With demand for its MetaTrader 4 platform to remain strong, despite the launch of the MetaTrader 5 system, MetaQuotes announced last month that it was working on creating greater adaptability between the MQL4 and MQL5 languages that power automated trading on the two platforms. According to MetaQuotes, the company decided to boost the abilities of MQL4 by adding programming features from MQL5.
Following that news, MetaQuotes has announced the launch of the beta IDE, for cross compiling of MQL4/5 programs. To adapt with the new features, several segments of the existing MQL4 language will no longer be accepted code. The new IDE is currently available for download on the MQL4 forum site (link here). During the beta period, MetaQuotes will be monitoring for bugs before a complete rollout of the compiler to all MetaTrader 4 platforms.
With the changes set to take place, developers will have greater abilities to create EAs and indicators to work across both MetaTrader 4 and 5. Not surprisingly, the MQL evolvement occurs as MetaQuotes is also in the process of launching its MQL4 marketplace, where developers can sell EAs for the MT4 platform to fellow users.
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Future Boost for MT5?
One of the key items holding MT5 back from gaining widespread adoption, was the changes between MQL4 to 5. Rather than being simply a platform upgrade, the core of each platform was different. As a result, programs available for MetaTrader 4 wouldn’t work on MetaTrader 5. This in turn created little reason for traders and developers to move to the new platform. Without client demand, brokers have seen little reason to launch MT5, even with its server side benefits it provides. However, this dynamic could be changing soon. By creating cross language constants, and a common compiler, MetaQuotes should have an easier time marketing MT5, as products developed using the new MQL4 IDE are expected to be compliant with the MQL5 code.
While the future for MT5 looks brighter, there is a chance for these new changes to back fire. In terms of MetaTrader, a chief complaint has been the lack of uniformity between the two platforms. Even with the new IDE, developers need to update their MQL4 programs in order to adapt it to changes. As such, it could alienate users of older programs, who may decide that if they are already going through the process of recoding, then it is worth looking into other platforms as well.