VTK 6.0.0.rc1 is Ready for Testing!

    Kitware and the VTK team are happy to announce that VTK 6.0 has entered the release candidate stage! You can find the source and data packages here: http://www.vtk.org/VTK/resources/software.html#cand

    The big news in this release is that VTK has been refactored from a large monolithic resource consisting of 19 tightly bound “kits” into a still large but now composeable resource consisting of 160 loosely bound “modules”. Now applications can be built using just the source code for the small portions of the VTK library that they actually use instead of the whole million plus line enchilada. Conversely, it is easier than ever now to add new capabilities to VTK by writing small self-contained external modules.

    To refactor VTK, we started by cleanly separating VTK’s Executive and DataObject classes. You may notice this first in the way that vtkAlgorithm::SetInput() has now been replaced by vtkAlgorithm::SetInputConnection() for connecting Algorithms together and vtkAlgorithm::SetInputData() for feeding DataObjects directly into Algorithms. 

    Next, we modernized our CMake build system scripts by sorting the classes into small functional groups, removing all of the configure time behavioral changes, and replacing the dated KitCommonBlock CMake macros with vtkModuleMacro CMake macros to define the content and dependencies of each functional group. You may notice this first in the way that platform specific concrete classes, such as vtkXRenderWindowInteractor, are not produced automatically by calls to abstract factories, e.g. vtkRenderWindowInteractor::New(), anymore, unless CMake knows that your code requires the RenderingOpenGL implementation of the RenderingCore module where the concrete and abstract classes are respectively defined.

    For a full guide to upgrading your application from VTK 5.x to VTK 6.x, please see the VTK migration guides at: 

    Besides modularization, VTK has the usual spate of new features, bug fixes and cleanups. These items will be summarized when VTK 6.0.0 final is released in a few days time.

    Please try this version of VTK and report any issues to the list or the bug tracker so that we can try to address them before VTK 6.0.0 final.

Questions or comments are always welcome!