KDevelop and the Qt Designer

Reginald Stadlbauer reggie at trolltech.com
Tue Aug 15 01:46:03 UTC 2000

Hope you guys have already heared about our new GUI designer. As we finally 
decided about a week ago to release it under the GPL (as you can see in Qt 
2.2.0beta1), I have some suggestions regarding integration with KDevelop.

Some time ago (on LinuxTag) I met Ralph and we talked about making the Qt 
Designer a bit more integrated into KDevelop. Now I have some thoughts about 
it and would like to share them with you.

I'm thinking about a way as we did it with the Visual Studio plugin of the 
desiger. This means it does some communication with KDevelop, so that .ui 
files are not opened in KDevelop, but in the Qt Designer. For the beginning 
we might not even need to actually embed the designer in kdevelop, but it 
would be enough that it runs as a toplevel applicattion and just when you 
click on a .ui file in kdevelop, it is opened in the designer and the 
designer window is raised. This means not every time a ui file has to be 
opened a new instance of the designer is opened, but that it is opened in the 
existing designer. The designer supports such a mode through a commandline 
client anyway, so that shouldn't be a problem to do. 
('designer -client ui-files' starts the designer if none is running with the 
ui files, else the ui files are opened in an already running designer)
And as the user interface of the designer is quite complex anyway, it will be 
quite some work to really make it possible to embed it in kdevelop and merge 
the GUI through a plugin architecture. So for the beginning I'd prefer such a 
way, where both apps just communicate and run as seperate apps, but on the 
long term the goal would or could be of course to integrate it more tightely 
(embedding as another view, etc.)

So besides that, kdevelop would need some support for the ui files and the 
uic (user interface compiler) in the project management and build system.

Now I have to admit, that I didn't use kdevelop yet besides some playing with 
it. So I don't know whether there is a plugin architecture or not (or do you 
use KParts?). 

So my questions are, if there is already some plugin/tools system which 
allows to do this first step of integration (when clicking on a ui file not 
opening it in kdevelop but running the commandline command to open the file 
in the Qt designer). Also are you willing to integrate the ui-file/uic 
concept in kdevelop - or are you at all interested in such an integration?

If there is some interest, I'll of course also help with some coding.

Comments and suggestions welcomed!

Reggie (reggie at trolltech.com)

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