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What's New in Qt 4.6

Qt 4.6 provides many improvements and enhancements over the previous releases in the Qt 4 series. This document covers the most important features in this release, separated by category.

A list of other Qt 4 features can be found on the What's New in Qt 4 page.


Support for Symbian

Qt 4.6 is the first release to include support for the Symbian platform, with integration into the S60 framework. The port to Symbian and S60 provides all functionality required to develop rich end-user applications for devices running S60 3.1 and later.

See the The Symbian platform - Introduction to Qt for more information.

Animation Framework

The animation framework helps build highly animated, high-performance GUIs without the hassle of managing complex structures, timers, and easing curves, not to mention the large state graphs that all animated GUIs tend to be full of.

The framework makes it easy to animate QObjects, including QWidgets, by allowing Qt properties to be animated. It also allows creating custom animations and interpolation functions. Graphics views are not left out; one can animate QGraphicsWidgets and new QGraphicsObjects which inherit from QGraphicsItem (and thereby enable properties).

Animations are controlled using easing curves and can be grouped together. This enables animations of arbitrary complexity.

The API is easy to grasp with functions such as start(), stop(), pause(), and currentTime(). Here is an image from one of the examples that come with the framework:

The animation framework also plugs into the new Qt Statemachine by allowing an animation to be played when transitions are triggered. The state machine framework is introduced in 4.6 and is described below.

See The Animation Framework documentation for more information.

State Machine Framework

The state machine framework provides a robust state chart implementation based on Harel statecharts and SCXML. Qt's API lets you construct such state graphs and execute them. The key benefits of a state machine are:

  • Simplify complex application semantics.
  • Use of states to reduce code bloat.
  • Use states to improve maintainability.
  • Makes event-driven programming robust and more reusable.

It is especially the last item here that makes using a state machine worthwhile. A key characteristic of event-driven systems (such as Qt applications) is that behavior often depends not only on the last or current event, but also the events that preceded it. With statecharts, this information is easy to express.

The framework fits neatly into Qt by allowing transitions to trigger on signals and QEvents. By inserting animations into the state machine, it is also easier to use the framework for animating GUIs, for instance.

See The State Machine Framework documentation for more information.

Multi-Touch and Gestures

Support for multi-touch input enables users to interact with many parts of a user interface at the same time, and provides the basis for gestures. Additional infrastructure for gesture recognition allows a sequence of touch inputs to be combined to create gestures that can be used to activate features and trigger actions in an application.

This new functionality brings a number of benefits:

  • Allows users to interact with applications in more natural ways.
  • Simplifies finger-based interaction with UI components.
  • Combines support for common basic gestures and multi-touch gestures in a single general framework.
  • Enables extensibility by design.

See the QTouchEvent class documentation for more information on multi-touch input and QGestureEvent for gestures.

DOM access API

Web pages and XML both have very complex document object models. The W3C selector API provides a very simple way to access and manipulate such structures. This API makes it intuitive to access DOM, helps reuse CSS selector knowledge, and gives little maintenance or footprint overhead.

     QWebElement document = frame->documentElement();
     /* Assume the document has the following structure:

        <p class=intro>

     QList<QWebElement> allSpans = document.findAll("span");
     QList<QWebElement> introSpans = document.findAll("p.intro span");

See the QWebElement class documentation for more information.

Performance Optimizations

As always, Qt continuously strive to optimize its performance. For this release, we have:

Graphics Effects

Effects can be used to alter the appearance of UI elements such as QGraphicsItems and QWidgets. A couple of standard effects such as blurring, colorizing and drop shadow are provided, and it is possible to implement custom effects.

See the QGraphicsEffect class documentation for more information.

XML Schema Validation

The QtXmlPatterns module can now be used to validate schemas, either through C++ APIs in the Qt application, or using the xmlpatternsvalidator command line utility. The implementation of XML Schema Validation supports the specification version 1.0 in large parts.

See the XML Processing and QXmlSchema class documentation for more information.

Qt3D enablers

As more of Qt, and more of the applications built on Qt go 3D, API's should be provided to simplify this. Mainly, the new API aims to make it more easy to create 3D applications with OpenGL. It will also unify the Qt OpenGL codebase, and enable cross-platform 3D codebase.

The main features of the Qt3D enablers are currently: Math primitives for matrix multiplication, vectors, quaternions (client-side), and API for vertex and fragment shaders, GLSL/ES. Future research will, among other things include stencils, scissors, vertex buffers and arrays, texture manipulation, and geometry shaders.

Multimedia Services

Qt 4.6 comes with new classes for handling audio. These classes provide low-level access to the system's audio system. By specifying the audio format (QAudioFormat) and supplying audio data through a QIODevice, you get direct access to the functionality of the sound device. The API also comes with functions to query audio devices for which audio formats they support.

See the QtMultimedia Module documentation for more information.

New Classes, Functions, Macros, etc.

Links to new classes, functions, macros, and other items introduced in Qt 4.6.

New Classes

QAbstractAnimation QGestureRecognizer QMouseEventTransition QSymbianEvent
QAbstractState QGLFramebufferObjectFormat QPanGesture QTapAndHoldGesture
QAbstractTransition QGLShader QParallelAnimationGroup QTapGesture
QAbstractVideoBuffer QGLShaderProgram QPauseAnimation QTileRules
QAbstractVideoSurface QGraphicsAnchor QPinchGesture QTouchEvent
QAnimationGroup QGraphicsAnchorLayout QProcessEnvironment TouchPoint (QTouchEvent)
QAudioDeviceInfo QGraphicsBlurEffect QPropertyAnimation QVariantAnimation
QAudioFormat QGraphicsColorizeEffect QProxyStyle QVector2D
QAudioInput QGraphicsDropShadowEffect QQuaternion QVector3D
QAudioOutput QGraphicsEffect QS60MainApplication QVector4D
const_iterator (QWebElementCollection) QGraphicsObject QS60MainAppUi QVideoFrame
QContiguousCache QGraphicsOpacityEffect QS60MainDocument QVideoSurfaceFormat
QDBusServiceWatcher QGraphicsRotation QS60Style QWebElement
QEasingCurve QGraphicsScale QScopedArrayPointer QWebElementCollection
ErrorPageExtensionOption (QWebPage) QGraphicsTransform QScopedPointer QWebInspector
ErrorPageExtensionReturn (QWebPage) QGraphicsWebView QSequentialAnimationGroup WrappedEvent (QStateMachine)
QEventTransition QHistoryState SignalEvent (QStateMachine) QXmlSchema
QFinalState iterator (QWebElementCollection) QSignalTransition QXmlSchemaValidator
QGenericMatrix QKeyEventTransition QState
QGesture QMargins QStateMachine
QGestureEvent QMatrix4x4 QSwipeGesture

New Member Functions

Class QWebSettings:

void clearMemoryCaches ()
QString defaultTextEncoding () const
void enablePersistentStorage ( const QString & path = QString() )
QString localStoragePath () const
QString offlineWebApplicationCachePath ()
qint64 offlineWebApplicationCacheQuota ()
void setDefaultTextEncoding ( const QString & encoding )
void setLocalStoragePath ( const QString & path )
void setOfflineWebApplicationCachePath ( const QString & path )
void setOfflineWebApplicationCacheQuota ( qint64 maximumSize )

Class QWebSecurityOrigin:

void addLocalScheme ( const QString & scheme )
QStringList localSchemes ()
void removeLocalScheme ( const QString & scheme )

Class QHelpSearchEngine:

int hitCount () const

Class QScriptString:

quint32 toArrayIndex ( bool * ok = 0 ) const

Class QGLFramebufferObject:

void blitFramebuffer ( QGLFramebufferObject * target, const QRect & targetRect, QGLFramebufferObject * source, const QRect & sourceRect, GLbitfield buffers = GL_COLOR_BUFFER_BIT, GLenum filter = GL_NEAREST )
bool hasOpenGLFramebufferBlit ()

Class QProcessEnvironment:

QProcessEnvironment systemEnvironment ()

Class QNetworkRequest:

QObject * originatingObject () const
void setOriginatingObject ( QObject * object )

Class QSslSocket:

void connectToHostEncrypted ( const QString & hostName, quint16 port, const QString & sslPeerName, OpenMode mode = ReadWrite )
void ignoreSslErrors ( const QList<QSslError> & errors )
void setSocketOption ( QAbstractSocket::SocketOption option, const QVariant & value )
QVariant socketOption ( QAbstractSocket::SocketOption option )

Class QWebView:

QPainter::RenderHints renderHints () const
void setRenderHint ( QPainter::RenderHint hint, bool enabled = true )
void setRenderHints ( QPainter::RenderHints hints )

Class QNetworkAccessManager:

QNetworkReply * deleteResource ( const QNetworkRequest & request )

Class QSharedPointer:

QSharedPointer<X> objectCast () const

Class QWeakPointer:

T * data () const
QWeakPointer<T> operator= ( const QObject * obj )

Class QNetworkProxyFactory:

void setUseSystemConfiguration ( bool enable )

Class QSystemLocale:

virtual QLocale fallbackLocale () const

Class QNetworkCacheMetaData:

AttributesMap attributes () const
void setAttributes ( const AttributesMap & attributes )

Class QGraphicsLayout:

void addChildLayoutItem ( QGraphicsLayoutItem * layoutItem )

Class QXmlStreamReader:

QString readElementText ( ReadElementTextBehaviour behaviour )
bool readNextStartElement ()
void skipCurrentElement ()

Class QSyntaxHighlighter:

void rehighlightBlock ( const QTextBlock & block )

Class QGraphicsView:

bool isTransformed () const

Class QWebHitTestResult:

QWebElement element () const
QWebElement enclosingBlockElement () const
QWebElement linkElement () const

Class QWebFrame:

void contentsSizeChanged ( const QSize & size )
QWebElement documentElement () const
QWebElementCollection findAllElements ( const QString & selectorQuery ) const
QWebElement findFirstElement ( const QString & selectorQuery ) const
void loadFinished ( bool ok )
void loadStarted ()
void render ( QPainter * painter, RenderLayer layer, const QRegion & clip = QRegion() )
QRect scrollBarGeometry ( Qt::Orientation orientation ) const
void setFocus ()

Class QWebDatabase:

void removeAllDatabases ()

Class QGraphicsScene:

QGraphicsItem * activePanel () const
bool isActive () const
QGraphicsItem * itemAt ( const QPointF & position, const QTransform & deviceTransform ) const
QGraphicsItem * itemAt ( qreal x, qreal y, const QTransform & deviceTransform ) const
QList<QGraphicsItem *> items ( const QPointF & pos, Qt::ItemSelectionMode mode, Qt::SortOrder order, const QTransform & deviceTransform = QTransform() ) const
QList<QGraphicsItem *> items ( const QRectF & rect, Qt::ItemSelectionMode mode, Qt::SortOrder order, const QTransform & deviceTransform = QTransform() ) const
QList<QGraphicsItem *> items ( const QPolygonF & polygon, Qt::ItemSelectionMode mode, Qt::SortOrder order, const QTransform & deviceTransform = QTransform() ) const
QList<QGraphicsItem *> items ( const QPainterPath & path, Qt::ItemSelectionMode mode, Qt::SortOrder order, const QTransform & deviceTransform = QTransform() ) const
QList<QGraphicsItem *> items ( qreal x, qreal y, qreal w, qreal h, Qt::ItemSelectionMode mode, Qt::SortOrder order, const QTransform & deviceTransform = QTransform() ) const
bool sendEvent ( QGraphicsItem * item, QEvent * event )
void setActivePanel ( QGraphicsItem * item )
void setSelectionArea ( const QPainterPath & path, const QTransform & deviceTransform )
void setSelectionArea ( const QPainterPath & path, Qt::ItemSelectionMode mode, const QTransform & deviceTransform )

Class QWebPage:

QWebFrame * frameAt ( const QPoint & pos ) const
bool shouldInterruptJavaScript ()

Class QPrintPreviewWidget:

int pageCount () const

Class QNetworkReply:

void ignoreSslErrors ( const QList<QSslError> & errors )
bool isFinished () const
bool isRunning () const

Class QGraphicsItem:

bool acceptTouchEvents () const
bool filtersChildEvents () const
QGraphicsItem * focusItem () const
QGraphicsItem * focusProxy () const
QGraphicsEffect * graphicsEffect () const
Qt::InputMethodHints inputMethodHints () const
bool isActive () const
bool isBlockedByModalPanel ( QGraphicsItem ** blockingPanel = 0 ) const
bool isPanel () const
QGraphicsItem * panel () const
PanelModality panelModality () const
QGraphicsObject * parentObject () const
qreal rotation () const
qreal scale () const
void setAcceptTouchEvents ( bool enabled )
void setActive ( bool active )
void setFiltersChildEvents ( bool enabled )
void setFocusProxy ( QGraphicsItem * item )
void setGraphicsEffect ( QGraphicsEffect * effect )
void setInputMethodHints ( Qt::InputMethodHints hints )
void setPanelModality ( PanelModality panelModality )
void setRotation ( qreal angle )
void setScale ( qreal factor )
void setTransformOriginPoint ( const QPointF & origin )
void setTransformOriginPoint ( qreal x, qreal y )
void setTransformations ( const QList<QGraphicsTransform *> & transformations )
void setX ( qreal x )
void setY ( qreal y )
void stackBefore ( const QGraphicsItem * sibling )
QGraphicsObject * toGraphicsObject ()
const QGraphicsObject * toGraphicsObject () const
QPointF transformOriginPoint () const
QList<QGraphicsTransform *> transformations () const

Class QAbstractXmlNodeModel:

QSourceLocation sourceLocation ( const QXmlNodeModelIndex & index ) const

Class QScriptEngineDebugger:

DebuggerState state () const

Class QGraphicsLayoutItem:

bool ownedByLayout () const
void setOwnedByLayout ( bool ownership )

Class QXmlQuery:

bool setFocus ( const QString & focus )

Class QStyleOptionGraphicsItem:

qreal levelOfDetailFromTransform ( const QTransform & worldTransform )

Class QDBusConnection:

bool connect ( const QString & service, const QString & path, const QString & interface, const QString & name, const QStringList & argumentMatch, const QString & signature, QObject * receiver, const char * slot )
bool disconnect ( const QString & service, const QString & path, const QString & interface, const QString & name, const QStringList & argumentMatch, const QString & signature, QObject * receiver, const char * slot )

Class QDBusPendingCall:

QDBusPendingCall fromCompletedCall ( const QDBusMessage & msg )
QDBusPendingCall fromError ( const QDBusError & error )

New Global Functions

QDataStream & operator<< ( QDataStream & stream, const QWebHistory & history )
QDataStream & operator>> ( QDataStream & stream, QWebHistory & history )
void qDrawBorderPixmap ( QPainter * painter, const QRect & target, const QMargins & margins, const QPixmap & pixmap )
bool qFuzzyCompare ( const QTransform & t1, const QTransform & t2 )
bool qFuzzyCompare ( const QMatrix & m1, const QMatrix & m2 )
QSharedPointer<X> qSharedPointerObjectCast ( const QWeakPointer<T> & other )
QSharedPointer<X> qSharedPointerObjectCast ( const QSharedPointer<T> & other )
QString qtTrId ( const char * id, int n = -1 )

New Macros



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