Qt 4.8 technology preview released
Nokia has released a technology preview of the next version of the Qt GUI framework for early testing, evaluation and feedback. Qt 4.8 focuses on performance and quality enhancements. It now includes Project Lighthouse, officially named the "Qt Platform Abstraction", which will allow for easier porting of Qt and is becoming the basis of all Qt ports.
The Qt repository is also being restructured, with the aim of making it easier to port Qt components to other platforms and maintain them. For example, various modules, including Qt3Support, QtGUI graphic effects and XLFD support, and functionality such as Qt's internal copy of Multimedia and Webkit, that were available in previous Qt releases have been marked as "deprecated" as part of the rationalisation.
The released packages have been tested with Windows 7, Mac OS X 10.6, Linux and Symbian 3. The developers plan to provide a beta in the coming weeks; a release candidate and the final release are to follow in the second half of 2011. The new release of the GUI framework is likely to be a transitional release to Qt 5, which Nokia recently announced for next year.
For Qt 5, the developers will redesign the architecture in a way that allows the Qt UI Creation Kit (Quick) which contains QML, and Scenegraph to play a central role in using acceleration provided by graphics hardware. This Qt release will be created using an open development process where internal and external developers can contribute equally. As part of this process, the Qt developers have decided to introduce and use Gerrit for code review as part of the Qt Creator development process.
The Qt 4.8 technical preview source code is available as a zip archive(direct download) or tar.gz archive(direct download) and the Qt developers accept bug reports at bugreports.qt.nokia.com. Qt is licensed under the LGPL 2.1.