The Qt designer used for GUI designing
|Original author(s)||Haavard Nord and Eirik Chambe-Eng|
|Initial release||20 May 1995|
|Stable release||5.3.2 (September 16, 2014[±])|
|Preview release||5.4 alpha (September 8, 2014[±])|
|Operating system||Linux (Embedded, Wayland, X11), OS X, Windows, …|
|License||LGPL-2.1 (Qt open-source version)
Qt Commercial License (Qt Commercial version)
Qt (// "cute", or unofficially as Q-T cue-tee) is a cross-platform application framework that is widely used for developing application software with a graphical user interface (GUI) (in which cases Qt is classified as a widget toolkit), and also used for developing non-GUI programs such as command-line tools and consoles for servers.
Qt uses standard C++ but makes extensive use of a special code generator (called the Meta Object Compiler, or moc) together with several macros to enrich the language. Qt can also be used in several other programming languages via language bindings. It runs on the major desktop platforms and some of the mobile platforms. It has extensive internationalization support. Non-GUI features include SQL database access, XML parsing, thread management, network support, and a unified cross-platform application programming interface (API) for file handling.
Qt is developed by Digia, who owns the Qt trademark, and the Qt Project under open-source governance, involving individual developers and firms working to advance Qt. Before the launch of the Qt Project, it was produced by Nokia's Qt Development Frameworks division, which came into existence after Nokia's acquisition of the Norwegian company Trolltech, the original producer of Qt. In February 2011, Nokia announced its decision to drop Symbian technologies and base their future smartphones on Microsoft platform instead. One month later, Nokia announced the sale of Qt's commercial licensing and professional services to Digia, with the immediate goal of taking Qt support to Android, iOS and Windows 8 platforms, and to continue focusing on desktop and embedded development, although Nokia was to remain the main development force behind the framework at that time.
- 1 History
- 2 Platforms
- 3 Editions
- 4 Releases
- 5 Software architecture
- 6 Tools
- 7 Programming language bindings
- 8 Uses
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Haavard Nord and Eirik Chambe-Eng (the original developers of Qt and the CEO and President, respectively, of Trolltech) began development of "Qt" in 1991, three years before the company was incorporated as Quasar Technologies, then changed the name to Troll Tech and then to Trolltech.
The first two versions of Qt had only two flavors: Qt/X11 for Unix and Qt/Windows for Windows. The Windows platform was only available under a proprietary license, which meant free/open source applications written in Qt for X11 could not be ported to Windows without purchasing the proprietary edition.
At the end of 2001, Trolltech released Qt 3.0, which added support for Mac OS X. The Mac OS X support was available only in the proprietary license until June 2003, when Trolltech released Qt 3.2 with Mac OS X support available under the GPL.
In June 2005, Trolltech released Qt 4.0.
Nokia acquired Trolltech ASA on 17 June 2008 and changed the name first to Qt Software, then to Qt Development Frameworks. Since then it focused on Qt development to turn it into the main development platform for its devices, including a port to the Symbian S60 platform. Version 1.0 of the Nokia Qt SDK was released on 23 June 2010. The source code was made available over Gitorious, a community oriented git source code repository, to gather an even broader community that is not only using Qt but also helping to improve it.
At all times, Qt was available under a commercial license that allows developing proprietary applications with no restrictions on licensing. In addition, Qt has been gradually made available under several increasingly free licenses.
Until version 1.45, source code for Qt was released under the FreeQt license. This was viewed as not compliant with the open source principle by the Open Source Initiative and the free software definition by Free Software Foundation because, while the source was available, it did not allow the redistribution of modified versions.
Controversy erupted around 1998 when it became clear that the K Desktop Environment (now known as the KDE Software Compilation) was going to become one of the leading desktop environments for Linux. As it was based on Qt, many people in the free software movement worried that an essential piece of one of their major operating systems would be proprietary.
With the release of version 2.0 of the toolkit, the license was changed to the Q Public License (QPL), a free software license but one regarded by the Free Software Foundation as incompatible with the GPL. Compromises were sought between KDE and Trolltech whereby Qt would not be able to fall under a more restrictive license than the QPL, even if Trolltech was bought out or went bankrupt. This led to the creation of the KDE Free Qt foundation, which guarantees that Qt would fall under a BSD-style license should no free/open source version of Qt be released during 12 months.
In 2000, Qt/X11 2.2 was released under the GPL v2, ending all controversy regarding GPL compatibility.
In 2002, members of the KDE on Cygwin project began porting the GPL licensed Qt/X11 code base to Windows. This was in response to Trolltech's refusal to license Qt/Windows under the GPL on the grounds that Windows was not a free/open source software platform. The project achieved reasonable success although it never reached production quality.
This was resolved when Trolltech released Qt/Windows 4 under the GPL in June 2005. Qt 4 now supports the same set of platforms in the free software/open source editions as in the proprietary edition, so it is now possible to create GPL-licensed free/open source applications using Qt on all supported platforms. The GPL v3 with special exception was later added as an added licensing option. The GPL exception allows the final application to be licensed under various GPL-incompatible free software/open source licenses such as the Mozilla Public License 1.1.
In March 2011, Nokia sold the commercial licensing part of Qt to Digia creating Qt Commercial.
Qt works on the following platforms:
- Android – Qt for Android, formerly known as Necessitas.
- Embedded Linux – Qt for embedded platforms: personal digital assistant, smartphone, etc.
- iOS – Qt for iOS platforms (iPhone, iPad)
- OS X – Qt for Apple OS X; supports applications on Cocoa
- QNX / BlackBerry 10 – Qt for QNX and the QNX-based BlackBerry 10 platform.
- Sailfish OS – Qt for Sailfish OS.
- VxWorks – Qt for VxWorks.
- Wayland – Qt for Wayland. Qt applications can switch between graphical backends like X and Wayland at load time with the -platform command line option. This allows a seamless transition of Qt applications from X11 to Wayland.
- Windows – Qt for Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8
- Windows CE – Qt for Windows CE 6 and Windows Embedded Compact 7.
- Windows RT – Support for WinRT-based Windows 8 apps and Windows Phone 8
- X11 – Qt for X Window System (GNU/Linux, FreeBSD, HP-UX, Solaris, AIX, etc.)
Since Nokia opened the Qt source code to the community on Gitorious various ports have been appearing. Here are some of them:
- Qt for OpenSolaris – Qt for OpenSolaris.
- Qt for Haiku – Qt for Haiku.
- Qt for OS/2 – Qt for OS/2 eCS platform.
- Qt for webOS – experimental development of Qt for webOS on Palm Pre.
- Qt for Amazon Kindle DX – experimental development of Qt for Amazon Kindle DX.
- Qt Ubuntu – Plugin for Qt 5 to provide Ubuntu integration, including support for the Mir display server.
- Qt for AmigaOS – Qt for AmigaOS.
- Qt for Tizen – Qt for Tizen.
- Symbian – Qt for the Symbian platform. Qt replaced Nokia's Avkon as the supported UI SDK for developing Symbian applications.
- Windows Mobile – Qt for Windows CE 5.0 and Windows Mobile.
There are two editions of Qt available, the Qt Enterprise Edition (additional functionality and libraries included, e.g. Charts and Data Visualization), a commercial edition sold by Digia, and the Open Source edition.
Trolltech released Qt 4.0 on 28 June 2005 and introduced five new technologies in the framework:
- Tulip A set of template container classes.
- Interview A model–view–controller architecture for item views.
- Arthur A 2D painting framework.
- Scribe A Unicode text renderer with a public API for performing low-level text layout.
- MainWindow A modern action-based main window, toolbar, menu, and docking architecture.
Framework development of Qt 5 moved to open governance, taking place at qt-project.org. It is now possible for developers outside Digia to submit patches and have them reviewed.
|Version||Release date||New features|
|5.0||19 December 2012||Major overhaul of the Qt 4.x series.
Complete Wayland support, including the client-side decorations.
|5.1||3 July 2013||New modules and experimental Android and iOS support as technology preview.|
|5.2||12 December 2013||First release with official support of Android and iOS.|
|5.3||20 May 2014||http://blog.qt.digia.com/blog/2014/05/20/qt-5-3-released/|
|5.4||Planned for 18 Nov 2014 |
Current version (5.2)
Qt 5.2 provides several improvements, including a new Scene graph renderer that has much better performance for drawing vector objects by using an OpenGL backend and minimizing GPU overdraws. Benchmarks of development versions shows significant improvements in speed and a visible decrease in CPU usage, because of the better usage of GPU rendering. The vision is to have game-like performance for the drawing canvas and QML renderer. Additionally, Qt 5.2 introduces new functionalities for KDE Frameworks 5 and many other improvements.
Qt, when it was first released, relied on a few key concepts:
- Complete abstraction of the GUI – When first released, Qt used its own paint engine and controls, emulating the look of the different platforms it runs on when it drew its widgets. This made the porting work easier because very few classes in Qt depended really on the target platform; however, this occasionally led to slight discrepancies where that emulation was imperfect.
- Recent versions of Qt use the native style APIs of the different platforms, on platforms that have a native widget set, to query metrics and draw most controls, and do not suffer from such issues as much.
- On some platforms (such as MeeGo and KDE) Qt is the native API.
- Some other portable graphical toolkits have made different design decisions; for example, wxWidgets uses the toolkits of the target platform for its implementations.
- Signals and slots - a language construct introduced in Qt for communication between objects which makes it easy to implement the Observer pattern while avoiding boilerplate code. The concept is that GUI widgets can send signals containing event information which can be received by other controls using special functions known as slots.
- Metaobject compiler - The metaobject compiler, termed moc, is a tool that is run on the sources of a Qt program. It interprets certain macros from the C++ code as annotations, and uses them to generate added C++ code with Meta Information about the classes used in the program. This meta information is used by Qt to provide programming features not available natively in C++: signals and slots, introspection and asynchronous function calls.
- Qt Core The only required Qt module, containing non-graphical classes used by other modules
- Qt GUI The central gui module. In Qt 5 this module now depends on OpenGL, but no longer contains any widget classes.
- Qt Widgets Contains classes for classic widget based GUI applications and the QSceneGraph classes. Was split off from QtGui in Qt5.
- Qt Quick The module for GUI application written using QML2.
- Qt Quick Controls Widget like controls for Qt Quick
- Qt Quick Layouts Layout for arranging items in Qt Quick
- Qt Network Network abstraction layer. Complete with TCP, UDP, HTTP, SSL and since Qt 5.3 SPDY support.
- Qt Multimedia Classes for audio, video, radio and camera functionality.
- Qt Multimedia Widgets The widgets from Qt Multimedia.
- Qt SQL Contains classes for database integration using SQL.
- Qt WebKit Qt's WebKit implementation and API.
- Qt WebKit Widgets The widget API for Qt WebKit
- Qt Test Classes for unit testing Qt applications and libraries.
- Active Qt Classes for applications which use ActiveX.
- Qt Bluetooth Classes accessing Bluetooth hardware.
- Qt D-Bus Classes for IPC using the D-Bus protocol.
- Qt OpenGL Legacy module containing the OpenGL classes from Qt4. In Qt5 the similar functionality in Qt GUI is recommended.
- Qt Creator, a cross-platform IDE for C++ and QML. Qt Designer's GUI layout/design functionality is integrated into this relatively new IDE, although Qt Designer can still be called as a standalone tool.
- qmake, a tool that automates the generation of Makefiles for development project across different platforms
Programming language bindings
Organizations using Qt
- European Space Agency
- Walt Disney Animation Studios
- Blizzard Entertainment
Software using Qt
Example applications using Qt are Altera Quartus, a design and simulation tool for programmable logic; Autodesk Maya; Bitcoin Core; Cameleon (programming language); Mathematica; Google Earth; KDE, a desktop environment for UNIX-like operating systems; Skype; Spotify for Linux; Ubuntu; VirtualBox, an OS virtualization software package; Musescore music score writing software; and the VLC media player.
- Blanchette, Jasmin; Summerfield, Mark (June 2006). "A Brief History of Qt". C++ GUI Programming with Qt 4 (1st ed.). Prentice-Hall. pp. xv–xvii. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
- Tuukka Turunen (2014-09-16). "Qt 5.3.2 Released with Qt Creator 3.2.1". Retrieved 2014-09-16.
- Tuukka Turunen (2014-09-08). "Qt 5.4 Alpha Released". Retrieved 2014-09-08.
- "Qt GNU LGPL v. 2.1 Version".
- "Qt Commercial version under the Qt Commercial License".
- "That Smartphone Is So Qt". Ashlee Vance. 16 February 2010. Retrieved 19 February 2010.
- "The Qt 4 Dance" (video). Retrieved 19 February 2010.
- Hughes, Bradley T. (30 January 2008). "About the Nokia acquisition". Retrieved 17 September 2013.
- Nystrom, Sebastian (7 March 2011). "Nokia and Digia working together to grow the Qt community". Retrieved 8 July 2011.
- "Trolltech Releases Qt 4.0 | KDE.news". Dot.kde.org. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- Niels Weber (23 June 2010). "Nokia Qt SDK 1.0 released". Labs.trolltech.com. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- "Trolltech offers a choice in licensing with the addition of GPL licensing for the upcoming release of Qt". Qt.nokia.com. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- Q../Windows Edition history, 5 June 2006[dead link]
- E-mail to the kde-cygwin mailing list by Chris January, 4 February 2003
- "Qt Non-commercial FAQ". Trolltech. Archived from the original on 5 October 2003.
- "Nokia Corporation Qt GPL Exception Version 1.3". Doc.trolltech.com. 22 July 1999. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- Nyström, Sebastian (14 January 2009). "Nokia to license Qt under LGPL". Retrieved 17 September 2013.
- "ICS Whitepaper on the Implications of Qt under LGPL for Commercial and Government users" (PDF). Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- "[New Features in Qt 5.1 - Support for New Platforms". Digia. 3 July 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
- "Necessitas project". Retrieved 3 December 2012.
- "Qt Wiki – Support for Embedded Linux". Qt Project. 12 August 2011. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
- "Supported Platforms". Retrieved 1 February 2014.
- "Qt Wiki – Support for OS X". Qt Project. 14 August 2011. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
- Qt Blog. "Qt Commercial Formally Supports QNX | Qt Blog". Blog.qt.digia.com. Retrieved 2013-03-19.
- nratelle. "Github project". Github.com. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- "Blackberry | Qt Wiki". Qt Project. 16 January 2013. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
- Qt Blog. "Qt Commercial for VxWorks | Qt Blog". Blog.qt.digia.com. Retrieved 2013-03-19.
- Jørgen Lind (18 March 2011). "Multi-process Lighthouse". Qt Project. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
- "Getting started with Lighthouse". Retrieved 25 November 2011.
- Kristian Høgsberg (25 January 2011). "Add wayland lighthouse plugin".
- "Qt Wiki – Support for Windows". Qt Project. 11 August 2011. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
- Bjoern Breitmeyer (21 August 2013). "The State of WinCE Support in Qt5". KDAB. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
- "Qt for WinRT". Qt Project. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
- "Qt Wiki – Support for Linux/X11". Qt Project. 12 August 2011. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
- "KDE on OpenSolaris". Hub.opensolaris.org. 26 October 2009. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- "Qt Applications and UI Framework for Haiku". Qt-haiku.ru. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- "Qt 4 Application and UI Framework for eCS". Svn.netlabs.org. 15 September 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- Qt webOS port
- darron (25 February 2010). "Blog: Qt on the Palm Pre". Griffin.net. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- darron (30 January 2010). "Blog: Qt on Amazon Kindle DX". Griffin.net. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- "Qt Ubuntu". Launchpad.net. 29 January 2013. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
- "Qt AmigaOS Native 4.7". Retrieved 5 August 2013.
- "Qt for Tizen". Retrieved 15 December 2013.
- "Support for Symbian | Qt Wiki". Qt Project. 29 August 2012. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
- "Qt for S60 – Forum Nokia Wiki". Wiki.forum.nokia.com. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- "Nokia Announce Technology preview of Qt on S60". All About Symbian. 20 October 2008. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- Paul, Ryan (20 October 2008). "Nokia releases first Qt preview for Symbian S60". ars technica. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- Espen Riskedal (20 October 2008). "Qt Labs Blogs – We’re porting Qt to S60!". Labs.trolltech.com. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- "Qt Software – Technology Preview – Qt for S60". Trolltech.com. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- "David Wood: S60 / Avkon are dead". Tamss60.tamoggemon.com. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- "Qt Wiki – Support for Windows CE and Windows Mobile". Developer.qt.nokia.com. 12 August 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- Digia. "Qt Enterprise" (in English). Digia. Retrieved 2014-07-26.
- "Qt Licensing".
- "Qt GNU GPL v. 3.0 Version".
- "Concern about removal of QWidget classes". Qt5-feedback mailing list. 7 October 2011. http://lists.qt.nokia.com/public/qt5-feedback/2011-October/001622.html.
- Knoll, Lars (9 May 2011). "Thoughts about Qt 5". Digia. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
- Lars Knoll (21 October 2011). "The Qt Project is live!". Nokia. Retrieved 8 February 2012.
- Qt Blog. "Introducing Qt 5.0 | Qt Blog". Digia. Retrieved 2013-03-19.
- "New Features in Qt 5.1". Digia. 3 July 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
- "New Qt 5.4 release plan". Digia. 9 Sep 2014. Retrieved 8 Sep 2014.
- "Qt 5.4 Alpha Available". Digia. 9 Sep 2014. Retrieved 8 Sep 2014.
- "New Scene Graph Renderer | Qt Blog". Qt Project. 2 September 2013. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
- "Qt 5.2 To Bring New Scene Graph Renderer | Phoronix". Phoronix. 3 September 2013. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
- "Library". Digia. "Qt uses the native graphics APIs of each platform it supports, taking full advantage of system resources and ensuring that applications have native look and feel."
- "Signals & Slots - QtCore 5.1". Qt Project. 4 July 2013. Retrieved 4 July 2013.
- "Trolltech Releases Qt 4.0". KDE. 28 June 2005. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
- "All Modules | Documentation". Qt Project. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
- Qt Blog (19 December 2012). "Introducing Qt 5.0 | Qt Blog". Digia. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- Kyle Morris (24 December 2012). "Qt 5.0 - Congratulations to the Qt Project". KDE. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
- "QtDoc 5.1: All Modules". Qt Project. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
- "Programming Language Support & Language Bindings". Qt Project. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
- "Qt in the European Space Agency".
- "Behind the Scenes at DreamWorks Animation: Making the Apps that Make the Movies".
- "UI & System Design Challenges for the NxG Lighting Tool".
- "Lucasfilm Entertainment Company Ltd.".
- "Qt in Visual Effects".
- "Panasonic selects Qt for HD video system".
- "Qt in IP Communications".
- "Qt in Home Media".
- "Qt helped Siemens deliver a C++ development platform for manufacturing software GUIs".
- "Volvo Mobility Systems".
- "Qt helped Walt Disney reduce development time spent on its cross-platform feature film production application".
- "Blizzard's additions/modifications to Qt".
- "Qt in Autodesk".
- "Qt in visual effects".
- "Qt delivered advanced, cross-platform C++ GUI for Mathematica’s development team".
- "Google Earth Includes a Web Browser". Googlesystem.blogspot.de. 15 June 2010. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- "The KDE development platform".
- "Qt in use – Skype.". Archived from the original on 2009-02-26.
- "10 Qt Use Cases You Didn’t Know".
- "Canonical's Windowing Shift: More than a Mir Techie Footnote". Linux.com. 6 March 2013. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- "Qt in VideoLan Player".
- Summerfield, Mark (23 August 2010). "Advanced Qt Programming: Creating Great Software with C++ and Qt 4" (1st ed.). Addison-Wesley. ISBN 978-0-321-63590-7.
- Fitzek, Frank H. P.; Mikkonen, Tommi; Torp, Tony (17 May 2010). "Qt for Symbian" (1st ed.). Wiley. ISBN 0-470-75010-3.
- Blanchette, Jasmin; Summerfield, Mark (14 February 2008). "C++ GUI Programming with Qt 4" (2nd ed.). Prentice Hall. ISBN 978-0-13-235416-5.
- Summerfield, Mark (28 October 2007). "Rapid GUI Programming with Python and Qt" (1st ed.). Prentice Hall. ISBN 978-0-13-235418-9.
- Molkentin, Daniel (19 July 2007). "The Book of Qt 4: The Art of Building Qt Applications" (1st ed.). No Starch Press. ISBN 978-1-59327-147-3.
- Thelin, Johan (3 August 2007). "Foundations of Qt Development" (1st ed.). Apress. ISBN 978-1-59059-831-3.
- Dalheimer, Matthias (January 2002). "Programming with Qt" (2nd ed.). O'Reilly Media. ISBN 978-0-596-00064-6.
- Ezust, Alan; Ezust, Paul (10 September 2006). "An Introduction to Design Patterns in C++ with Qt 4" (2nd ed.). Prentice Hall. ISBN 978-0-13-187905-8.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Qt.|
|Wikibooks has a book on the topic of: Qt|
- Official website
- Qt Blogs
- Qt Commercial
- Migrate from GTK+ to Qt
- Qt tutorials in spanish
- Pluralsight's Introductory Course on Qt-4