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Dialogs on the Canvas

Published on Wednesday June 06, 2007 by Andreas Aardal Hanssen in Labs Qt Graphics View KDE | Comments

With 4.3.0 released, it's finally time to get back to maintenance and research again. It's been both an exciting and exhausting release, and mostly we're all very happy with the way things have gone. There's certainly something special about features you spent so much time working on, popping up as topics in forums here and there, and seeing diverse screenshots in magazines showing off how someone made perfect use of something that you busted your pyjamas implementing. But, nothing beats laying out plans for what to do next.

So what happens next? I've got two major projects planned for making life easier for all you canvas-lovers out there. The initial research is starting to bear fruit, and all I can say is that 4.4 will (also!) have a lot of good stuff in it. And Graphics View is just a part of it, but it will certainly be a spectacular part of it.

woc-small.jpg

The screenshot seems to be showing QMdiArea with several QMdiSubWindows, with a texture background. But it's not. It's actually Graphics View, and this particular demo is running 250 dialogs with 5 buttons in a gridlayout. This is Widgets On The Canvas, one large enhancement we'll be doing to Graphics View. We're planning on implementing support for several widgets, but initially we'll spend most of the time available making sure that the corner stones, the widget and layout classes, reach rock solid Qt 4 quality. You know, the kind that makes you go mmmmmmmmm.

The sweetest thing about these widgets are that they seem to run faster than regular widgets; at least when there's no transformation. They're perfectly stylable (the scene provides the font, palette, style, etc, defaulting to QApplication's defaults); it even works well and fast, and looks good, on Windows XP.

woc_xp-small.jpg

It's fast. On Windows XP, running fullscreen with full colors on a 1600x1200 display, it's just as fast to scroll this thing as the chip demo. If you scale or rotate it, it becomes really slow. But that just shows that we're on thef right track (I mean - if it was all blindingly fast, you just know something must be very wrong, right?).

As much as I'd love to provide the source code, it's in a miserable state right now (since we're basically throwing around ideas and prototyping, the source code looks like crap, and I'd like to spare you from the ugliness). But you can try it on Windows with
this executable. Hope to provide source code later on.

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