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One framework to rule them all – Introducing Qt 5.8

Published - January 23, 2017

Everything you love about Qt just got better with Qt 5.8 – the software development framework that enables you to create the user experiences your products deserve and your customers require. We are always working on improving Qt’s cross-platform libraries and tools ensuring it continues to accelerate your development and allow you to bring amazing products to life on any OS and any device – regardless of size. Qt 5.8 helps you optimize your performance and reduce your footprint for your internet of things, create multi-process devices and easily integrate state machines into any Qt application. There is so much more to say about Qt 5.8 – here are a few of our favorite updates.

Qt is Losing Weight

Shedding some excess weight, Qt Lite contains a comprehensive set of tools that expands Qt’s framework and improves speed and performance, making it easier to work with Qt than ever before. Users can reduce their memory footprint by up to 60% and optimize performance and boot time with a whole new configuration system, which allows you to pick and choose exactly the features you need for your IoT or embedded project. With Qt Lite, we have widened the install-base of Qt-powered devices, taking Qt also into wearables and other lower-level IoT devices. Key features include:

  • Fast startup
  • Low memory footprint
  • New Configuration System
  • New Graphical Configuration Tool
  • Flexible Developer Workflow
  • No OpenGL Requirement
  • Expanded Hardware Support

Qt Lite makes it possible to create a tailored version of Qt, that is smaller, faster and more reliable and simplifies the use of the Configurability features. Learn more here.

Create devices with multiple UI processes using Wayland

In modern UI development it often makes sense to develop multiple UI processes, rather than single process, in order to ensure stability, robustness and better security for your application as well as enabling efficient application development with different teams or third parties creating separate applications. Having made the decision to have multiple process for the user interface display, the next technical problem to solve is getting the outputs of each process onto the display. The modern approach is to use Wayland, which is easy to develop and maintain, and the protocol is easily extendable. It is the industry standard for window management—it’s a common protocol that can be used by everyone, and is extended by everyone. With Wayland, the compositor is responsible for arranging and displaying each client’s content or output on the screen. The screen area can also be split into different functional units/applications allowing you to make your device a software platform for additional content while improving robustness. As an added bonus, you can enable simultaneous development and testing by different teams and reduce maintenance costs with less lines of code to test and debug.

With Qt 5.8 we have released the Qt Wayland Compositor API, which allows you to create your own Wayland compositor. We give you all the tools you need to create a compositor in a simple way. You can easily define the UI and UX of your compositor with the power and simplicity of QML. If you still need or want to use C++, that’s also possible. There are also many other benefits of using the Qt Wayland Compositor API:

  • Creating multi-screen devices is simple
  • High abstraction level API means less lines of code to test and debug
  • Support for easily writing your own Wayland extensions—Allowing easy communication between clients and the compositor. E.g. you could write a protocol extension for telling clients to switch to night mode.
  • Built-in support for several shell extensions including XDG shell, WL Shell and IVI application allowing to connect to clients using any of these extensions

But wait, there’s more!

Qt 5.8 enables fast and easy integration and communication with devices and peripherals using the Qt Serial Bus API. You can improve the accessibility and UX of your application by enabling text-to-speech with Qt.

With Qt Network Authentication Module you can authenticate your applications and devices to connect to the cloud and use 3rd party web services faster.

You may or may not have heard about finite state machines. A finite state machine is a way of modelling a system comprised by a limited number of modes – depending on which mode it is in it will behave in one way or another. State machines can help you reduce unwanted system behavior and is a more formalized approach to designing a system and it also allows you to validate your workflow. State Machine XML or SCXML is a standard format used to define state machines and in 5.8 we have released a new module called Qt SCXML allowing you to use Qt Creator, Qt Quick and QML and the SCXML format to define state machines and Qt Creator features a graphical tool allowing you to edit states, sub states, transitions and all kinds of other relevant properties.

Lars Knoll, CTO of The Qt Company and Qt Project Chief Maintainer summarizes the latest release: “Qt 5.8 is a fantastic release, offering major improvements and lots of new functionality over previous releases.”

For more information on Qt 5.8, please visit the 5.8 release page.

About The Qt Company

The Qt Company develops and delivers the Qt development framework under commercial and open source licenses. We enable the reuse of software code across all operating systems, platforms and screen types, from desktops and embedded systems to wearables and mobile devices. Qt is used by approximately one million developers worldwide and is the leading independent technology behind millions of devices and applications. Qt is the platform of choice for in-vehicle systems, industrial automation devices, and other business critical application manufacturers, and is used by leading global players in more than 70 industries. The Qt Company is owned by the Qt Group, which operates in China,

Finland, Germany, Japan, Korea, Norway, Russia and USA with more than 200 employees worldwide. The Qt Group is headquartered in Espoo, Finland and is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki Stock Exchange. The company’s net sales in year 2015 was 27 MEUR. To learn more visit http://qt.io

Editorial enquiries, contact:

The Qt Company
Kristian Orispää
+358 40 4504942 – kristian.orispaa@qt.io