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Nokia updates Qt open-source developer platform

The cell phone maker is updating the Qt development platform and adding open-source license options. Go write some cross-platform code.

Qt developers
Qt developers Nokia Qt

Nokia has released the first major update to the Qt "cross-platform application framework" since it acquired Trolltech a year ago. Qt 4.5 is now available under the open-source LGPL (Lesser General Public License) and GPL licenses, along with two commercial licenses for older versions.

ReadWriteWeb highlights what a "cross-platform application framework" means:

Before we get into the details, let's examine the term cross-platform application framework. What does that really mean? It means that software developers can write an app that will run anywhere Qt (pronounced cute) is supported.

In practice, then, the app will run not only in Windows, but also Mac OS X (now with Cocoa support!), Linux, embedded systems, heck even Windows CE.

What's new in this release?

  • New software development kit: Developer tools, code libraries, and documentation. Always nice to have updated tools and libraries.
  • Qt Creator Cross-Platform Integrated Development Environment: I'm not sure if this is all that meaningful, as developers tend to stick with their weapon of choice--I presume that they already have Eclipse plug-ins.
  • LGPL 2.1 License: I'm not a huge fan of the LGPL, but, it's a license that encourages ubiquity. (Think JBoss)

Admittedly, it's pretty hard to make developer tools interesting, but cross-platform development remains a real problem. This upgrade appears to be meaningful for the Qt user community.

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