View Poll Results: Do you use the designer for your gui?

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  • Always. I almost don't know how to layout widgets manually.

    193 29.24%
  • Designer? What is that? Nope, never use it.

    111 16.82%
  • Depends and the task. Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

    356 53.94%
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Thread: Do you use the designer, or do you code your gui manually?

  1. #1
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    Default Do you use the designer, or do you code your gui manually?

    Just for pure curiosity.
    Who is using the designer. Why? Why not? Always?
    Last edited by Kumosan; 1st April 2007 at 22:45. Reason: Typo No. 1

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    Default Re: Do you use the designer, or do you code your gui manually?

    Similar polls from the past, just for reference:
    http://www.qtcentre.org/forum/f-qt-p...hand-3099.html
    http://www.qtcentre.org/forum/f-qt-p...hand-5936.html

    and, yes, I do use Qt Designer all the time.

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    Default Re: Do you use the designer, or do you code your gui manually?

    Hmm, a third might be a bit much. Perhaps this thread should be deleted.

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    Default Re: Do you use the designer, or do you code your gui manually?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kumosan View Post
    Hmm, a third might be a bit much. Perhaps this thread should be deleted.
    I don't know, compare the results of previous polls --- they're contradictory.

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    Default Re: Do you use the designer, or do you code your gui manually?

    Depends probably on the exact wording of the poll questions. But it is strange.

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    Default Re: Do you use the designer, or do you code your gui manually?

    I use the Designer. I avoided it in Qt3, but changed my mind in Qt4. The Qt3 Designer created widgets, which meant I was always subclassing an autogenerated class. But with the new UI form classes this is not a problem. I can treat the UI as a true object, and use it the way I want to use it. I typically use the UI as a private data member, but sometimes use multiple inheritance instead. The second problem with Qt3 was that it generated "messy" code (imho). But Qt4 Designer generates very clean sensible code.

    I did have one GUI a couple of months ago that was too complicated for Designer. I needed to use a couple of custom layout managers in it, and some "hand tweaking", to make lay it out correctly. But that's the exception.

    I don't put everything in a single UI file, though. I tend to split it up. The main window, menus and toolbars will be one UI file, and the central widget antoher UI file. If I have a tabbed widget, then every page will be a separate UI file. Etc.

    Designer has proven to be a huge timesaver.

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    Default Re: Do you use the designer, or do you code your gui manually?

    I always use the designer to design my GUI's, but only the layout.... for functionality i use the subclassing method with Visual Studio 6 as IDE.
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    Default Re: Do you use the designer, or do you code your gui manually?

    Depends, In some cases, I do them within the program, usually this is in the case where the elements in the dialog my change dynamically. Otherwise, the designer is my friend.

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    Default Re: Do you use the designer, or do you code your gui manually?

    I use designer when it's convenient. Some things, like toolbars and such, must be done programmatically (designer has no such functionality in v4), but I don't complain too much there - it's a simple matter. Other things, like truly dynamic menuing systems, obviously cannot be done through designer due to their dynamic nature (for example, a list of pushbuttons that gets populated based on what plugins the user has loaded).

    Some things are possible to do in designer, but are very awkward. For example, creating a widget to insert into a bunch of other widgets (re-using functionality). Designer provides this functionality, but you must manually edit the .ui file to properly include it. Much easier to just design the thing via code, though you can of course design the shared portion using designer rather easily.

    Of course, most simple widgets and dialogs benefit greatly from designer - being able to see exactly how everything gets placed, how certain modifications look in real-time, etc - it's a valuable resource.
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    Default Re: Do you use the designer, or do you code your gui manually?

    I use Designer if Designer can do what I want. But I find it extremely limited.

    If I want a combobox in a toolbar, for example, I'm out of luck. Or if I want to assign a QIcon with different states to an action, instead of a single image. Or if I want to lay-out the status-bar. Or if I want to set my own central widget.

    The code would be a lot cleaner if you could do more in Designer.
    Last edited by Michiel; 21st May 2007 at 12:58.
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    Default Re: Do you use the designer, or do you code your gui manually?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michiel View Post
    If I want a combobox in a toolbar, for example, I'm out of luck.
    True, but this is quite easily implementable, so it's highly probable we'll have access to QWidgetAction objects from Designer.
    Or if I want to assign a QIcon with different states to an action, instead of a single image.
    I think this one is possible to do with current Designer, but I'd have to check how it assigns icons to widgets.
    Or if I want to lay-out the status-bar.
    True, but this is easily doable by combining two Designer generated widgets and not more than five lines of code.

    Or if I want to set my own central widget.
    Hmm... This one you certainly can do within Designer, especially with the help of custom widgets.

    The code would be a lot cleaner if you could do more in Designer.
    True, but it'd start to get difficult to use the tool.

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    Default Re: Do you use the designer, or do you code your gui manually?

    Quote Originally Posted by wysota View Post
    I think this one is possible to do with current Designer, but I'd have to check how it assigns icons to widgets.
    Looks to me like you can only select one file or one resource.

    True, but this is easily doable by combining two Designer generated widgets and not more than five lines of code.
    Hm.. Could you explain this? Right now I do it with only 4 lines of code, without using designer.

    Hmm... This one you certainly can do within Designer, especially with the help of custom widgets.
    In Designer, the central widget is a QWidget, which is the parent of my real main widget. This is all in Designer, but it's a bit of a waste to have a QWidget that doesn't really do anything.

    Or I can use the setCentralWidget() function in the code. This costs extra lines of code to create the widget, set its properties and make it the central widget.

    True, but it'd start to get difficult to use the tool.
    True, but I don't think we're at that point yet. Right now, many more features could be added without sacrificing simplicity.
    "The strength of a civilization is not measured by its ability to wage wars, but rather by its ability to prevent them." - Gene Roddenberry

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    Default Re: Do you use the designer, or do you code your gui manually?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michiel View Post
    Looks to me like you can only select one file or one resource.
    There are other ways to assign pixmaps.

    Hm.. Could you explain this? Right now I do it with only 4 lines of code, without using designer.
    You can certainly implement your statusBar widget in Designer and then just assign it to the status bar using code. There is also a high chance you could use QStatusBar as the base for your form in Designer and then just replace the default bar with yours with a single line of code. If not, then it's just a matter of subclassing QStatusBar to introduce proper functionality.

    In Designer, the central widget is a QWidget, which is the parent of my real main widget. This is all in Designer, but it's a bit of a waste to have a QWidget that doesn't really do anything.
    That's not much of a waste, isn't it? I'm sure you can spare extra 100 bytes of memory. It's just a pitty you can't promote the default central widget to the proper widget. But maybe that's a suggestion for Trolltech to do it. Should take them not more than 15 minutes to do that.

    True, but I don't think we're at that point yet. Right now, many more features could be added without sacrificing simplicity.
    I'm sure there are features in Designer which you have not discovered yet

    Edit: I just checked and confirmed it's possible to assign whatever icons you want from within Designer.
    Last edited by wysota; 21st May 2007 at 14:10.

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    Default Re: Do you use the designer, or do you code your gui manually?

    Quote Originally Posted by wysota View Post
    You can certainly implement your statusBar widget in Designer and then just assign it to the status bar using code. There is also a high chance you could use QStatusBar as the base for your form in Designer and then just replace the default bar with yours with a single line of code. If not, then it's just a matter of subclassing QStatusBar to introduce proper functionality.
    Too much trouble. Right now, I only have two QLabels inside the statusbar. And I only require 4 lines of code (6 if you include the member var declarations) to put them there. I simply think you should be able to drag them (and maybe progressbars, etc.) to the statusbar in Designer.

    That's not much of a waste, isn't it? I'm sure you can spare extra 100 bytes of memory. It's just a pitty you can't promote the default central widget to the proper widget. But maybe that's a suggestion for Trolltech to do it. Should take them not more than 15 minutes to do that.
    You're right, it's not much of a waste. And I'll sacrifice those 100 bytes to be able to do as much as possible in Designer. I simply think that you should be able to remove any unnecessary layers of code. As you say, it's probably not hard to implement this one.

    I'm sure there are features in Designer which you have not discovered yet
    I don't think so. Don't misunderstand. I love Designer. It's clean, easy to use and elegant. But there are improvements to be made. You can't take full advantage of the features of Qt 4 in Designer.

    Edit: I just checked and confirmed it's possible to assign whatever icons you want from within Designer.
    Well, don't keep it to yourself. How do I assign a QIcon (with different sizes + enabled/disabled states) to a QAction from within Designer?
    "The strength of a civilization is not measured by its ability to wage wars, but rather by its ability to prevent them." - Gene Roddenberry

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    Default Re: Do you use the designer, or do you code your gui manually?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michiel View Post
    Well, don't keep it to yourself. How do I assign a QIcon (with different sizes + enabled/disabled states) to a QAction from within Designer?
    You use the "pixmap function" feature of Designer.

    BTW. I don't say Designer is perfect. See the posts about UIC and container plugins on my blog.

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    Default Re: Do you use the designer, or do you code your gui manually?

    I use Designer for QMainWindow and QDialogs. I find it handy to get the layout right, especially when I want to stretch "correctly", whatever that is depending on the dialog. It helps to connect simple signals/slots such as pressing enter in a text edit box to activate the Apply button. It makes it very easy to write code with the automatic slot naming, such as on_QSpinBox_valueChanged(int ID).

    The times I write code are when the contents change.. such as a joystick dialog where it loads sliders for each available axis, and buttons for each available button. A library handles most of the work and gives me counts for each.

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    Default Re: Do you use the designer, or do you code your gui manually?

    I use the designer for the basic implementation - for positioning the elements on the window - of the GUI. Than i code in txt editor (vim).

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    Talking Re: Do you use the designer, or do you code your gui manually?

    I often use the designer when i work in !

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    Default Re: Do you use the designer, or do you code your gui manually?

    Quote Originally Posted by wysota View Post
    You use the "pixmap function" feature of Designer
    What is the pixmap function and how do I use it? I've been writing most of my interface code by hand since I need to assign icons containing multiple pixmap sizes to QActions , but if it was possible to do in designer I would switch.

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    Default Re: Do you use the designer, or do you code your gui manually?

    Quote Originally Posted by pherthyl View Post
    What is the pixmap function and how do I use it?
    You probably don't need it - it is a function you can write to generate pixmaps according to a name. You can substitute the default pixmap generation process (based on a filepath) with it.

    I've been writing most of my interface code by hand since I need to assign icons containing multiple pixmap sizes to QActions , but if it was possible to do in designer I would switch.
    You wouldn't see the result in (current) Designer. If icons are your only problem, you can write a simple routine that would set the icons in code and layout the gui in Designer.

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