[svlug] Re: Cross-platform GUIs

Daniel Howard dan_howard at yahoo.com
Tue Jul 22 15:46:17 PDT 2003


> Do you know exactly which widgets are problematic?

I don't have a list but I'll use toolbars as an
example of what kinds of things are problematic.

They have several toolbars.  The built-in toolbars
work ok but they look unprofessional and aren't
moveable.  They have a moveable toolbar but it is
really pre-alpha: it only floats on Windows and it is
non-draggable (but works) on other platforms.  When
floating, it is truly ugly.  It also has sizing bugs. 
I've submitted a patch to wxWindows that fix some
problems and make it look tolerable but it still isn't
there.  I've uploaded examples here:

http://www.mountbromo.com/tech/wxwindows-toolbar/wxwindows-toolbars.html

I haven't used the tree controls, list controls or
tabs under wxWindows; I think that tree controls exist
and I'm not sure about others.  In most cases, they
will exist in some minimal, Windows-only form (a
simple wrapper around the Windows controls
themselves).

> Also, does wxWindows allow us to create our own
> widgets?

Yes, but, naturally, you've got to write them from
scratch starting from a basic window.  So, expect to
put significant effort into it.

Any problems that you have with wxWindows are fixable;
it is just a matter of taking the time to fix them. 
That's the trick, of course.  If it works correctly
without changes, then you get it for free.  But, if
you need changes, you'll have to add time into your
schedule to fix things that would work correctly and
look good already in a commercial library.  It is not
particularly hard to fix things, just time consuming.

If you want my advice, I'd download wxWindows and run
the samples that demonstrate tree controls, list
controls and tabs (at least).  Try them on ALL your
target platforms and see how they look and work.  If
they look bad or work differently than you want them,
hack into the sample code and figure out whether it is
easy or hard to make them look the way that you want
them.  Then, look into the wxWindows source code for
that control itself.  See if the source code for the
control itself is reasonably organized or is a
landmine of yucky code.  Once you know that, you can
be reasonable sure of the amount of effort to make
wxWindows work for your app on all platforms.

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