GUI Programming

This is a discussion on GUI Programming within the C++ Programming forums, part of the General Programming Boards category; As far as I know, there are many ways to program GUIs in C++. If I'm not mistaken, it will ...

  1. #1
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    GUI Programming

    As far as I know, there are many ways to program GUIs in C++. If I'm not mistaken, it will also vary greatly from one platform to another. Are GUI programming skills that are useful on one platform also useful on other platforms? Do the different GUI libraries bear a similarity to one another?

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    They only vary from one platform to another if you chose the native operating system's API for a GUI. if you use a multi platform library such as wxWidgets you can develop a gui on windows and then later compile it on linux and have it work for either.

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    As Indigo0086 said, the native API varies from one platform to another. There are libraries that allow you to use a "common" high-level API, which means that you can move an application (assuming the REST of the application is written in a portable way) from Windows to Linux/Solaris or MacOSX.

    But if you know how to do GUI apps on one platform, you have a MUCH better understanding of things, than someone who is a complete beginner of GUI programming.

    I'm not a GUI programmer (I can do SIMPLE GUI stuff, but nothing fancy), but I know enough to know that if you can come up with a good stuff on Windows, it will take MUCH less effort to come up with the same thing on Linux, than it would if you know "nothing" about GUI design and implementation.

    [In case someone wonders, I've done lots of low-level programming in drivers, OS's and embeded - but none of that involves GUI in the normal sense - some of my drivers have been drawing GUI to the display tho']

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    another famous cross-platform, opensource GUI lib, besides WxWidgets, is Qt. Its windows version has just been GPL-ed and made free (as in $) to windows developers using mingw, but its Linux version has been heavily used and tested for many years. Besides GUI, Qt also provides cross-platform interfaces to socket networking, threading, etc.

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    I hear good things of Qt, is it compatiable with openGL? The only thing keepign me from it was that it wasn't free.

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    The Trolltech website claims that Qt has OpenGL integration.
    C + C++ Compiler: MinGW port of GCC
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    yes, OpenGL is integrated into Qt. At the same time, you can use Qt to do key handling etc.

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    The only thing keepign me from it was that it wasn't free
    well, it's under the GPL, not a BSD-styled license, meaning that, if I understood correctly, your code that uses Qt has to be licenced under the GPL (opensource), too. And if you want to do commercial development, you will have to use the paid version.

    Also, note that the free windows version of Qt can only be used with mingw (gcc) and not visual studio because of some strange logic I don't understand.

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    WxWidgets is less restrictive. However my very limited experience with it revealed that probably MinGW is not the best compiler to use with it. The library was huge (particularly the debug versions which are essential during the development phase). I'd suggest WxWidgets with Visual C++ 2005.
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    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

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