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Multiwallet Qt Development and Integration Strategy

In order to support loading of multiple wallets in bitcoin-qt, a few changes in the UI architecture will be needed. Fortunately, only four of the files in the existing project are affected by this change.

Two new classes have been implemented in two new .h/.cpp file pairs, with much of the functionality that was previously implemented in the BitcoinGUI class moved over to these new classes.

The two existing files most affected, by far, are bitcoingui.h and bitcoingui.cpp, as the BitcoinGUI class will require some major retrofitting.

Only requiring some minor changes is bitcoin.cpp.

Finally, two new headers and source files will have to be added to

Changes to class BitcoinGUI

The principal change to the BitcoinGUI class concerns the QStackedWidget instance called centralWidget. This widget owns five page views: overviewPage, transactionsPage, addressBookPage, receiveCoinsPage, and sendCoinsPage.

A new class called WalletView inheriting from QStackedWidget has been written to handle all renderings and updates of these page views. In addition to owning these five page views, a WalletView also has a pointer to a WalletModel instance. This allows the construction of multiple WalletView objects, each rendering a distinct wallet.

A second class called WalletFrame inheriting from QFrame has been written as a container for embedding all wallet-related controls into BitcoinGUI. At present it contains the WalletView instances for the wallets and does little more than passing on messages from BitcoinGUI to the currently selected WalletView. It is a WalletFrame instance that takes the place of what used to be centralWidget in BitcoinGUI. The purpose of this class is to allow future refinements of the wallet controls with minimal need for further modifications to BitcoinGUI, thus greatly simplifying merges while reducing the risk of breaking top-level stuff.

Changes to bitcoin.cpp

bitcoin.cpp is the entry point into bitcoin-qt, and as such, will require some minor modifications to provide hooks for multiple wallet support. Most importantly will be the way it instantiates WalletModels and passes them to the singleton BitcoinGUI instance called window. Formerly, BitcoinGUI kept a pointer to a single instance of a WalletModel. The initial change required is very simple: rather than calling window.setWalletModel(&walletModel); we perform the following two steps:

window.addWallet("~Default", &walletModel);

The string parameter is just an arbitrary name given to the default wallet. It's been prepended with a tilde to avoid name collisions in the future with additional wallets.

The shutdown call window.setWalletModel(0) has also been removed. In its place is now: