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07 May 2010, 14:39

Touch support in Qt 4.7

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Qt Logo Almost two months after the technical preview was released, the development of version 4.7 of the cross-platform Qt C++ framework for GUI applications is beginning to take shape, as Nokia has now presented a beta version. A beta of the Qt Creator 2.0 development environment, which is part of the framework, has also been released. The developers highlight the integration of Qt Quick (Qt UI Creation Kit) as the prominent feature of the next version of Qt. Qt Quick is a tool collection for creating animated, touch-enabled Qt interfaces and applications for mobile and embedded devices.

Among other things, Qt Quick allows user interfaces to be programmed in the Qt Markup Language (QML), which is similar to CSS and JavaScript. This language is designed to simplify the creation of modern user interfaces and make Qt available to a larger community of developers and designers. The software package also contains QtDeclarative, a C++ library for writing dynamic and custom interfaces.

Although the current beta contains some of the multimedia features these features will be removed before the final version is released this summer. The developers say that Qt needs to become more modular, and that the currently developed version therefore isn't suitable for integrating the Multimedia API. However, the final version of the API for audio and video playback itself will be released, together with the recently introduced new Qt APIs for mobile development, almost at the same time as Qt 4.7.

Qt Creator also supports QML. The text editor can process the QML syntax and, for QML interfaces, supports features such as auto-completing, troubleshooting and previewing code. Qt 4.7 is the first Qt release whose development has been controlled via the "Qt Continuous Integration System". The Qt developer group now includes a new performance team who focus primarily on the quality of changes.

Qt is a framework written in C++ available for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X, which offers the same functions on all three platforms. It forms the basis for the open source KDE Linux desktop. After taking over Trolltech, the company that originally developed the framework, Nokia released the library under the LGPL and provided open access to the code repositories.

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