Feeds

Cross platform development for Windows and Mac OS X

Killing two birds with one stone

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Slotting It All Together

Having delved around under the hood, how do things look from the perspective of an application developer? Well firstly, the plumbing mentioned above is pretty much hidden from the developer. If you use Qt’s qmake build utility, moc is invoked behind the scenes, and automatically takes care of handling the moc output. This gets linked into the executable or #include’d with the class implementation file (depending on whether the original class declaration was in a header or .cpp file respectively).

To raise a signal, you just use the emit keyword, like this:

emit mySignal();

The pre-processor converts this into the appropriate call to MyClass::qt_metacall. Signals and slots can take one or more arguments, just like ‘regular’ C++ methods. However, a signal can only be connected to a slot with a compatible signature, thus ensuring a type-safe connection. E.g.:

myButton = new QPushButton(this);
connect (myButton, SIGNAL(clicked()), this, SLOT(buttonClicked()));

This creates a new push button and connects the clicked signal of the button (first two parameters) to the buttonClicked slot of the current class (second two parameters). Interestingly, a signal that provides – for example – three arguments can also be connected to a slot that expects only two, one or zero. As long as the arguments expected by the slot are type compatible with what’s provided by the signal, the connection can be made; extra arguments are simply ignored. As with the .NET multicast delegates, a single slot can be connected to multiple signals and you can likewise connect a single signal to multiple slots.

Figure 2: screenshot Qt Designer running.

Qt comes with a visual design tool called…ummm…Designer. This can be used to lay out a Qt form complete with your choice of user interface widgets. As you’d expect from a cross-platform programming tool, life isn’t quite as simple as with (say) Delphi or .NET because you need to use additional layout components (vertical layout, horizontal layout and grid layout) to put together your form in a way that will look good regardless of platform and also cope with changes in form size. This will hold no surprises for Java developers.

Once done, Designer can connect up the various widgets with the appropriate signals and slots. Figure 2 shows part of Designer running on my iMac. Notice the way in which the clicked signals emitted by the two pushbuttons (OK and Cancel) on the right are automatically connected to the dialog window’s accept and reject slots (Cunningly marked with electrical ‘Earth’ symbols to show the slot is on the form). Hitting Return in the ‘UserName’ edit box emits a returnPressed signal which is linked to the OK button’s click slot.

The lower window shows the Signal/Slot editor. (When you’re not in Signal/Slot edit mode, you don’t have the connections overlaying the design-time form). As you can see, this is laid out in (Sender-Signal)(Receiver-Slot) order, just like the QObject::connect call’s arguments.

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.