Initial Qt 4.4 Release Candidate

Apr 04, 2008

The new version includes Webkit and Phonon as part of the cross-platform library for graphical user interfaces. Trolltech has asked developers to test the RC.

New to Qt 4.4 is the integration of Webkit, a Web browser engine used, for example, by the S60 mobile browser and the Mac OS browser Safari. Webkit supports the integration of Javascript Web services such as Google Maps. Another new features is Qt 4.4's support for multimedia applications. To allow this to happen, the Qt developers have integrated a multimedia framework based on the KDE Phonon project for video and audio. On top of this, Qt 4.4 or newer is also available for Windows CE embedded platforms.

Trolltech provides the Qt library RC under a restricted license designed for testing. Trolltech is asking both commercial developers and the Open Source community to put the RC through intensive tests and return feedback via the Qt4 mailing list. The Qt 4.4 release notes have only been published in the form of a "Sneak Preview" website thus far.

The integration of the open source Webkit Web browser engine in Qt was triggered back in February by Lars Knoll, who Trolltech had appointed as chief product developer just previously . Webkit started life as a branch of the Khtml library. Lars Knoll is the founder of Khtml and still the library's maintainer today.

The first Qt 4.4 beta was released at the end of February. In February, Trolltech, which is based in Oslo, Norway, also changed the licensing of its GUI library from GPLv2 to v3. The download page is still slightly out of date, however, and still refers to GPLv2.

The Norwegian software developers lost their independence in January when they were acquired by cellphone manufacturer Nokia, to secure cross-platform developer know-how for its own devices. Nokia is already using Webkit for its devices. The dual license and Qt's Open Source basis will remain, Nokia promised after the takeover.

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