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Subject: Portable GUI Development Kits FAQ, part 4/4

This article was archived around: 2 Mar 1997 21:00:42 +1100

All FAQs in Directory: portable-GUI-software
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Archive-name: portable-GUI-software/part4 Posting-Frequency: monthly Last-modified: 1997/03/02 Version: 3.1 URL: http://www.zeta.org.au/~rosko/pigui.htm
PLATFORM INDEPENDENT FAQ PART FOUR _________________________________________________________________ Copyright 1996 Ross McKay. Last released $Date: 1997/03/02 09:04:40 $ Copyright 1993-1995 Wade Guthrie. Permission is granted to copy and redistribute this document so long as it is unmodified (including the part that explains where to get the FAQ free-of-charge) and the copyright remains in-tact. I'd appreciate it if you told me about any redistribution, but that's not strictly necessary. _________________________________________________________________ VI. VENDOR REPORTS - cont. The different PIGUI kits are classified by the language they support. These are the ones which support languages other than C and C++. PIGUI kits for C and C++ can be found in Part 2 and Part 3 of the FAQ. PIGUI Kits for languages other than C and C++: _Ada_ OpenUI Screen Machine _Eiffel_ EiffelVision _Lisp_ Common Lisp Interface Manager Garnet _Java_ Java Abstract Window Toolkit _Oberon_ Oberon/F _Python_ wxWindows _Smalltalk_ VisualWorks VisualAge _Tcl_ Tcl/Tk 4 _________________________________________________________________ Common Lisp Interface Manager, V2.0 _VENDOR:_ Well, this gets kind-of complicated. It was started by a company called `Internation Lisp Associates', or ILA, but was adopted by several Lisp vendors. The current active CLIM parters are: Franz, Berkeley, CA email info@franz.com www http://www.franz.com/ Harlequin email web@harlequin.com www http://www.harlequin.com/full/products/sp/clim2.html Illudium _SOFTWARE CONFIGURATION:_ CLIM is a de-facto extension to the Common Lisp language. It supports standard shape-drawing primitives with a portable color model. Full 2D affine transforms are supported. In addition, a platform-independent typeface specification mechanism is included. CLIM contains an intensional type system, known as presentations, whereby any piece of output can be associated with an application-object. On input, the same type-system allows context-sensitive input, driven by the application-types. CLIM also contains high-level facilities for table-formatting, graph-formatting, window layout, dialogs, etc. CLIM operates through a back-end for each underlying GUI. Back-end efforts exist for Motif (which is shipping), OpenLook, the Macintosh and MS-Windows. CLIM can also run in a CLIM-look-and-feel mode as a fallback. For additional information, see the comp.lang.lisp FAQ, part 7. _COMMENTS:_ I have been advised that a former "active CLIM partner" Symbolics have "gone Chapter 11", risen again, but probably have little time now for CLIM. Also, Lucid Lisp, from another former "active CLIM partner", has been acquired by Harlequin. _________________________________________________________________ EiffelVision _VENDOR:_ ISE Voice: 1-805-685-1006 Fax: 1-805-685-6869 email info@eiffel.com www http://www.eiffel.com news comp.lang.eiffel _SOFTWARE CONFIGURATION:_ EiffelVision is a platform-independent GUI framework developed by ISE for ISE Eiffel. The EiffelVision library provides classes for the standard widgets (buttons, fields, panels, geometry management) as well as graphical functionality (lines, polygons, circles etc.) EiffelVision is currently available for Motif, Open Look and Microsoft Windows. _OPTIONS:_ A graphical application builder called EiffelBuild, which generates Eiffel code utilising EiffelVision classes. _COMMENTS:_ This product is apparently stronger on Motif than on Windows, but the current efforts for the next version will redress that. _FUTURE:_ Macintosh support is on the way, and a greater level of abstraction in the GUI classes to increase platform independence. _________________________________________________________________ Garnet _VENDOR:_ Carnegie Mellon University email garnet@cs.cmu.edu - to get on the mailing list www http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~garnet/ ftp ftp://a.gp.cs.cmu.edu/usr/garnet/garnet/ news comp.windows.garnet _SOFTWARE CONFIGURATION:_ Garnet is a GUI development environment for X/windows and Macintosh, under Common Lisp. Garnet is an acronym for _G_enerating an _A_malgam of _R_eal-time, _N_ovel _E_ditors and _T_oolkits, and was developed by the User Interface Software Group of Carnegie Mellon University. Garnet provides basic API emulation, a fairly complete set of widgets (GUI objects), and some tools for WYSIWYG design. Two look-and-feel's are provided for: Garnet's custom look, and the Motif look. Garnet works with MCL 2.0.1 on the Macintosh, and any Lisp for Unix that implements CLX (X11), including: Allegro, Lucid, CMU, Harlequin Lispworks, AKCL, CLISP, TI Explorer Lisps. _COMMENTS:_ Garnet can not be supported by the UISG at Carnegie Mellon any longer, because the people who know enough about Garnet to support it have either left the UISG or have been moved on to Garnet's `successor', Amulet. There is still a good number of users out there who can help with problems and bug fixes though, and they are accessable through the above email and newsgroup. Garnet does not use CLOS, instead using a system called KR (Knowledge Representation). I don't know if that means it is incompatible with CLOS though; can anyone fill me in ? _________________________________________________________________ Java Abstract Window Toolkit 1.0 _VENDOR:_ Sun Microsystems 2550 Garcia Ave., Mtn. View, CA 94043-1100 USA email java@java.sun.com www http://java.sun.com/ news comp.lang.java _SOFTWARE CONFIGURATION:_ Java is an Object Oriented language developed by Sun Microsystems, out of a project targetting smart devices such as TV set-top boxes. The Java language describes a Virtual Machine (VM) to which Java source code is compiled, providing a platform-neutral binary format for Java programs. All that is needed to port programs written in Java (excluding GUI) is an implementation of the Java VM for that platform. So far, SunOS, Solaris, Win32 and MacOS for PowerMac have VM interpreters. The Java AWT is a platform-independent class library including classes for data primitives, containers, system objects, communications, and GUI (among other things). When the Java VM is ported to a platform, the Java AWT is ported with it. Sun, Borland, Microsoft, Symantec, and a raft of others have produced nice IDE's for Java, allowing developers to build Java applets and Web pages `visually' in much the same style as Visual Basic et al. _COMMENTS:_ By now, most people know _something_ about what Java is, even most software developers! Java is being [over]hyped as the [latest] silver bullet for cross-platform, distributed, client / server, object oriented, Web-enabled and generally buzzword-compliant systems for today's applications. In truth, it looks like it actually can deliver this, and certainly is worth consideration when developing platform independent applications. While the class library could be considered quite comprehensive in a general sense, there is not much in the way of high level GUI objects. For example, there is a text field object, but no number or date fields. There are no high-level dialog objects either. If you need these (and most business apps do) then you must either find a third-party source or subclass your own from the AWT classes. For a good list of third-party tools, check out http://www.cybercom.net/~frog/javaide.html Much of the push behind Java is getting application code running in Web browser pages. Netscape, Internet Explorer, HotJava, and the latest Mosaic all support embedded `applets' in HTML pages. What is often overlooked about Java is that you can also write stand-alone applications in it, which don't rely on a Web browser. _________________________________________________________________ Oberon/F _VENDOR:_ Oberon Microsystems, Inc. Technopark Technoparkstr. 1 CH-8005 Zurich Switzerland email www@oberon.ch oberonf-request@math.tau.ac.il - subscribe to mailing list www http://is.eunet.ch/Customers/omi/ ftp ftp://ftp.inf.ethz.ch/pub/software/Oberon/OberonF/ news comp.lang.oberon _SOFTWARE CONFIGURATION:_ Oberon/F is a commercial implementation of Niklaus Wirth's Oberon language, including an Integrated Development Environment and a platform-independent framework. Oberon/F currently supports MS-Windows 3.1, Win32, and Macintosh. Oberon/F supports the typical GUI objects (windows, dialogs, fields) and supports unlimited undo/redo, direct Win API / Mac Toolbox calls, Windows DLLs or Macintosh code fragments, hypertext help. A form/dialog editor is included, which generates resource files (in Oberon/F format). _OPTIONS:_ Direct-to-COM compiler Source-code analyser and Profiler Arbitrary Sized Integer Library SQL subsystem (single-user ot client/server) _SUPPORT:_ Email assistence is available in 10-packs for about $450, and a training course is also available. _COMMENTS:_ Oberon/F is available for download free for non-commercial use. _________________________________________________________________ Screen Machine, V1.43 _VENDOR:_ Objective Interface Systems, Inc. 1892 Preston White Drive Reston, Virginia 22091-5448 (800) 800-OIS7 (inquiries) (703) 295-6500 (voice) (703) 295-6501 (fax) email info@ois.com _SOFTWARE CONFIGURATION:_ This is an Ada PIGUI which includes a WYSIWYG GUI builder. The product fully supports Ada's built in multi-threading capabilities (protects against non-re-entrant code in the native windowing systems). This allows SQL applications and such to continue processing input from the user while waiting on one or more database transactions. Screen Machine (I have to give them two points for the name alone) includes an Ada code generator that generates layered Ada GUI code that follows the presentation/dialog/application scheme. _SUPPORT:_ Free (with updates) for one year. After that, call for pricing. _FUTURE PLANS:_ OIS is currently developing an Ada95 (fully O-O) parallel implementation of the CORBA-based Fresco/C++ (the new Xt replacement technology in X11R6). This technology is part of OIS's Acumentor product development suite and is known as Acumentor/GUI. Acumentor/GUI will offer the same: + object embedding (via CORBA) + multi-threading support + resolution independence + multiple look-and-feel emulation, and + structured graphics in the C++ version of Fresco. The CORBA interface will allow Ada applications to transparently interoperate with C++ applications. OIS is extending the product to include a full MVC paradigm and fully automatic memory reclaimation. Windows 95/NT versions are in progress in addition to the VMS and Unix X Windows versions. _________________________________________________________________ Tcl/Tk 4 _VENDOR:_ Sun Microsystems Laboratories email john.ousterhout@eng.sun.com www http://www.sunlabs.com/research/tcl/ http://www.neosoft.com/tcl/ - archives ftp ftp://ftp.smli.com/pub/tcl/ ftp://ftp.neosoft.com/pub/tcl - archives news comp.lang.tcl _SOFTWARE CONFIGURATION:_ Tk is a graphical user interface toolkit for adding X/Windows GUI objects to Tcl, a scripting language. Tcl and Tk were developed by Dr. John Ousterhout at the University of California, Berkeley. He now works at Sun Microsystems who have employed him to do some further development of Tcl / Tk. There are versions of Tcl/Tk for X-Windows (many platforms), MS-Windows 3.1 (Win32s), Win32, Macintosh; and ports underway for OS/2 and MS-DOS. A GUI builder tool called SpecTcl is available from Sun, for Unix platforms. _COMMENTS:_ Tcl/Tk presents the X/Windows look-and-feel, regardless of what platform it is run on. There is some effort underway to get native look-and-feel on Windows and Macintosh, but it's a little way off yet. Because Tcl has been designed as an embeddable language, you can use Tcl/Tk from C, C++ and Java quite easily. The Tk functions can be called from these languages directly, and extensions to Tk can be supported by creating a callback which has some embedded Tcl. There is a shell for calling Tk from Ada, called TASH (Tcl Ada SHell). For details, see http://www.ocsystems.com/xada/tash. The Tk toolkit has also been modified to work with Perl and other languages. For details, check out http://w4.lns.cornell.edu/~pvhp/ptk/ptkFAQ.html _________________________________________________________________ VisualWorks v2.5 _VENDOR:_ ParcPlace-Digitalk 1-800-759-7272 or 408-481-9090 email webinfo@parcplace.com www http://www.parcplace.com/ _SOFTWARE CONFIGURATION:_ VisualWorks is a Smalltalk application development environment and class library for client-server GUI products. The VisualWorks software includes a set of interactive development tools to help you, well, develop your GUI software interactively. In addition, one can use the Chameleon View product to preview the look of an application as if it were running under different windowing managers on the various supported platforms. In addition to all of this, VisualWorks includes an external database interface, currently for Oracle and Sybase. _OPTIONS:_ Advanced Tools - performance benchmarks, complex numbers, extended browser, metanumbers, parser compiler, space use profiler, class analysis and reports (e.g., variables used but not defined). + Business Graphics - pie, bar, line, etc., charts + DLL & C Connect - parse C header files, call out to DLLs and shared libraries + Oracle Connect 2.0 + Sybase Connect 2.0 _WHAT THE USERS SAY:_ Some users simply prefer programming in Smalltalk over C++ anyway, others say that language differences aside, VisualWorks is a better toolset than any C++ kit they've seen. _COMMENTS:_ Apparently (I haven't seen the article, personally) the June 14,1993 issue of Computerworld ranks ParcPlace pretty highly. _________________________________________________________________ VII. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Many thanks to the previous maintainer and original author of this FAQ, Wade Guthrie. Wade has done a marvellous job since the inception of the Platform Independent GUI FAQ, aka Portable GUI FAQ, and I personally owe him a debt of gratitude for the assistance he has given me in getting this FAQ out the door. I also have benefited from his FAQ over time, in making the tough decision about which PIGUI kit to go for. Wade can still be contacted at wade@nb.rockwell.com, where he is probably just settling back into a nice cold beer right now and enjoying return to a FAQ-reduced life. Please leave Wade in peace, and address all correspondence related to this FAQ to me, rosko@zeta.org.au Thanks to the many netters that have helped give information and general impressions of the software packages listed here. Also thanks to the vendors for keeping this FAQ accurate and up-to-date. In specific, I'd like to thank Eric Raymond (esr@snark.thyrsus.com), 'cause [Wade] stole his UNIX FAQ format for use here. Thanks, Eric. Some articles which have contributed to the pool of knowledge about Platform Independent GUI programming: * Steve Apiki, "Paths to Platform Independence", Byte, January 1994, pp. 172-178 * Richard Chimera, carm@cs.umd.edu, "Evaluation of Platform Independent Interface Builders", Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory, University of Maryland, dated March 1993. * Carl Dichter, "One For All. . .", UNIX Review, October 1993, pp. 65-74 * Thomas Murphy, "Looking at the world through cheap sunglasses", Computer Language, February 1993, pp. 63-85 * UNIX Review Staff, "Outstanding Products of 1993", UNIX Review, December 1993, pp. 47-54 * Scott Mace, "Windows-to-Mac bridge now open", InfoWorld, Nov. 7, 1994, p21 _________________________________________________________________ Ross McKay email:rosko@zeta.org.au $RCSfile: pigui4.txt,v $; $Revision: 3.1 $; $Date: 1997/03/02 08:36:20 $