance Tool, even if there are some broken components. Previously, “Cannot find missing dependency..” or “SHA mismatch detected..” errors aborted the installation. In the new version, you can continue the installation despite some broken components. You will notice that these broken components are greyed out in the component tree and cannot be selected for the installation.
Feeling curious? Try it out for yourself here.