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Trolltech Releases Qt 3.1 Beta 1

Sep 12, 2002, 01:00 (6 Talkback[s])

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Trolltech today announced the release of Qt 3.1 beta 1. This new version is particularly noteworthy because it gives developers and corporate IT professionals--for the first time--a way to gradually migrate from the limited world of Motif and MFC over to the single-source, multiplatform nirvana of Qt.

Qt, the standard C++ application framework for multiplatform development, lets developers write a single source-tree that will run--natively--on Windows, Linux/Unix, Mac OS X, and embedded Linux.

"Developers have loved Qt for years because it lets them write code once and deploy it anywhere," said Eirik Aavitsland, Qt's product manager. "With version 3.1, more developers have the opportunity to fall in love with Qt, since we now give them a way to migrate code gradually from single-platform environments to the multiplatform world of Qt."

Among the functions included in Qt 3.1 is Trolltech's new ActiveQt, a framework that lets developers use Qt to create ActiveX controls (for example, Internet Explorer plug-ins), and use Qt applications as ActiveX servers (for example, an Excel spreadsheet window). ActiveQt offers a clean, simple Qt application programming interface (API) to replace the notoriously complex native ActiveX and COM APIs. The result is enhanced productivity, with great reductions in the time necessary to create ActiveX servers and controls.

Qt 3.1 for Unix and Linux also includes new facilities for Motif integration, enabling developers to gradually insert Qt-based code into existing Motif applications, rather than rewriting the entire code-base at the same time. This provides a smooth and elegant migration path to Qt by allowing Qt and Motif components to co-exist in the same application.

The Mac OS X version of Qt 3.1 introduces many improvements to further integrate Qt with the Mac OS X environment. These include integration with the Mac Appearance Manager, anti-aliased text drawing, and user settings. The Qt OpenGL support is also greatly improved, and uses the hardware-accelerated drivers.

Other benefits of Qt 3.1 include:

  • Easier graphical user interface (GUI) design, with numerous improvements to Qt Designer, the GUI builder for Qt. These include a property editor that can operate on multiple widgets simultaneously, greatly enhanced WYSIWYG support, and a toolbar layout that is more intuitive.
  • Enhanced documentation assistance. Qt Assistant, the Qt help documentation browser, now includes custom documentation supports, making it easier to use as a help browser for customer applications.
  • Improved multi-threading. Qt 3.1 offers more classes available for multi-threading, thereby optimizing performance.
  • Class library assistance. Qt 3.1 will include hundreds of improvements to its existing class library, inspired by user feedback.

Qt 3.1 beta 1 is free of charge to open-source developers. Contact sales@trolltech.com for conditions, prices and license terms for commercial use of Qt 3.1 or any other Trolltech product.

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