[Interest] QtDesigner needs redesign.

Viktor Engelmann viktor.engelmann at qt.io
Wed Jan 4 11:58:01 CET 2017

Am 02.01.2017 um 14:40 schrieb Shawn Rutledge:
> I used it extensively in previous jobs, and my experience then was that it worked well enough to use, and boosts productivity a lot compared to writing all the widget-construction code by hand.  It got even better with the Creator integration.  If there are some bugs and usability problems, they could be fixed, so I don’t see a need for a rewrite of the same functionality.  But the Qt Company has not been focused on widget issues for several years now, because of QtQuick.  So, the new designer is effectively the QtQuick designer.  But if anyone feels like fixing any annoying usability issues in the old designer, patches are welcome.
I personally would say that it works very well and for the most part I
like it, but I do think that it desperately needs a better UX for
integration of custom components.

Custom components in Qt are just QWidget derivates and they can be taken
from a designer plugin. This requires some extra code for making them
findable (+give them an icon and name etc.) and plugins are technically
shared libraries. This explains very clearly why recompiling a custom
component requires a restart if we want a perfect preview like in .net,
but I still think that there is a lot of room for improvement.
For example creator could assist in creating a designer plugin with a
custom component (maybe one of the File->New options does that, but so
far I could not find a way and was only able to do that by hand-writing
the aforementioned code, using LONG tutorials from the internet).

In many cases it is sufficient to edit windows and custom components
separately and you don't need a perfect preview of the component in the
window. Right now, you can handle this use-case by adding a QWidget to
your window and "promoting" it to the class you want.
However, this "promotion" gives you a Remember-and-type UI, where you
even have to tell it the location of the header file (without an option
to browse). This requires you to know the directory structure of your
project more than it should IMHO. I mean creator _manages the directory
structure for you_, so why does it require you to know that?
IMHO, when a project is opened, creator should scan for any classes
derived from QWidget and put them in a Read-and-select UI for QWidget
promotion... Or even better - it could put items for them into the
designers component-tree (so you can just drag-n-drop them into your

Also double-clicking on a button should not edit the caption, but take
you to "its clicked slot" (where it goes when you right-click -> go to
slot -> clicked). This drove me crazy when I used Qt for the first time.


Viktor Engelmann
Software Engineer

The Qt Company GmbH
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Viktor.Engelmann at qt.io
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