a large part of my disapointment stems from the fact that Qt Designer in Qt3 is not only really quite good, but i'm also really quite familiar with it.
here's why, in no particular order, Qt4's Designer is leaving me cold thus far:
- A Tree view for widgets? - i understand that stacker widgets kind of suck, toolbars get cluttered quickly, but a tree view? do these people understand how many freakin' widgets i have in Qt Designer? a tree view is horrendous for this task. already i fear the scrolling up and down, up and down that this widget choice will inflict upon me. a toolbox window with a few tabs (think the tool windows in photoshop or gimp) would be far better for this IMHO.
but just picking a dubious widget isn't the end of the pain. layouts and spacers take up valuable space at the TOP of the tree when they are already (more easily) available from the toolbar right about the tree. alphabetizing things in the tree would also be a half decent idea.
- Drag and WHAT? - that'd be "drag and drop", which is how one is supposed to create widgets. you drag them from the tree view onto the form. how inane. this much slower and harder on the wrists than the two (unconnected) clicks of Qt3's Designer. worse, one can't click a widget entry and then "click click click" to create multiples of the same widget. one now has to drag from the tree to the form, and repeat. even the shortcut of Ctrl-dragging an existing widget to clone it isn't as nice or fast.
- Double what-ing? - double clicking. you know, that thing i've come to expect to open up edit dialogs? well, it doesn't do anything anymore. i truly hope this is just one of those feature sets they haven't gotten to yet.
- A horrible toolbar - the default toolbar has buttons for layouts and spacers, which is a good start. but who picked a combobox for switching between adding widgets, managing signal/slot connections and editting the tab order? could this be made any less efficient? what was wrong with the toolbutton group in Qt3's designer? it was quick and obvious. now it's just slow: not only does it take two clicks (versus one previously) and quite a bit more mouse navigation, it forces me to READ because there are no icons in it.
and to make things even more fun, the layout items in the toolbar work totally differently than the drag'n'drop abominations in the treeview.
- Connections tool - connecting signals and slots in a GUI is really cool. but it's really broken right now. a picture's worth a thousand words here:
and yes, it's as hard to use as it looks.
- Button order on dialogs - this is a small one, but c'mon, did they have to switch the order of Cancel/Ok on dialogs? is the author of this working on a Mac or GNOME? i can't imagine they are doing this on KDE or Windows with that button order.
there's more. a lot more. some of which they note are not finished in the release notes, but a lot of things weren't. i don't want to kvetch too much here (though i probably already have ;). i do hope the people responsible for Designer get it into usable shape by the time Qt4 actually ships.
there are bright spots though: i can now take advantage of my dual head Xinerama set up more effectively now that the MDI pain is gone. i like some of the visual effects and the interactivity seems to be better. i do like the ability to clone widgets and how you can add widgets to existing layouts w/out breaking them first. so there is promise in this new revision of my beloved Designer, let's see how it unfolds.