We are happy to announce the release of Qt Creator 4.8 Beta!
In Qt Creator 4.8 we'll introduce experimental support for the language server protocol. For many programming languages there is a "language server" available, which provides IDEs with a whole lot of information about the code, as long as they support communicating via the protocol.
This means that by providing a client for the language server protocol, Qt Creator gets (some) support for many programming languages "for free". Currently Qt Creator supports code completion, highlighting of the symbol under cursor, and jumping to the symbol definition, as well as integrates diagnostics from the language server. Highlighting and indentation are still provided by our generic highlighter, since they are not provided via the language server protocol.
To use a language server, you first need to enable the LanguageClient plugin in Help > About Plugins (Qt Creator > About Plugins on macOS). Then add the server in Tools > Options > Language Client, choosing a MIME type (glob patterns are in the works), server executable and any required command line arguments. The server is automatically started - just open a file of the corresponding type and start hacking :).
Note that the client is mostly tested with Python. There will most probably be one or the other issue when you try your most favorite language. Also, we currently do not support language servers that require special handling. If you find issues, we are happy to receive bug reports, preferably including Qt Creator console output with the environment variable QT_LOGGING_RULES=qtc.languageclient.*=true set.
On the C++ side we added some experimental features.
Compilation Database Projects
Open a compilation database as a project purely for editing and navigating code. A compilation database is basically a list of files and the compiler flags that are used to compile them. Some build systems and tools are able to generate such databases for use in other tools. In Qt Creator it feeds the code model with the necessary information for correctly parsing the code. Enable the plugin CompilationDatabaseProjectManager to try it.
Clang Format Based Indentation
Does auto-indentation via LibFormat which is the backend used by Clang Format. Enable the plugin ClangFormat to try it.
Integrates diagnostics generated by the tool Cppcheck into the editor. Enable the plugin Cppcheck to try it.
Aside from many other fixes, the Clang code model can now jump to the symbol represented by the auto keyword. It also allows generation of a compilation database from the information that the code model has via Build > Generate Compilation Database.
We added support for simultaneously running debuggers on one or more executables. When multiple debuggers are currently running, you can switch between the instances with a new drop-down menu in the debugger tool bar in Debug mode.
There have been many more improvements and fixes in Qt Creator 4.8, which you can read about in more detail in our change log.
The opensource version is available on the Qt download page, and you find commercially licensed packages on the Qt Account Portal. Qt Creator 4.8 Beta is also available under Preview > Qt Creator 4.8.0-beta1 in the online installer. Please post issues in our bug tracker. You can also find us on IRC on #qt-creator on chat.freenode.net, and on the Qt Creator mailing list.
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