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[Moved] Qt4 Designer not easy to use

  • Hello. I have used Qt3 Designer before and recently I installed Qt4 Designer but found it quite different from Qt3 Designer. The .ui file created by Qt3 have to be converted to Qt4 and some automatic features of Qt3 Designer can no longer be found in Qt4 Designer. It is not so easy to build GUI program with Qt4 as with Qt3. Do you think so? I wonder why there is so big a difference between these versions.

  • Not having of used Qt3 Designer, I can't comment on that aspect. However, I generally found the Qt Designer concept a bit unwieldy (Qt4), and for complicated projects where you need to use a lot of custom widgets (my current project), to be a massive pain in the rear. I found Designer to be unintuitive, unwieldy and pretty much useless. In fact, I've found it's much quicker for me to build a UI in code than it is in Designer, even for simple applications. Thus I neither use it for simple applications nor complex ones.

    Personally, I'm sceptical of Designer regardless of its usefulness because it introduces further complications into my tool chain, and I like to keep my build simple (it already takes a very long time). Even in a situation where designer could be useful, for a large application mixing .ui files with purely code based components is a huge pain in the butt (and having of worked with projects where this has been done, I say this with confidence).

  • I agree with LiamMaru. Its really more easy to do lots of nice stuff directly via code rather than using the designer. Designer would be good when you use simple trivial Qt UI objects with less number of signals and slots.

  • Designer is a good learning tool though.

  • Moderators

    /me loves designer and tries to avoid hand-crafting UIs as much as possible.

  • wild, LiamMaru & Darryl: Perhaps it is time then to suggest some improvements to the general work flow of designer?

  • I use Designer whenever I can and create hand crafted UI only when there is no other choice or in the 2% of cases when it is really more easy.

    We have a Designer plugin with all the fancy classes we have created (convenience combo boxes, list and tree views, a light table icon view, a rich text line edit, etc.). This works very well.

    Sometimes we have special widgets that are only used once and we did not want them to live in the plugin. In these rare cases we just put a dummy container (a frameless QFrame or a QWidget) into the layout as a placeholder.

    I would never create our "big" layouts manually. Shooting myself in the foot is more fun.

    Comparing Designer3 and Designer4 - there is not that much difference when it comes to the visual design of forms. Some things have been removed, mostly tasks that Designer3 has failed to accomplish properly anyways (code editing for example).

    The most user visible change is the handling of the ui classes, IMHO (ui pointer or member in Qt4, instead of inheritance in Qt3). But once you are used to this, it's a no-brainer.

  • Moved to the tools forum, as it's better suited for the topic.

  • I think there's still much need of improvements. I used to develop with MS Visual Studio, and I found it amazingly efficient even for those who has only a little experience in programming. Since the free Visual Studio Express has limitations, e.g. no MFC, I turned to Qt recently. In my opinion, the Creator can only be popular when it is both powerful and easy to use.
    For example, why not integrate class wizard in the Creator instead of keeping it as an example?Though I don't know whether Qt itself is developed with Qt.
    Another minor problem, there isn't version information in any of the header files. I'm afraid that confusion will occur when more versions of Qt is installed on the same machine.

  • The version info should be in the path name. Putting version info in the headers isn't really useful.

    [quote author="wild" date="1297777306"]Though I don't know whether Qt itself is developed with Qt. [/quote]What do you mean? Qt is a C++ library. It is developed in C++ and creates a platform abstraction where necessary. Qt Creator, designer, linguist, assistant are all Qt based (obviously).

  • [quote author="wild" date="1297777306"]For example, why not integrate class wizard in the Creator instead of keeping it as an example?[/quote]

    There is a class wizard for various variations of classes (pure C++, QObject based, QWidget based, Designer form classes, etc.)

  • Note that that is in Qt Creator, not in designer.

  • in his comment, wild wrote explicitly of Creator, not Designer, see my quote.

  • Oh, we switched all of a sudden to discussing creator. Hadn't noticed that.

  • [quote author="Franzk" date="1297761812"]wild, LiamMaru & Darryl: Perhaps it is time then to suggest some improvements to the general work flow of designer?[/quote]

    I could, but if you read my post you should have realised it was very much a 'to each is their own' line of commentary. I'd rather leave suggesting improvements to those who either use or have future intention to use Designer.

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