The convenience widgets do wrap the signals so you can just connect to them if you want to.
The current API isn't about setting text, but about inserting items with a preset text, it is orthogonal in that it then has functions to retrieve those items. Perhaps it should have a setText(int row, const &QString) and QString text(int row).
Yeah, I'd like to have those. It's still missing itemActivated(QString text), currentItemChanged(QString text) etc. though which we had in QListBox.
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