Trolltech’s Qt Gets New Vista

Building cross-platform applications just got a bit easier with the release of Trolltech’s Qt 4.3

Qt (pronounced Cute) is perhaps best-known as the application development framework behind the open source KDE Linux desktop. It is dual-licensed under the GPL version 2 , and a commercial license from Trolltech.

Qt is a C++ application development framework that provides a common API  across multiple platforms, which allows developers to write applications once and then deploy them on multiple platforms, including Windows, Linux/UNIX and Mac OS X. The new 4.3 release offers improved Windows Vista functionality making it easier for developers to target Microsoft’s new flagship OS.

The Qt 4.2 release, which came out last October claimed to have Vista support but Trolltech is now saying that support has been extended in the new Qt 4.3 release.

“In 4.2 we tried to ensure that Qt apps would behave correctly on the pre-release versions at Vista that we had available at the time. They’d still have the “classic” look though,” Eivind Throndsen, Product Manager for Qt at Trolltech told “With 4.3 we have gone further and now have a separate Vista style (QWindowsVistaStyle), so that Qt apps really look and feel native in the Vista environment.”

Qt 4.3 also adds support for transition animations on pushbuttons, scrollbars, progress bars and other controls. Trolltech has now also obtained the Certified for Vista Logo for its Qt Linguist application, demonstrating that Qt apps can achieve Vista certification.

“We were told by Microsoft that only applications and not libraries could be certified, this is why one of the Qt applications has been certified as opposed to all of Qt,” Throndsen said.

In addition to better support for Windows Vista, Qt 4.3 also provides improved support for Secure Socket Layer (SSL)-encrypted communications.

“We previously had a separate add-on solution, part of the Qt Solutions add-on product, that could help you do SSL,” Throndsen explained. “The news is that we have now done an overhaul of our network classes and integrated SSL into the Qt product itself.”

Trolltech is also releasing a new version of its embedded version of Qt called Qtopia Core as part of this release cycle. Throndsen noted that the most important new feature in Qtopia Core 4.3 is probably the support for OpenGL ES (Embedded Systems). OpenGL ES is the embedded version of the widely deployed OpenGL 3D graphics API.

“Many embedded developers probably will also appreciate that we’ve worked to increase our performance not only on Qtopia Core, but across the Qt codebase,” Throndsen said. “This translates into better responsiveness and more bang for the buck on the same hardware.”

Trolltech isn’t done expanding its cross platform lineup just yet either. Sometime in June the Norway based company is expected to roll out is Qt Jambi technology which brings Qt to Java.

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