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C++ GUI Programming with Qt 3 [Paperback]

Jasmin Blanchette , Mark Summerfield
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 25 2004 0131240722 978-0131240728 1
Many companies are facing problems with Windows development using traditional Windows tools such as Visual Studio. When they write applications, even just "single platform" applications for Windows, they often have to account for differences between different Windows versions, which adds hassle to development and maintenance. Qt works no matter the Windows versions. This book provides all the information needed to become a professional Qt developer. The book also covers cross platform GUI programming--programmers can be working on Windows, Linux, or Mac and the book will work for them. This is useful for commercial companies that use Qt, and for companies that are evaluating Qt. It will also be valuable to the vast number of open source developers who already use Qt since no other book of comparable quality or comprehensiveness is available. This book teaches Qt's idioms and how to use Qt to best advantage. The book is organized into four parts. The first part introduces the C++ necessary for the effective use of Qt. The second part covers basic Qt, starting with some very short examples, and quickly building up to a complete Graphical User Interface program. The second part provides coverage of key Qt features including signals. The third and fourth parts cover more advanced and specialized material.

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From the Inside Flap

Preface

The Qt toolkit is a C++ class library and a set of tools for building multiplatformGUI programs using a "write once, compile anywhere" approach. Qt letsprogrammers use a single source tree for applications that will run on Windows95 to XP, Mac OS X, Linux, Solaris, HP-UX, and many other versions ofUnix with X11.A version of Qt is also available for Embedded Linux, with thesame API.

The purpose of this book is to teach you how to write GUI programs using Qt 3.The book starts with "Hello Qt" and quickly moves on to more advanced topics,such as creating custom widgets and providing drag and drop. The text iscomplemented by a CDthat contains the source code of the example programs.The CD also provides Qt and Borland C++ for Windows, Qt for Unix, and Qtfor Mac OS X. Appendix A explains how to install the software.

The book focuses on explaining good idiomatic Qt 3 programming techniquesrather than simply rehashing or summarizing Qt's extensive online documentation.And because we are involved in the development of Qt 4, we have triedto ensure that most of what we teach here will still be valid and sensible forQt 4.

It is assumed that you have a basic knowledge of C++. The code examples usea subset of C++, avoiding many C++ features that are rarely needed whenprogramming Qt. In the few places where a more advanced C++ construct isunavoidable, it is explained as it is used.

Qt made its reputation as a multiplatform toolkit, but because of its intuitiveand powerful API, many organizations use Qt for single-platform development.Adobe PhotoshopAlbum is just one example of a mass-marketWindowsapplication written in Qt. Many sophisticated software systems in verticalmarkets, such as 3D animation tools, digital film processing, electronic designautomation (for chip design), oil and gas exploration, financial services, andmedical imaging, are built with Qt. If you are making a living with a successfulWindows product written in Qt, you can easily create new markets in theMac OS X and Linux worlds simply by recompiling.

Qt is available under various licenses. If you want to build commercialapplications, you must buy a commercial license; if you want to build opensource programs,you can use a non-commercial Qt edition. (The editions of Qton the CD are non-commercial.) Qt is the foundation on which the K DesktopEnvironment (KDE) and the many open source applications that go with itare built.

In addition to Qt's hundreds of classes, there are add-ons that extend Qt'sscope and power. Some of these products, like the Qt/Motif integration moduleand Qt Script for Applications (QSA), are supplied by Trolltech, while othersare provided by companies and by the open source community.Part I covers all the concepts and practicesnecessary for programming GUI applications using Qt. Knowledge of thispart alone is sufficient to write useful GUI applications. Part II covers centralQt topics in more depth and provides more specialized and advanced material.The chapters of Part II can be read in any order, but they assume familiaritywith the contents of Part I.

From the Back Cover

"...not only the best book on Qt I have ever seen, but also the best book presenting any programming framework. Every sentence appears to be carefully worded, and every chapter has a sound concept, and so does the work as a whole." --Matthias Ettrich, Trolltech's lead developer, founder of the KDE project

"The 'Tao of Qt'.... The Qt system is a beautiful example of object oriented design, and the authors take advantage of this.... The authors have done an excellent job of presenting the subject in an interesting and engaging way...." --Ron McCarty, Instructor and Chair of the Department of Computer Science, Penn State Erie, The Behrend College

The first official Trolltech guide to Qt 3.2 programming!

Straight from Trolltech, this book covers all you need to build industrial-strength applications with Qt 3.2.x and C++--applications that run natively on Windows, Linux/Unix, Mac OS X, and embedded Linux with no source code changes! The book teaches solid Qt programming practices; it is not a rehash of the documentation.

  • Build powerful C++ GUI applications quickly and easily
  • Design dialogs and main windows visually and in code
  • Learn Qt's innovative typesafe signals and slots mechanism
  • Use layouts to create forms that automatically size and scale
  • Create custom signals, slots, events, and controls
  • Program the ''Qt way'' with techniques for Qt 3.2 that'll work with Qt 4
  • Code applications with menus, toolbars, dialogs, and drag and drop
  • Utilize 2D and 3D graphics, multithreading, and networking
  • Write database and XML applications
  • Internationalize to reach foreign markets
  • Exploit platform-specific-features like ActiveX

Already using Qt or just starting out? Evaluating Qt or managing it? Building open source applications--or commercial applications? Want to develop for Windows without buying an expensive compiler? Whatever your goal, this is the only book you need!


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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An extraordinarily efficient introduction to Qt May 24 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I was given a few weeks to port several applications from other windowing systems to Qt. I had never used Qt before.
This book, along with the Qt Assistant online documentation, were all I needed. I was astonished at how relevant almost every page of this book was to my tasks.
The examples of displaying data in a table, employing double-buffered graphics, parsing and creating XML, adding OpenGL, multithreading, using sockets, creating custom events, and accessing a database were all almost copy-and-pasted into my final applications. Even the esoteric information on selecting an object from an OpenGL widget was useful.
Maybe my needs were just particularly well covered by the material in this book, but it's more likely that the authors have carefully chosen a wide range of examples that prove to be extremely useful in real-world applications.
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3.0 out of 5 stars good, but could be much better May 15 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I found myself pretty disappointed with this book contents. From book reviews I read, I expected clean, concise and self-contained explanation of Qt features. The book is indeed covering most of Qt features, but presentation style is - well, confusing. Namely, for the most parts, book chapters are explanations of rather large code fragments, that often have nothing to do with Qt. Reader is thus forced to take non-insignificant effort to understand these parts of code (that are in turn often incomplete, so it is necessary to look-up full source code from CD all the time), so understanding of Qt-specific topics has necessary to be blurred with this. For example, immediately after showing hello-world like program in first chapter, authors are jumping into development of full-blown Excell-like application in next three chapters. While it is indeed still toy application, it is not particularly funny to follow more than 1000 lines of code in this place (much more appropriate would be to have alike examples in later parts of book, once when most of Qt features covered with small and simple examples, or even as appendices). Things are getting worse toward end of book, with full sections of code completely irrelevant to topic. For example, at the end of chapter eight, an example of using OpenGL along with Qt is presented and this application implements picking support that is considered advanced topic even by OpenGL texts. This fragment of code is completely unnecessary, since authors already demonstrated usage of Qt mouse events for interaction with scene when they added support for rotating scene using mouse click-and-drag. Yet, the fragment is there and "explanation" of this code boils down to "you know, it's a bit complicated". Read more ›
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1.0 out of 5 stars you have to buy this book, literally April 20 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
The only way to get the most up to date version of QT Non-Commercial for Windows is to buy this book. That is absolutely shameful. That is the only reason why most people would buy this book. If you want to develop free, open source applications that work on any platform - then you have to pay Trolltech if you want to use the newest version of QT according to their license. I understand their motivations (getting people to migrate to Linux, and making more profit for themselves), but it just means people are migrating to wxwidgets, gtk+, java, and .NET instead.
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5.0 out of 5 stars open source at it's best March 4 2004
Format:Paperback
I've been programming in perl for a little while now, waiting to take the next step to c++. This book cought my eye because of the words "Open Source" on the cover. I then saw that Bruce Parens is having a series of books published on a type of open source license. While part of me wanted to wait for it to come out in electronic form because I'm a recent graduate with no job (though an interview... crosses fingers), I really wanted to take full advantage of my unemployed time doing something productive. (Like open source coding) So I bought the book.
Initially there are a lot of similarities to the online documentation and online tutorials that you can get from trolltech's site. But that's really just in the first chapter. The beginning of the book is a walkthrough of the programming of a spreadsheet program.
There are some bad points however... as a novice programmer, I thought they should have gone over the design process a little more. However, if you are familiar with designing a GUI program and just want to learn how to code stuff in QT and the online docs don't quite cut it, then this is the book for you. While I haven't found any errors yet, I have found that certain things aren't explained all that well. (like this referring to the parent widget... they never really explained that) However, as a novice, I was able to answer all my questions with the online documentation, it just forces you to look up a few things outside of the book.
The idea of signals and slots is pretty ingenious and the book covers how to use them quite well. I'm very happy that trolltech gives away qt free to Open Source developers. It's very well put together and I wouldn't hesitate in using it in a proprietary application (after paying appropriate license fees).
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