More than a month has passed since the release of Creator's 2.0 alpha release. The Berlin trolls were truly busy, not only with fixing reported bugs, but also by improving the overall developer experience. This beta is another milestone in the 2.0 release cycle, as we hope you will test-drive this release, to ensure 2.0 will be rock-stable, and to get to know the new features that were introduced.
Most changes are small but important details, like a shiny new options dialog, but also fundamental changes which aim to help development of a single application on multiple targets: the beta now extends shadow building to support different build directories per target. The code model was also improved, so that defines in the .pro file are respected in the editor as well as for auto-completion. A hard decision however was to disable the Qt Quick visual designer for 2.0 by default. Henrik has shared his thoughts in a blog post.
The alpha blog post was mentioning external contributions, but missed the biggest single contribution so far: The Mercurial plugin, written by Brian McGillion. Kudos Brian, Mercurial support was a frequently requested feature!
The bigger picture
Target support: New projects mode, popup target selector.
For all those who haven't been following the development of Qt Creator 2.0 closely, here are most significant changes since 1.3.1: Project parsing was greatly improved, with Creator now using multiple threads in addition to honoring the .pro file defines as mentioned above.
As the version suggests, the new version also means changes in the overall functionality. The GUI is now optimized to handle multiple targets, which conceptually have become aspects of a project. This reflects in a new layout of the projects page, which now allows to set build- and run settings per target, as well as the newly introduced target selector, where you can quickly switch between different targets and projects.
People frequently suggested to separate design and code view, which was implemented for 2.0. This is especially useful when using the QML visual designer, but also works for classical .ui files. To make up for the additional space required for the new mode, the output mode was replaced with the option to enlarge the output window. And of course we introduced support for the new python backend for GDB.
Finally, Qt Creator has become the heart of the new Nokia Qt SDK, which brings the integrated Qt development experience to Maemo and Symbian developers. For the curious, Maurice answers a lot of question in his blog post. Note that we will also ship the Qt SDKs for Linux, Mac and Windows desktop development, but they are not part of this release.
Get your hands dirty!
You can download the Nokia Qt SDK, which includes the beta, or get a creator-only binary installer from the release page. Note that the Nokia Qt SDK does not contain a desktop version of Qt. If you want to develop for the desktop, why not try the Qt 4.7.0 beta?