Qt 4.2 Released

Trolltech has announced the release of version 4.2 of Qt. The main features of this release are CSS-like desktop stylesheets, a new graphics view class, Qt/Mac look-and-feel improvements including the ability to host Carbon widgets inside Qt widgets and tighter cross-desktop integration. See the Qt 4.2 intro for a detailed list. The source can be downloaded for X11, Windows or Mac.

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by Erwin (not verified)

OMG: "CSS-like desktop stylesheets"

Wooow, thats sounds very useful!!

by Cyrille Berger (not verified)

well if it makes the life of graphists to create styles more easily than with the QStyle API, I think it's wonderfull :) Maybe we will see a greater diversity of style in the future instead of all the plastik-based of KDE3 (note: I like plastik, but there isn't a lot of choice beside it).

by Aaron J. Seigo (not verified)

not just graphic artists, but developers as well. the new clear button in the line edit was really only possible to do correctly due to the new stylesheets as it allows us to move the text over on the right hand side enough to make room for the button graphic.

so it enables odd little things like that which the user ends up benefiting from.

by Samuele Catuzzi (not verified)

Now all applications developed for kde 3 series can be ported to kde 4 !

by Martin (not verified)

I read the linked introduction to 4.2 but didn't see what makes porting easier using the new 4.2 version. The Qt3Support module already existed, right?

by Leo S (not verified)

Finally a replacement for QCanvas. I never used QCanvas (didn't get into Qt till 4.0) but QGraphicsView is pretty cool once you get the hang of it. It almost seems like they're duplicating a lot of things in the standard library though. Like, why not just base regular widgets on QGraphicsView? Why is there a separation there?

by Brandybuck (not verified)

They're apples and oranges. While you can always paint an apple orange, it will still taste like an apple. Widgets have tons of functionality related to the underlying windowing system, which would have to be unnecessarily duplicated if they were graphic items. And graphic items are lightweight (which is why you can have tens of thousands of them), but they can't be lightweight if they have all that widget overhead.

by max (not verified)

> Now all applications developed for kde 3 series can be ported to kde 4 !

Please don't do that - there are sooo many kde-applications outside of kde's svn repository.

Most important is that all those Qt3- and KDE3-applications run as good (or better) under KDE 4 as they did under KDE 3.x.

You cannot expect the whole software-university to switch to kdelibs4 and qt4 instantly when KDE4 is released.

And yes, there are many custom applications which lack the manpower to switch over to kdelibs4.

The other desktops don't have problems with legacy applications, too!

If KDE 4 does not support kde3 applications very well, more and mor people will switch to the competing but always backwards compatible desktop.

What will KDE4 become? A capsulated all-in-one-solution with desktop and it's own applications as KDE 1,2,3
the Best Desktop to use all existing linux-applications (gtk+, gtk2, motive, Qt1, Qt2, Qt3, kdelbis3, kdelibs4,..)?

by Corbin (not verified)

There will be no reason that you can't keep kdelibs-3 installed, just like you can keep gtk-1 libs and gtk-2 libs on the same system. There is no point in having kde4's kdelibs being able to have kde3's apps run against it. What the grandparent poster meant is that now qt4 has equivalent functionality for all the features found in qt3 that all kde3 applications can now be ported to kde4/qt4.

by Kevin Kofler (not verified)

You'll have to do some patching to make the 2 versions of KDE cooperate though. KDE 3 probably won't load config files which have been touched by KDE 4, so you need separate KDEHOMEs. You also need separate KDEDIRs, and separate KDE_FULL_SESSIONs. Which means there's some search&replace stuff to do in the source code for a reliable "compat lib" package.

by Corbin (not verified)

You won't have to run all of KDE3 to be able to run KDE3 apps inside KDE4. Right now most devs working on KDE4 apps do so from inside KDE3.

by Aaron Seigo (not verified)

what you say is true, and i don't expect the sort of problems you are concerned about.

however, wouldn't it be nice if as many kde applications are ported to kde4 so that when kde4 comes out they are all using the new capabilities of both qt 4 and kde4? i know i want to see scalable graphics, better performance, hardware awareness (solid), better multimedia support (phonon), etc... in all my apps.

that's the point of porting.

by Sean (not verified)

Title says it all. If I install Qt 4.2 can I compile KDE 3.5.4 against it?


by Carsten Niehaus (not verified)

No, that is not possible.

And is KDE4 will work on qt-3.x ?

by redeeman (not verified)

no, kde4 will build against qt4.

by kde4ever (not verified)

the feature list and screenshots are really hot.
can't wait for kde4 using the new libraries!

by KDE User (not verified)

I'm starting to feel really bad about how long Qt 4 has been out but no sign or word of KDE 4. :(

by Ian Monroe (not verified)

... what do you think akademy was all about?

by Eric Laffoon (not verified)

> ... what do you think akademy was all about?

Really funky pizza with corn on it, free Guiness, over priced food, potatoes with every meal, no water pressure in the showers and trying not to get hit while jaywalking after the five second walk signals.

What I remember about KDE 4 was talking about what it was going to be, laughing at absurd bugs like the cursor being on the wrong side of a left parenthesis and people complaining it wouldn't build.

What really should be considered about KDE 4 is that the fact that release dates are not being talked about is a GOOD thing. We are only now able to build Quanta on it. Base libraries still are not locked down and Qt changes are still being talked about. Once everything is in place developers have to port existing code, which will take time even if it's easy. There will be choices between compatibility and using new features and then there is the factor of the longer cycle enabling developers to do truly innovative things with a new architecture release.

The last thing we want is a warmed over KDE 3 where we can say "look at how I do the same thing a different way and I can make it pretty". You don't want the new to wear through to an MS style warm-over of old code with a little lipstick on it... Okay, maybe you do, but I don't. I want a new version where developers are allowed to stretch their creative wings instead of dancing on the head of a pin racing to the finish line half dressed. Realizing the potential here is going to take time. I don't want to see it before this time next year because I want it done right.

by ac (not verified)

We need to schedule a first release even if Quanta isn't there yet. Otherwise nothing will ever stabilize and we will wait forever for all those new features to be implemented. Meantime everyone is stuck using Qt 3 and Qt 5 will come out when KDE 4 is out of the door.

by Eric Laffoon (not verified)

> We need to schedule a first release even if Quanta isn't there yet.

Okay, dictate to the release manager to move me out arbitrarily if I'm holding up the release of KDE4... Although I don't ever remember being asked to okay a release schedule. Unlike you I can't live in a fantasy world. I have to do something in the allotted time, even if you want to stick it in the microwave that can pump out a turkey in five minutes.

> Otherwise nothing will ever stabilize and we will wait forever for all those new features to be implemented.

Can we get some new music? We can just go back and dig up the comments for KDE 2 and KDE 3 and change the names of the posters. Look, the unfortunate thing her was thinking that Qt4 was going to be the trigger and now it's Qt 4.2, and possibly 4.3 for all I know. Everybody using KDE loves it for the fact that developers don't do the commercial marketing practice of shoving some warmed over buggy hacks out the door to keep the budget in good shape while making the codebase a mess to maintain. Witness the half decade late Vista. And still we have the peanut gallery whining that this process will take a few months longer for KDE4.

> Meantime everyone is stuck using Qt 3 and Qt 5 will come out when KDE 4 is out of the door.

You are more than welcome to run the alphas and betas. They will be publicly available and I think Trolltech should release Qt5 as you will no doubt be clamoring for that and ranting that it's not here soon enough. Not releasing core libraries to remove your infatuation seems an impossible fantasy that would just leave you empty of longing. ;-)

It's not like KDE developers have gone into play mode. They are in the same process that produced the version 2 and version 3 series. The difference this time is the experience and a desire to make sure that when the framework is crystalized it will support the range of functionality you will be either loving or complaining about for the next several years. You're going to be using KDE 4 longer than you will be waiting for it and developers are more motivated and more excited about what they're doing than ever. If you're not happy waiting then get involved.

by Iuri Fiedoruk (not verified)

The problem I see with this is that developers are adding a lot of new features while important bugs and features are still missing. KDE 3.X series was a hell of nice because it was on a evolutionary (and not revolutionary) pace, and a very fast one.
Now everthing has stopped working while developers reorganize everthing, and it feels like when KDE4 will be starting to get nice (4.5.x?), another disruptive release (5 or 6) will come.

BUT (big BUT!), it's ok, I like revolutionary things, I'm a bleed edge user. But for most windows users, programs not finished, incomplete or with lots of bugs, just smells bad. I have a friend that keeps telling me: "Most Linux programs are just incomplete, as in eternal beta", and I tend to agree with him.

by Aaron Seigo (not verified)

you're forgetting kde2, which was revolutionary, which was what enabled kde3. evolutionary is great, but sometimes a bit more than that is called for.

moreover, bugs in kde3 are being fixed and features are going in, albeit mostly to kde4. the latter is no surprise as that's how we've always worked: new features in the next release.

one of the things we're trying to do with kde4 is to implement based on what we've learned so kde4 can mature quicker and last longer. this is what the kde2/3 cycle achieved over kde1.

as for things being in eternal beta, i'd suggest you go look at the many very mature kde apps and tell your friend about them. there are tons of half-baked crappy windows apps out there too.

by Iuri Fiedoruk (not verified)

Actually I agree with you.. mostly.
There are a lot of rock-solid and well finished apps in KDE and I know about KDE2/3, I started using KDE in 1.0.
But this isn't a rule, some apps like Kopete, Konquerror (as a browser) and Koffice still have a way to go to get that feeling of a really finished and complete product.

But don't misunderstand me, this dosen't mean it'1s s rule, just some parts could be better, but anyway, who am I to complain? :-)

by redeeman (not verified)

lol, konqueror, kopete and koffice.. you must be smoking some heavy stuff.

konqueror is the best browser application we have, and i see nothing that can compete with kopete.

and as for koffice.. its not meant to be filled with useless crap like m$office and openoffice. which both reflects in its speed, size, and cleanness.

by Abhinay (not verified)

Kopete is far from the best chat application I've seen. It doesn't work behind proxies, and that kills it for me. Its incredible that in this many releases, no one has bothered to get it to work behind a proxy.

Konqueror is far from the best, though I do use it as my default browser. It has a lot of great points, including speed, and its integration with kparts. But khtml needs more work, and I'm sure it'll get there.

Koffice... its great, but its not there yet. Far from it. It will konquer all one day, but thats some time in the future. As it stands, openoffice is a much more complete, albeit slow application

by Iuri Fiedoruk (not verified)

Compare konqueror and Firefox, and I'm sorry for Konqueror, compatibility is still very low. It badly supports gmail yet.
Koffice.. well it's just now starting to get some decent import/export filters, I have a lot of crashes using it, compare with openoffice.org (exept for the bloat) and there is another loss.
Kopete? I can't even start naming it... no msn voice, google talk voice was started then abandoned, msn file transfer dosen't work very well, jabber and icq file transfer dosen' exists. Shall I continue?

From the 3, the only I use is kopete, and it from far the most green and incomplete of the three, it's just that sim-icq development had stopped and still isn't nice as it was befora.

by Eric Laffoon (not verified)

Kopete is not part of the official packages and is not going to be significantly impacted by the schedule. KHTML is going to be part of main KDE releases regardless. It is largely decoupled from the Qt libraries so it's development trajectory is largely unaffected. KHTML does however have a great deal of complex coding to work with, particularly WRT the Apple fixes and just the essentially difficult mission it has. Therefore a longer development window offers KHTML the same kind of benefits as we look at in Quanta, particularly as we depend on KHTML. Most importantly the work that needs to be done in KHTML is not the kind of thing you can effectly do in the same incremental way. In order to have vital software you have to employ both development models and make major releases where you can break core functionality and rewrite it to more effectively support the next generation. Koffice is not part of the official release packages and releases independently precisely because it has so much complexity to deal with as a suite of applications. Therefore it is totally unaffected by the KDE 4 schedule, except for decisions as to what to target the next release at.

So your examples have little to do with the KDE4 schedule. Meantime all of these applications are getting bug fix releases and some are getting feature improvements. So what's the problem?

by Morty (not verified)

In fact Kopete is part of the official packages, but the developers have on occasion(like now with 0.12) since becoming a part of the official packages made stand alone releases.

by redeeman (not verified)

ehm.. there has been lots of word and sign.

by KDE User (not verified)

Sorry, I missed it. What date is KDE 4 planned for??

by AC (not verified)

When it's done. Unlike previous KDE release there is no release schedule here. When KDE 4 is feature complete and bug free you will know! The wait is worth it if we want to compete with Vista.

by coward (not verified)

uhm.. isnt it like vista was designed to compete with kde 3.x?

by no need to komp... (not verified)

we really need a kde only distribution.. like ubuntu/fedora is for gnome.. suse isnt an option anymore and mandriva goes the gnome way too..
debian is more or less neutral, but they prefer gtk (d-i) and python(some debian-tools) too..

if only arklinux could get more devs/users/fans/geeks/spammer/trolls or whatever..

( )
( -- )

by AC (not verified)

There are plenty of kde-only distributions.

ubuntu/fedora are not gnome-only distributions, both offer kde as alternative.

by superstoned (not verified)

like linspire/freespire, xandros, kubuntu, knoppix, and at least a dozen more?

by Brandybuck (not verified)

PC-BSD and DesktopBSD as well...

by Bille (not verified)

What's wrong with SUSE? Have you seen the updated/backported versions of KDE software in the build service, that you can add as install sources to YaST or smart?

Look at all the KDE software backported from 10.2 by the SUSE KDE team, available for released SUSEs including 9.3 at


and a small but increasing amount of community contributed packages available on the same basis at


and tell me that SUSE doesn't have excellent KDE support, just because some GNOMEs are now riding the geeko too.

by Derek R. (not verified)

I agree. In fact, Suse is the only strong distribution that's left that still has good KDE support. IMO Mandriva is a joke, slackware and gentoo are distributions for geeks, Debian is not meant to be a desktop distribution, and Kubuntu is an afterthought that is miles away from being given the same treatment that Ubuntu gets.

by Robert (not verified)

"Debian is not meant to be a desktop distribution".

Debian is meant to be whatever you want it to be. I'm using Debian Sid as my actual desktop, and I've been doing so for five years ...

by petteri (not verified)

> Debian is not meant to be a desktop distribution

One satisfied Debian desktop user here. Debian has really good KDE team which keeps us Debian users happy. You should check your facts before spreading false rumors.

by Derek R. (not verified)

Hey, calm down, I'm not saying Debian has bad KDE support, or can not be used as a desktop distribution. And myself I've used Gentoo on my desktop for quite a few years. I just mean they are distributions that do not have the "average end-user" as their target. It's not a bad thing they are the way they are.

by lezard (not verified)

Mandriva a joke?
You are kidding, right?

by Andrea (not verified)

Slackware is a kde-only distribution.
Slackware is a very good distro: fast, secure, clean, easy ( if you take the time to read a few readmes ).

by forrest (not verified)

Slackware is awesome!

Fast, clean, secure, simple. All packages are unmodified vanilla. :)

by AC (not verified)

Vista development is started in 2001, with the goal to be released in 2002/2003

kde3 was released in januari 2003, so i guess one can say that Vista was intended to compete with kde 3.x

by superstoned (not verified)

and it's good competition. vista has some things KDE 3.x doesn't have, but kde 3.x does have things vista doesn't have as well, so...

guess what KDE 4 will be ;-)