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Re: GUI Builder for Unix

rappold@zedat.fu-berlin.de wrote:

> David Fanning schrieb:
> >
> > Jae-Seung Kim (jkim03@maxwell.ee.washington.edu) writes:
> >
> > > Is there a GUI Builder for Unix environment?
> >
> > Yes, several of us. And your GUIs are guaranteed to
> > be a hell of a lot better than anything IDL could
> > come up with. :-)
> >
> > Cheers,
> >
> > David
> >
> > P.S. Let's just say that for a $75 investment and
> > about 5 hours of your time even YOU could be writing
> > GUIs that would beat whatever IDL could come up
> > with in a GUI builder hands-down. Absolutely guaranteed. :-)
> >
> I'm not into GUI's can you be a bit more explicite?


I'm not sure that David's softsell tongue-in-cheek response is what you
were looking for.  GUI is an acronym for  Graphical User Interface; GUIs
tend to be a collection of buttons, slidebars, droplists, etc. (called
widgets) that software users can manipulate.  The GUI builder mentioned
above is an gizmo for building a GUI inteface by dragging-and-dropping
the buttons and slidebars into position. Not all versions of IDL come
with the GUI builder.   As you, the programmer, drag and drop the
components you want to include the interface, the GUIBuilder
automatically generates the coding needed to respond to user actions
(such as pressing a button with a mouse click.)  GUIBuilders are common
with database packages like ACCESS and Visual DBASE.   GUI interfaces
make dynamic data analysis and visualization easy.  Objects really shine
when you build GUIs around them.

IDL's GUIBuilder places all of the coding in a single event loop, events
being actions that the user intiates (like pushing a button.)  This
put-everything-in-one-handler runs counter to the idea of writing code
in small reusable bits; I find the all-encompassing coding generated by
IDL's GUIBuilder unwieldy.   David espouses a different approach, where
the programmer builds the GUI with smaller (or at least less unwieldy)
bits of code.  His style is easier to create and maintain than the
GUIBuilder approach.

Unfortunately, the IDL references are not the place to learn about
GUI/Widget programming.   It's really too bad, I think they are missing
a nice opportunity.  Fortunately, David has written a wonderful book on
IDL programming that can give you an excellent start.   I highly
recommend it.

You might also check out Ronn Kling's book that address widget
programming with a different slant. I can't say as much about his book
because I just got it. I like what I see so far.   Ronn also addresses
objects from the ground up.

I hope that gives you the info you asked for.


P.S.  Neither Ronn nor David have recompensed me for the above, but any
contributions to the
Ben-Tupper-Really-Wants-An-Alden-Ocean-Rowing-Shell-Fund are welcome.

Ben Tupper

Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Science