Yeah, I know the title of this blog is mostly a cliché these days, but I feel like I am entitled to it. I am, after all, 75% done with the fifth book in the Song of Ice and Fire series, A Dance with Dragons. It’s also December 22, which is the first day of Winter in the Northern Hemisphere. But, as I told my friend Espen, I am spending most of this Winter in Summer, a feat accomplished by changing hemispheres and earning me a punch in the arm.
More to the point, Winter is also coming for Qt 5.0: we are approaching feature freeze. The exact date, I can’t tell you, because we don’t know yet. That’s actually the subject of this blog: we need to find a date and I need your help to get there.
There are two competing directions for setting the feature freeze date. The first, which pushes it forward, is the need to complete the features that can only be done in 5.0 — features that, if they fail to enter 5.0, cannot be added to a 5.x release and would need to wait for 6.0. The other is the direction set by Lars, our Chief Maintainer, that we want to release 5.0 by mid-2012, before the Summer break. We know, from past experience, that the quality control a Qt release undergoes is no trivial task, so the more time we give us, the better the result will be.
Therefore, working backwards from a (gold) release date in late June, we need a feature freeze and alpha release sometime in January. In fact, given that this is a major release, with binary compatibility breaks, rearchitecturing of the core GUI functionality, replacing all the ports with QPA, we should have already frozen three months ago.
What we need to do now is to determine what needs to be in Qt 5.0. What are the features need to be complete by the time we freeze? And who’s working on them? For that reason, we have created a wiki page to list such features. Update the wiki page if you know of a project that must go into 5.0, but please include the state of completeness of that item. If you don’t know who’s working on it or if no one is, make that explicit. You can also leave your comments in the blog or post to the development mailing list.
Note that all the features listed in the page may not get into 5.0. This is just the first step in setting the feature freeze date: judge what’s needed and how ready it is, then make a decision on when we can freeze so we most likely can get the wanted features in. Features that are not being worked on or are late may not go in, or exceptions may be granted.
Finally, if you have some spare brain cycles during the holiday season, help in completing the features listed in the wiki is most welcome. Help us make a great Qt 5.0!