The collective sources dedicated to building the Qt cross-platform application and user interface (UI) framework announced what they have called an "evolutionary milestone" in the shape of the Qt 4.8.0 version release. With development teams in Munich, Oslo, Brisbane Australia, and the Finnish city of Tampere, the work has reached final release maturity and features a selection of new developments.
Key among the new and/or improved features is Qt platform abstraction, threaded OpenGL support, multi-threaded HTTP, and optimized filesystem access. Developers can opt for Qt 4.8.0 as binary or source packages for download at this time. Nokia Qt Development Frameworks suggested that community contributions for this release have been many and varied from deep dive code-based input to higher level documentation help.
In terms of the new enhancements, Qt Platform Abstraction (QPA) technology restructures the GUI stack to enable easier porting of Qt to different windowing systems and devices. The inclusion of threaded OpenGL support is intended to enable those users who do not profess to be OpenGL "ninjas" to render OpenGL from more than one thread concurrently. Bringing in multi-threaded HTTP requests has been introduced so that they are now handled in a separate thread by default. Qt points out that this should make application GUIs smoother, as networking will no longer use the main event loop.
Optimized filesystem access has now also been included for better I/O performance, achieved by reducing the number of system calls performed for I/O and by better use of cached data, when available. The improvements in performance
can, apparently, be seen across all platforms. Qt 4.8.0 also ships with the QtWebKit 2.2.1open source web browser engine.
According to the Qt blog, "The source and binary packages for Qt 4.8.0 can be downloaded from the Qt Download Page. The source code can also be found in the public repositorydocumentation has been moved to Qt Developer network, as part of moving Qt to the Qt Project. We have started looking into moving Qt 4 to the Qt Project, which will make it simpler for you to contribute changes using Gerrit (the same infrastructure as used for Qt 5 already). This might take some time, but we are eager to see it happen."