[Qt-creator] designer plugins
Uwe.Rathmann at tigertal.de
Thu May 16 08:58:04 CEST 2013
I have to confess, that I don't use the creator myself much, but as
maintainer of the Qwt library ( http://qwt.sf.net ) I have to deal with a
lot of frustration concerning being unable to load the Qwt designer plugin
in the creator - especially on Windows.
So finally I set up a Windows system and tried myself, to find out what
the reasons are why so many fail:
Probably the most important one is, that the designer plugin needs to be
compiled with the same Qt version and compiler version as the Creator -
what is often a different one, than the combination the user wants to
build his application with.
Surprisingly I had to note, that even the Creator inside the MinGW binary
package of Qt comes with its own libs - incompatible to the libs of the
Qwt users are often engineers or students not always experienced software
developers. Setting environment variables seems to be a problem.
Unfortunately I couldn't find a way how to tell the creator where to look
for plugins beside setting QT_PLUGIN_PATH - or copying the plugin into
the default directories of creator and designer.
When loading the designer plugin, the creator also needs to find the Qwt
library itself. As it is not possible to compile the install path into
the plugin ( rpath ) on Windows the PATH variable needs to be configured.
What I can and will do on my side is to modify the Qwt makefiles to
compile the Qwt libs statically into the plugin ( to avoid 3) and to
offer precompiled versions of the Qwt designer plugin that are compatible
with the current binary packages of the Creator ( to improve 1) ).
On the Creator side I can imagine 3 things to be helpful:
The information in "About Creator" could be extended to show all relevant
information, so that a user can identify how a plugin needs to be
compiled: f.e MinGW vs. MSVC is missing.
When the plugin has been compiled properly, but I didn't do 3), the
creator is able to show the information, that the plugin has been found,
but loading it failed. For all other issues the plugin was silently
Maybe it is possible to improve the diagnostics about why a plugin was
not loaded - even the simple information that a DLL has been neglected
without further information is better than nothing.
To avoid 2) it would be nice if the Creator makes it possible to edit a
search path for where to look for plugins in its user interface. Maybe it
is even possible to configure versions of the Creator individually - like
it can be done with the path where to look for feature files with "qmake -
set QMAKEFEATURES ...".
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