Qt Weekly #18: Static linking with Qt

Published Wednesday August 27th, 2014 | by

Qt has supported static builds for a long time, but iOS made this way of shipping Qt more widespread. To make the discussion about static linking more practical, we will not discuss things abstractly, but we will look at how to compile the Weather Info example application from the Qt Positioning module statically for iOS, and address questions as they come up.

 

Weather Info example app

Weather Info example app

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3 Comments


Posted in iOS

qbs 1.3.0 released

Published Tuesday August 26th, 2014 | by

We are happy to announce the release of qbs 1.3.0 today. Qbs, or Qt Build Suite, is a general cross-platform build tool that uses a language similar to QML for project description. Qbs can be used for any software project, whether it is written in Qt or not and it simplifies the build process for developing projects across multiple platforms.

If you haven’t tried it out yet, we strongly encourage you to take it for a spin to see how convenient building with Qbs is! Check out the documentation for more details.

What’s new in qbs 1.3?

For this release, we have concentrated on improving the integration with Qt Creator. The main points are:

  • Source files can now be added to (and removed from) qbs products via the project tree, just as for qmake projects. Thanks to Thomas Epting for the initiative!
  • More care is now taken to reload a project only if it is really necessary.
  • In addition, reloading a project has become somewhat faster, particularly in the case where a project file was changed without introducing any semantic differences (e.g. whitespace changes).

We think that these items, combined with a number of important bugfixes, have improved the user experience of working with qbs in Qt Creator a lot.

What else is worth mentioning?

On the language side, it is now possible to set different profiles for particular products. This is important for projects that need to produce binaries for different architectures.
Also, we have once again reduced the memory footprint significantly.

Read more…

6 Comments


Posted in Build system, QtCreator, Releases

Adding LGPL v3 to Qt

Published Wednesday August 20th, 2014 | by

20 years ago, Trolltech, the company that created Qt, was founded. One of its founding principles was to release Qt as free software to the open source community. In the early versions, this was limited to Unix/Linux and the X11 windowing system. Over the years, more and more platforms were included into the open source version of Qt.

At the same time, the licenses under which Qt was available evolved. The Qt 1.x source code was still released under a rather restrictive license. With Qt 2, we moved over to the QPL. Some years later, with Qt 4.0, Qt started to embrace the GPL v2, to remove some license conflicts between GPL-based applications and the QPL.

Trolltech was involved in talks with the Free Software Foundation (FSF) when the GPL v3 was created, and we added this license as an optional license for Qt after it was published by the FSF. Finally, in 2009 Nokia added LGPL v2.1 as a licensing option to Qt.

The spirit of all GNU licenses is about a strong copyleft, giving users rather strong access and rights to the source code of application and libraries. It was always meant to protect the users’ freedom to modify the application and underlying libraries and run the modified application.

In many people’s opinion there is, however, a loophole in the LGPL 2.1, where it doesn’t clearly talk about running the applications using a modified version of the library. Even though it violates the spirit and intentions of the LGPL, this loophole has been extensively used by companies that create locked-down devices. If devices use LGPL v2.1 software, the user may not be able to install modified versions of the library on the device and use it together with the other software that is installed on it.

We also consider locked-down consumer devices using the LGPL’ed version of Qt to be harmful for the Qt ecosystem. The device is not open to third party developers and thus doesn’t contribute in extending the size of the Qt ecosystem and the range of devices that can be targeted by software developers using Qt. In addition to not contributing to the ecosystem, it doesn’t fund the further development of Qt.

For these reasons we believe that LGPL v2.1 is not protecting the users’ freedom as it was intended by the Free Software Foundation. To account for this, the FSF created version 3 of the LGPL, a license we feel is legally formalizing the intentions of the earlier version.

Changes in the Qt 5.4 Release with LGPLv3

Because of this, we are now adding LGPL v3 as a licensing option to Qt 5.4 in addition to LGPL v2.1. All modules that are part of Qt 5.3 are currently released under LGPL v2.1, GPL v3 and the commercial license. Starting with Qt 5.4, they will be released under LGPL v2.1, LGPL v3 and the commercial license.

However, there will be a set of new add-ons that will be only released under LGPL v3 (plus GPL v2 or later) or commercial license. These add-ons are listed below. We have discussed with the KDE Free Qt Foundation and have their support to make this change in Qt 5.4. We are also in talks with the KDE Free Qt Foundation about further strengthening the agreement.

New add-ons released under LGPL v3

In Qt 5.4, the new Qt WebEngine module will be released under LGPL v3 in the open source version and under a LGPLv2.1/commercial combination for Qt Enterprise customers.

Adding LGPLv3 will also allow us to release a few other add-ons that Digia before intended to make available solely under the enterprise license. In Qt 5.4, we will add a technology preview for two brand new modules to Qt under the LGPL v3.

The first module, called Qt Canvas3D, will give us full WebGL support inside Qt Quick. It is fully functional, but still marked as a preview because the support for JavaScript typed arrays is still implemented in a slow and not 100% compliant way.

The second module is a lightweight WebView module that will also be released as a technology preview. It supports embedding the native Web engines of the underlying operating system into Qt, and is currently supported on Android.

There is a final add-on that will get released under LGPL v3. This module will give native look and feel to the Qt Quick Controls on Android. This module can’t be released under LGPL v2.1, as it has to use code that is licensed under Apache 2.0, a license that is incompatible with LGPL v2.1, but compatible with LGPL v3.

How does this change affect you as a Qt user?

One of the first questions you might have is, of course, how this affects you as a user of Qt.

This first thing to notice is that if you are using Qt under a commercial license, nothing changes at all.

Also, if you are using Qt under GPL v3, you are unaffected, since LGPLv3 can always be converted to GPLv3.

All modules that existed in Qt 5.3 will still be available under LGPL v2.1. So if you are using Qt under the GPL v2 or LGPL v2.1, nothing changes as long as you don’t use any of the new modules that are only available under LGPL v3. If you start using those, your source code will fall under the conditions given by the LGPL v3 (or GPL v2).

These changes will be effective in Qt 5.4 Alpha. I believe that adding LGPL v3 as a licensing option will help both Qt and the open source ecosystem. It is a lot clearer about the intent of the LGPL license and its use in Free Software.

Please find more information about open source licenses at http://www.gnu.org/licenses/.

If you are not sure what license you should be using in your project, please consult a legal expert.

Digia has opened an email address for specific questions about using Lgplv3 in your project. Please contact us via Qtlicensing@digia.com.

16 Comments


Posted in Community, KDE, News, Qt

Qt Creator 3.2.0 released

Published Tuesday August 19th, 2014 | by

We are happy to announce the Qt Creator 3.2.0 release today. This release adds many smaller and larger features, as well as fixing bugs. A few examples:

  • Block selections in text editors now allow you to do “column editing”, meaning that all selected lines are edited simultaneously (Qt Creator Manual)
  • Context help can now be configured to open in an external window (without disabling Help mode)
  • Support for C99 designated initializers and concatenated strings was added to the C++ code model, as well as improvements to encoding handling and lambda support and many other things
  • More panes are now searchable with Ctrl+F, for example the project tree
  • The QML profiler received many performance and stability improvements again

Enterprise Qt Creator users can now also use the QML profiler to debug their JavaScript memory usage in QML. (This is only available when using Qt 5.4 for the debugged application.)

Also have a look at our change log, for a more complete overview. I also want to thank the more than 50 contributors to this version of Qt Creator.

You find the opensource version on the Qt Project download page, and Enterprise packages on the Qt Account Portal. Please post issues in our bug tracker. You also can find us on IRC on #qt-creator on irc.freenode.net, and on the Qt Creator mailing list.

Note: With Qt Creator 3.2 we drop support for OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard). The technical reason for this is that Apple does not support any kind of C++11 on that OS version. Of course that does not affect on which platforms you can run your Qt applications on. But it is not possible to run the Qt Creator 3.2 binaries on 10.6, and it also is not possible to compile Qt Creator 3.2 on 10.6 with the tool chains provided by Apple.

Update: There is a problem with the online installer sometimes not removing old files when updating components. This leads to broken Qt Creator installations which crash at startup. We have disabled the online update for as long as we are investigating the problem.

41 Comments


Posted in Qt, QtCreator, Releases

Qt Weekly #17: Linking Qt Classes in Documentation Generated with Doxygen

Published Wednesday August 13th, 2014 | by

Qt Weekly is back from vacation with a post from a guest blogger (*applause*).  In this post, Lorenz Haas tells us how to link Qt classes in custom documentation that is generated by using Doxygen.

By mid-2008, Sebastian Pipping introduced doxygen2qthelp for generating Qt Compressed Help files (*.qch) via Doxygen. Already by the end of the year, it was successfully merged into Doxygen. While 1.5.7.1 still had some mirror problems, version 1.5.8 provided stable and comprehensive support for creating QCH files out of the box. See Sebastian’s announcement as well as David Boddie’s article in Qt Quarterly.

Since then, this feature – I guess – has been used a thousand, a million times. Nowadays, I personally can’t imagine working without it. This is because it integrates perfectly into my favorite IDE – Qt Creator. There I can use my own documentation for context-sensitive help that can be triggered by the F1-shortcut:

without_links

 

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2 Comments


Posted in Documentation, doxygen2qthelp

Defragmenting Qt and Uniting Our Ecosystem

Published Wednesday August 6th, 2014 | by

Over the last years, many changes have been happening in the Qt ecosystem. One of the biggest was the creation of Qt Project where Qt is now being developed as an open source project. The Qt Project was created to provide a space open for all to further develop and foster innovation for the Qt technology.

Qt has always been a commercial product. During the Trolltech days licensing income funded development of the product. While Nokia’s motivations were different, at Digia, our goal is to again make sure that Qt thrives for all industries, all companies, all users no matter what platform. That said, we need to make sure the business of selling Qt as a product is successful in order to fund its future development for the good of everyone in our ecosystem. The importance of Digia’s commercial business for securing the future of Qt cannot be underestimated as it drives Qt’s foundation and everyday operations. A look into the commit statistics shows that around 75% of all code submissions to qt-project.org come from Digia employees. In addition, Digia manages the release process and the CI and testing infrastructure, thus covering more than 85% of the costs of developing Qt.
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84 Comments


Posted in Community, News, Qt

Qt Creator 3.2 RC1 released

Published Tuesday August 5th, 2014 | by

We are happy to announce the Qt Creator 3.2 RC1 release today. Since the beta we have been busy fixing bugs. We encourage you to try this RC and give us feedback on its quality.

The beta blog post already mentioned a few new features such as “column editing”, but there are a lot more new features. To mention just a few:

  • The file system locator filter ‘f’ can now be used to create new files.
  • More panes are searchable, e.g. the project tree.
  • The qbs plugin now supports adding and removing files from projects.
  • The C++ code model received a lot of fixes e.g. for editing lambdas.

Read more…

15 Comments


Posted in QtCreator, Releases

Google Labs VoltAir Game Built with Qt

Published Monday July 21st, 2014 | by

As the dog days of summer carry on, we at Digia, Qt are swatting down flies, mosquitoes and bees while we fan ourselves in the unusual summer heat currently striking Scandinavia … in Oslo … at least.

Meanwhile, on a cool note, the Fun Propulsion Labs at Google announced last week that, VoltAir a single and multi-player game built with Qt is available for download via the Google Play Store and as open source software. Coolbeans!

VoltAir was developed to provide an example of a C++ game designed for both Android and Android TV and the folks at Google also tested it on Nexus 5, Nexus 7, Moto X by Motorola, Android TV, and some Samsung devices.

Check Out VoltAir (Courtesy of Google Developers – YouTube)

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14 Comments


Posted in Android, Announcements, Labs, Qt, Qt Quick

Qt Creator 3.2 beta released

Published Tuesday July 8th, 2014 | by

We are happy to announce the Qt Creator 3.2 beta today. So you can already check out the many improvements we have done for the upcoming 3.2 release, and, not to forget, give us feedback on what we have so far. We mostly concentrated on stability and improvements, so no completely new platform supported this time, sorry ;) . I’ll randomly highlight some of the changes here, but you should probably check out our change log as well for a more thorough overview, and just download the binaries and try it for yourself.

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41 Comments


Posted in QtCreator | Tags:

Qt Contributors’ Summit 2014 sum up

Published Saturday July 5th, 2014 | by

Lars opening speech

Lars making the opening speech

It’s almost a month since we gathered at the Estrel Conference Center to spend two days talking about Qt, where it is and where it’s heading.

The Summit started off with Lars Knoll giving the state of the project speech, which included status updates from various maintainers. The whole opening session can be watched on Youtube. One thing to raise from Lars’ speech is the need to unify Qt, to bring all Qt users closer to each other.

The two days contained over forty sessions on matters ranging from the use of box2d with QML to two sessions on QtCore. You can find many of the session notes from the Summit schedule page. And the more technical topics have threads on the Developer mailing list, which you can find from the list archives (search for threads marked QtCS).

Session ongoing

Over 40 sessions in two days

The weather in Berlin was exceptionally hot, bordering on uncomfortable outside. Luckily the conference center had good air conditioning. However during the evening event we could enjoy the warmth outside in the garden. The setting was very good for continuing the discussions that started during the day. The hardiest participants continued their discussion at the hotel lobby bar after the official evening event was closed.

Evening event

Evening event

A big part of events like the Contributors’ Summit are the coffee break and corridor discussions that take place in between sessions. The venue provided enough tables and a couple of good corners with benches to spend some time drafting the upcoming session agenda or working on the topics raised in previous sessions.

Showing app

Coffee break application demo

A big thank you to all the participants and of course to our sponsors!

Hope to see many of you at the Developer Days!

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Posted in Community, Contributors, Events

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