[prog] Cross-platform GUI development

Akkana Peck akkana at shallowsky.com
Tue Apr 1 22:17:27 EST 2003

jennyw writes:
> I was wondering if any of you had suggestions for cross-platform GUI 
> development.

I'm partial to gtk for my own apps, because it optimizes for linux
(the platform I really care about) but I can make it available on
other platforms if I want to.  But on mac that means they have to
run under X, which not all users are willing to do.  There's a new
beta version of a native gtk for mac, so some day this may improve.

> Java is an obvious choice, but I've heard that it's hard to get things 
> to match up well on different platforms. wxPython looks very promising.  

When I suggest writing things in Java my potential users always beg
me not to, because they don't want to worry about getting the right
JRE installed.  Especially mac users, which seems odd -- doesn't OS X
come with java?

I've been playing with wxWindows recently.  It works pretty well for
simple stuff, and looks reasonably native on all platforms.  It didn't
take long at all to get a simple app up and running.  More elaborate
usability issues (busy cursors, mousewheel events and things
like that) are more challenging and aren't well documented, but 
documentation problems are just part of the "fun" of ui toolkit
programming, right? :-/  It may be the best bet for native-looking
apps on three platforms.  I haven't tried the python bindings.


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