C++ GUI Programming with Qt 4

Overview

Using Trolltech's Qt you can build industrial-strength C++ applications that run natively on Windows, Linux/Unix, Mac OS X, and embedded Linux--without making source code changes. With this book Trolltech insiders have written a start-to-finish guide to getting great results with the most powerful version of Qt ever created: Qt 4.1.

Using C++ GUI Programming with Qt 4 you'll discover the most effective Qt 4 programming patterns and techniques as you master key technologies ...

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Overview

Using Trolltech's Qt you can build industrial-strength C++ applications that run natively on Windows, Linux/Unix, Mac OS X, and embedded Linux--without making source code changes. With this book Trolltech insiders have written a start-to-finish guide to getting great results with the most powerful version of Qt ever created: Qt 4.1.

Using C++ GUI Programming with Qt 4 you'll discover the most effective Qt 4 programming patterns and techniques as you master key technologies ranging from Qt's model/view architecture to Qt's powerful new 2D paint engine. The authors provide readers with unparalleled insight into Qt's event model and layout system. Then, using realistic examples, they introduce superior techniques for everything from basic GUI development to advanced database and XML integration.

  • Includes new chapters on Qt 4's model/view architecture and Qt's new plugin support, along with a brief introduction to Qtopia embedded programming
  • Covers all Qt fundamentals, from dialogs and windows to implementing application functionality
  • Introduces best practices for layout management and event processing
  • Shows how to make the most of Qt 4's new APIs, including the powerful new 2D paint engine and the new easy-to-use container classes
  • Contains completely updated material in every chapter
  • Presents advanced Qt 4 techniques covered in no other book, from creating both Qt and application plugins to interfacing with native APIs
  • Contains an in-depth appendix on C++/Qt programming for experienced Java developers
The accompanying CD-ROM includes the open source edition of Qt 4.1.1 for Windows, Mac, Linux, and many Unixes, as well as MinGW, a set of freely available development tools that can be used to build Qt applications on Windows, and also the source code for the book's examples.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780131872493
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall Professional Technical Reference
  • Publication date: 7/5/2006
  • Pages: 537
  • Product dimensions: 7.04 (w) x 9.06 (h) x 1.09 (d)

Meet the Author

Jasmin Blanchette, Trolltech's documentation manager and a senior developer, has worked at Trolltech since 2001. He is editor of Qt Quarterly, Trolltech's technical newsletter, and coauthored C++ GUI Programming with Qt 3.

Mark Summerfield works as an independent trainer and consultant specializing in C++, Qt, and Python. He was Trolltech's documentation manager for almost three years and coauthored C++ GUI Programming with Qt 3.



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Table of Contents

1 Getting started 3
2 Creating dialogs 13
3 Creating main windows 43
4 Implementing application functionality 73
5 Creating custom widgets 101
6 Layout management 137
7 Event processing 163
8 2D and 3D graphics 175
9 Drag and drop 205
10 Item view classes 217
11 Container classes 251
12 Input/output 273
13 Databases 293
14 Networking 311
15 XML 339
16 Providing online help 351
17 Internationalization 361
18 Multithreading 381
19 Creating plugins 399
20 Platform-specific features 415
21 Embedded programming 439
App. A Installing Qt 447
App. B Introduction to C++ for Java and C# programmers 451
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Preface

Qt is a comprehensive C++framework for developing cross-platform GUI applications using a "write once, compile anywhere" approach. Qt lets programmers use a single source tree for applications that will run on Windows 98 to XP, Mac OS X, Linux, Solaris, HP-UX, and many other versions of Unix with X11. The Qt libraries and tools are also part of Qtopia Core, a product that provides its own window system on top of embedded Linux.

The purpose of this book is to teach you how to write GUI programs using Qt 4. The book starts with "Hello Qt" and quickly progresses to more advanced topics, such as creating custom widgets and providing drag and drop. The text is complemented by a CD that contains the source code of the example programs. The CD also includes the open source edition of Qt 4.1.1 for all supported platforms, as well as MinGW, a set of freely available development tools that can be used to build Qt applications on Windows. Appendix A explains how to install the software.

The book is divided into three parts. Part I covers all the concepts and practices necessary for programming GUI applications using Qt. Knowledge of this part alone is sufficient to write useful GUI applications. Part II covers central Qt topics in greater depth, and Part III provides more specialized and advanced material. The chapters of Parts II and III can be read in any order, but they assume familiarity with the contents of Part I.

Readers of the Qt 3 edition of this book will find this new edition familiar in both content and style. This edition has been updated to take advantage of Qt 4's new features (including some that were introduced with Qt 4.1) and to present code that showsgood idiomatic Qt 4 programming techniques. In many cases, we have used examples similar to the ones used in the Qt 3 edition. This will not affect new readers, but will help those who read the previous edition orient themselves to Qt 4's cleaner, clearer, and more expressive style.

This edition includes new chapters covering Qt 4's model/view architecture, the new plugin framework, and embedded programming with Qtopia, as well a new appendix. And just like the Qt 3 book, the emphasis is on explaining Qt programming rather than simply rehashing or summarizing Qt's extensive online documentation.

We have written the book with the assumption that you have a basic knowl*edge of C++, Java, or C#. The code examples use a subset of C++, avoiding many C++ features that are rarely needed when programming Qt. In the few places where a more advanced C++ construct is unavoidable, it is explained where it is used.

If you already know Java or C# but have little or no experience with C++, we recommend that you begin by reading Appendix B, which provides sufficient introduction to C++ to be able to use this book. For a more thorough introduction to object-oriented programming in C++, we recommend C++ How to Program by Harvey Deitel and Paul Deitel, and the C++ Primer by Stanley B. Lippman, Josee Lajoie, and Barbara E. Moo.

Qt made its reputation as a cross-platform framework, but because of its intuitive and powerful API, many organizations use Qt for single-platform development. Adobe Photoshop Album is just one example of a mass-market Windows application written in Qt. Many sophisticated software systems in vertical markets, such as 3D animation tools, digital film processing, electronic design automation (for chip design), oil and gas exploration, financial services, and medical imaging, are built with Qt. If you are making a living with a successful Windows product written in Qt, you can easily create new markets in the Mac OS X and Linux worlds simply by recompiling.

Qt is available under various licenses. If you want to build commercial applications, you must buy a commercial Qt license; if you want to build open source programs, you can use the open source (GPL) edition. Qt is the foundation on which the K Desktop Environment (KDE) and the many open source applications that go with it are built.

In addition to Qt's hundreds of classes, there are add-ons that extend Qt's scope and power. Some of these products, like Qt Script for Applications (QSA) and the Qt Solutions components, are available from Trolltech, while others are supplied by other companies and by the open source community. See http://www.trolltech.com/products/3rdparty/ for information on Qt add-ons. Qt also has a well-established and thriving user community that uses the qt-interest mailing list; see http://lists.trolltech.com/ for details.



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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2006

    a comprehensive widget set for C++

    When C++ was first put together in the 80s, it was just before the advent of GUIs for many programs. But as Java arose in the 90s, and then C#, the need for easy UI coding in C++ became very clear. Hence Qt was developed. Now in its 4th version. And available for Microsoft Windows, linux, Macintosh and several unixes. The accompanying CD has version 4.1.1. Though by the time you get this book, you might want to scout the Web, either for patches to this version, or a more recent version. Blanchette takes you thru Qt 4. Showing that it is a fairly complete set of widgets for making a UI front end to your C++ code. Basically, if you have coded in any other UI package, like Java, then you can quickly find the equivalent functionality of many common types of widgets. For such things as drop down menus or toolbars. Or a layout manager for a composite window that will hold several widgets. Some of you will be glad to see that the Qt widgets can be subclassed or extended, for your custom needs. For actual rendering of images, Qt can also interact with OpenGL. Which is good because OpenGL is widely used, and there was little point to Qt reimplementing that functionality. There are also some non-graphical classes that perhaps strictly do not belong in Qt. But which have been added due to perceived user demands. Notably a SAX parser for reading XML data files. It seems competent enough. Though I am unsure why the Qt designers didn't just refer programmers to other SAX parsers that have been written for C++.

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