Multiple editor / designer windows



  • I've been using QtCreator since 1.0 as my primary c++ IDE. I seriously love this tool, and since I develop cross-platform tools, Qt is a god-send. There is one feature that seems missing from this fully-loaded, user-friendly IDE. I use 2 24 inch widescreen displays when I am editing code. It is very frustrating that there is no option to open multiple text editing windows. I could have 2 instances of QtCreator open, but when I modify a source file in one instance, it isn't automatically updated in the other. Then I encounter problems with stepping on modified code between the two windows. Furthermore, it would be sooo nice to have a text editor (possibly with multiple splits) window open on one of my displays and a designer window open on the other display. Most other IDEs have this functionality. Even some advanced text editors have this functionality. I would be as happy as a clam if QtCreator had this functionality. If this was added, I would never feel the need to use a different c++ IDE again. Pretty please!

    P.S. I realize this is a big request for my very first post. I will become more active here. I just really, really feel like this is a missing feature.


  • Moderators

    I think everybody agrees that this would be nice to have, unfortunately could not yet think of a good way to implement this:-/

    How should we handle mode switching? Should each creator window have its own mode (currently creator is based on the assumption that only one mode is active at any time)? We like to have creator fully usable with just the keyboard, and we really want to keep it this way. So how is the user supposed to switch between multiple creator windows? Is it enough to rely on the OS-provided window-switching behavior or do we need to do something more tailored to the creator use-cases?

    Where should newly opened editors appear? What should happen when a file is already open in an editor in another window? Should that window then become active to show the file? Is that the right thing to do when that window is obscured/minimized? Should we raise/un-minimize it then or is that too distracting?

    We already need to handle some of the issues with the split editor view, but at least we do not need to worry about the editor-split being minimized, etc. since it is in the same window;-)

    Those are just some of the issues we are discussing:-) Feel free to join in, we do have several wishlist items of multi-window setups open in our "bugtracker":http://bugreports.qt.nokia.com/.

    There is some good news though: With master you can actually detach the Help mode.



  • [quote author="Tobias Hunger" date="1281783078"]How should we handle mode switching? Should each creator window have its own mode (currently creator is based on the assumption that only one mode is active at any time)?[/quote]

    That would actually be nice. In this scenario, one could edit the forms and the code at the same time. It would be nice to be able to graphically reference the names of your widgets as you write control code for them.

    [quote]We like to have creator fully usable with just the keyboard, and we really want to keep it this way. So how is the user supposed to switch between multiple creator windows? Is it enough to rely on the OS-provided window-switching behavior or do we need to do something more tailored to the creator use-cases?[/quote]

    I think you have to rely on the operating system's window management at some point. It really doesn't make sense to have this window switching behavior controlled by the client. Otherwise, the use would probably be surprised that their alt-tab (or equivalent) OS window control doesn't work. I don't really know how the QtCreator use-cases handle behavior for windows that are minimized or in the background. However, I think you must let the window manager have as much control as it would of any other program

    [quote]Where should newly opened editors appear? What should happen when a file is already open in an editor in another window? Should that window then become active to show the file? Is that the right thing to do when that window is obscured/minimized? Should we raise/un-minimize it then or is that too distracting?[/quote]

    Other multi-window editors I have used update inactive windows with changes made to the active window. I don't know if this is preferable, but if an inactive window shares a document with an active window, the inactive window should be updated with changes made in the active window when it becomes active.

    You're right, there are some tricky use-cases here. However, I really see this feature as very important in making QtCreator competetive with other, more established IDEs.

    Thanks for responding!


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