Qt quietly rolls out ambitious roadmap for 2019

Roadmap

The team behind Qt has outlined its plans throughout 2019 for the C++ library and associated tools, and if you were looking for tighter integration with Python, you’re in luck.

Tuukka Turunen, senior vp for R&D at the Qt Company, outlined the plans in a start the year letter late last week – hey it’s still only February – which kicked off with a call to upgrade to Qt 5.12 LTS, pointing out that 5.6 LTS support is due to end in March.

Once that was out of the way, he flagged up continued work on Python support. “One highly requested new feature is integration with commonly used Python third party modules like NumPy, PyTorch, pandas and matplotlib,” he said.

“Out of these, we expect to provide at least integration to NumPy during 2019, possibly some others as well,” he said. At the very least, easier deployment for Python applications should come this year.

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Qt for WebAssembly is currently a preview, but should become fully supported with Qt 5.13. In the meantime, “We continue to improve functionality and fix bugs as more users adopt Qt for WebAssembly and report issues.” These include support for Windows as a development host, as well as the pre-existing Linux and Mac.

New features due include access to local file systems, and threading support on browsers where enabled.

Qt 5.13 is scheduled to get a preview of Qt Lottie, a player for adobe After Effects tool, Bodymovin animations. New widgets should come in 2019, including a circular progress bar and a switch widget, and both could be ready for Qt 5.13.

For developers, he promised better diagnostics management and improved performance in the Qt Creator IDE. Again, continued improvement of Python support for Qt Creator is on the cards, and “we might enable the ability to extend Qt Creator via Python in the future.” Expect an update by the end of the year.

CMake fans should get improved support, including a CMake-based build system for Qt Creator, and better support for embedded development.

Qt Quick Designer – part of Qt Creator – will get some new functionality from Qt Design Studio, including the ability to create Qt Quick animations using a new timeline editor debuted in Quick Designer.

As for Qt Design Studio, which recently hit 1.1, the project aims to ship an open source release at some point. In the meantime, this year should see support for additional graphics design tools such as a Sketch, an easing curve editor, and a property inspector – both of which will be shared with Qt 3D Studio.

Qt 3D studio will set 2.3 ship in March, and 2.4 in June, both of which should see a performance boost, with improvements through the year, aiming to make complex real-time 3D apps run well even on mid-tier hardware. Other upcoming features include stereoscopic rendering, renewed test rendering and support for precompiled shaders. Ultimately, the aim is to combine the 2-D and 3-D tools.

There’s more, including plans for automation, automotive and other industries, as well as ideas for running Qt on lower performance hardware, in Turenen’s post here.

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