Today we released the Alpha of Qt 5, the first major release since the Qt Project went live. A lot of people have worked hard to make this release happen. A large amount of work and features that went into this alpha have been coming from people not working for Nokia. It’s great to see that the project has become a place where many people meet and together push Qt forward.
The main purpose of the Qt 5 Alpha release is to get feedback that helps us make the coming releases better. For the Alpha we focus on the delivering the Qt Essential modules, which forms the foundation of the functionality Qt 5 will offer.
The alpha can be downloaded from http://qt-project.org/wiki/Qt-5-Alpha. Note that the alpha release is a source-only release without binaries to download, so you need to build the binaries yourselves. Build instructions can be found at http://qt-project.org/wiki/Qt-5-Alpha-building-instructions
We have now been working for around 9 months on Qt 5, following the ideas I outlined in a blog in May last year. The blog talked about a couple of objectives we had for Qt 5, and I’d like to reflect a bit on what we achieved.
There was one basic vision driving a lot of the Qt 5 work:
“Qt 5 should be the foundation for a new way of developing applications. While offering all of the power of native Qt using C++, the focus should shift to a model, where C++ is mainly used to implement modular backend functionality for Qt Quick.”
I can say that we came a good way closer to this vision with Qt 5.0. The model is working nicely on the embedded side of Qt where UIs are full screen. On the desktop, we have laid most of the foundations required for this model, but it’ll take us until 5.1 or 5.2 to really take this into use.
We wanted to develop Qt 5 in the open, with a strong community around it. Since the launch of qt-project.org, we have seen a vibrant community forming there, and many of the patches and new features we will have in Qt 5 are coming from the community.
Then we had set out to do four major changes to Qt’s internal architecture:
The announcement of these changes created a lot of response, and we have already addressed a lot of the common questions about Qt 5 and these architectural changes earlier.
In addition to the architectural changes, Qt 5 also offers a lot of new functionality. I’d just like to highlight a couple of them here, you can find a detailed list with descriptions on our wiki.
There is a binary and to a smaller extent source compatibility break between Qt 4.x and Qt 5. We have however worked hard to make an easy and smooth transition of existing code to Qt 5 possible. As an example we currently have Qt Creator compiling and running against Qt 4.x and Qt 5 using the same code base.
If you want to try out your own project against Qt 5, you can find detailed porting instructions here.
Please also note that there is no immediate need to port your app to Qt 5, as Qt 4.8 is still there and supported by the community and companies such as Digia for some time to come. But we firmly believe that Qt 5 will offer enough benefits to consider moving.
As you can see a lot of things have happened since the work on Qt 5.0 started. I am very happy with what we have achieved so far. You can now all help us finalizing Qt 5 by downloading the alpha, trying it out and giving us feedback.
All feedback should go to the qt development list (firstname.lastname@example.org, see also lists.qt-project.org), or simply reported as bug reports in our bug tracking system. Any patches and bug fixes are of course also highly welcome, please submit these to codereview.qt-project.org.
The Alpha is the first step towards a final release of Qt 5, and focus from now on will be fully on ironing out the remaining issues so that we can deliver a final Qt 5.0 to you as soon as possible.
There have been too many people involved in getting to this point to mention them all, but I’d like to say thanks to every one who has contributed in some form to this release.
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Download the latest release here: www.qt.io/download.
Qt 5.12 was developed with a strong focus on quality and is a long-term-supported (LTS) release that will be supported for 3 years.
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