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Qt opens up to contributions

May 11, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Nokia-owned Qt Software has followed through on its promises to open up source code repositories for its Qt cross-platform GUI application framework. The company has invited developers to contribute to a web-based source code management system based on Git and Gitorious, and published a roadmap for the Linux-compatible framework.

Released in early March, Qt 4.5 was billed as the first Qt release to be offered under a more open LGPL (“Lesser” or “Library” General Public License) licensing option, alongside existing commercial and GPL license options. The licensing expansion is part of a larger effort to make Qt a fully transparent open-source project, as promised in conjunction with the Qt 4.5 release.

Developers are now invited to contribute code, translations, and examples to Qt and Qt-related projects. The new site (see screen below) incorporates technology from the Git and Gitorious open source projects. The site also posts source code for other Qt Software open source projects in addition to Qt, including the new Qt Creator IDE that was announced with Qt 4.5.

Home page for
(Click to enlarge)

The company has also posted open source code for Qt Jambi 4.5.0_01, a package of Qt Java bindings. Announced in 2007 by “Trolltech,” as the company was named until last summer, shortly after it was acquired by Nokia, Jambi will be discontinued after a one-year maintenance period. The Linux-specific Qt Extended (formerly called “Qt for Embedded Linux” and “Qtopia”), will also cease development over the next year, and will be largely folded into the cross-platform Qt. While developers are invited to continue improving Jambi on their own, Qt Extended developers are encouraged to move to the mainstream Qt codebase.

Qt has traditionally supported Linux, Windows, Mac OS (“Carbon”), and Java VMs, adding recent support for a Windows CE/Mobile and Nokia's Symbian-based S60. It has now completed its 64-bit port to the native “Cocoa” API in Mac OS X 10.5.

Roadmap beyond Qtopia

As befitting a proper open source project, Qt now has an official public roadmap. The list of projects includes previously announced technologies, such as porting Qt to Nokia's Symbian-based S60 platform. There are also some intriguing newer projects such as multi-touch and gesture support, as well as 3D-enabling technology. Here is a list of “Committed” features on the Qt horizon:

  • Enabling cutting edge UI development:
    • Qt Kinetic project (Declarative UI, Animation API, and States & Transitions)
    • Multi-touch
    • Gestures
    • OpenVG
    • 3D enablers
  • Web and hybrid development:
    • JavaScript unification
    • jQuery-inspired DOM access
  • Qt Tools:
    • Tool support for
    • Declarative UI construction
    • Continue and enhance Eclipse and Visual Studio plug-ins
  • New Qt platforms:
    • Qt for S60
    • Windows 7 support

Qt Software has also included a list of future research projects:

  • Framework research:
    • Media services
    • Hybrid application development
    • Memory and resource handling
    • XML Schema support
    • Qt 3D portability API
    • Next generation item views
  • Tools research:
    • Hybrid application development
    • Build systems
    • Community and collaboration tools


The new site is available here, and the roadmap may be found here.

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