Qt programming: More productive in Python or C++?
Trying to dive into Qt big time but haven't done a large project with it yet. Currently using Python, but I've been thinking -- which is really the better language to use in terms of programmer productivity?
In most comparisons between the languages, Python is the obvious answer, because you don't have to mess with memory management and all that.
However, with Qt I'm not so sure. It provides enough added features to C++ that (from what I can tell) a line of Python code is roughly equal to a line of C++ code most of the time (excluding some additional things like class definitions and structure components). Qt does nearly all the memory management for you as long as you stick with its classes, and provides equivalents to the nice containers you would find in Python.
I've always preferred statically typed languages, but have gotten on the Python bandwagon for various reasons. If programmer productivity is similar with C++, however, I may jump back that way for its other benefits -- more efficient code and fewer dependencies for users to install.
My Opinion (having tried out C++ and Python in general and specifically in Qt case): Python always wins in terms of 'programmer productivity' and 'peace of mind'. PyQt represent Qt very well and hence question doesn't remain of "Qt with Python" or "Qt with C++", in general python is more productive unless off-course you need speed or something which isn't available in python.
Best way for you to arrive at the answer would be to write a simple project first in C++ and then same project in python and compare, but that could be biased towards python as after coding the project once you may find it easy in Python, so try another project too and first do it in Python and then in C++.
If one or the other, I'd actually suggest Python in spite of being a C++ enthusiast. With Python code you don't have to bother with the MOC, portability, build times, etc. Just compare the work involved in implementing a QT slot in C++ vs. PyQT or PySide, e.g. I find it to be much less of a pain to deal with widgets this way (much greater productivity). You can still invoke C++ code from Python in cases where you need the added performance.
If you do use a combination, consider extending Python rather than embedding it. Python is generally better suited to embed C/C++ code than to be embedded into a C/C++ system. It also tends to make more sense that way as applications are generally composed of far more mundane, non-performance critical code than performance-critical code, so writing your application primarily as a python application with C/C++ functions attached to it fits that kind of system design better.
Yes, people will say that Python is more productive without a reason. Some of the answers mention that you do not have to recompile. I will give you some more details
Python is one layer of abstraction over C++, so you can think and express your designs with less code. Your program might not run as fast, but sure you express faster in code what you want.
The most common case is when you launch your application, load some files, setup the environment and open a dialog. There you notice that a button is not working or where it should be. Now that is the point where most people close the application, bind one slot here, one signal there... and start the application, load the files, setup... with python you just write the code and fire up the dialog again, not the whole application. I do not know about you, but that type of task is what I do most of the time with Qt
Python gives you something that C++ does not have: introspection. You can explore a running program and pull out information about its components on runtime. Qt gives you partially this. You have that MOC layer where meta properties and meta information can be attached to Qt objects. All parts of a Python program can be introspected. Many people debugging Python code, or trying to understand how it works, are addicted to this for a good reason
With Python you don't have to build your project. That's enough of a time saver I guess. And Pyqt bindings are awesome. I'm definitely more efficient with pyqt than with qt/C++.
Whether you use python or C++ depends more on the application you are building and not so much on Qt. If you are building an application which is resource heavy and needs lots of resources like CPU and memory, C++ would be a better bet. On the other hand, if you application is more UI driven, python provides lot of other benefits in terms of rapid development and rich libraries.