[prog] Cross-platform GUI development

jennyw jennyw at dangerousideas.com
Wed Apr 2 07:36:50 EST 2003

On Tue, Apr 01, 2003 at 10:17:27PM -0800, Akkana Peck wrote:
> 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?

Yeah, that's strange. Mac OS X does come with Java ... I recently downloaded 
Eclipse (IDE written in Java) and it ran fine on the Mac without having to install 
a JVM (unlike other OSes which generally don't 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.

Yes, wxWindows looks the most promising to me, too.  Since I'm a wimpy programmer, 
I'd rather program in an "easy" language like Python!

There are other toolkits I've found, too, like Fox -- but they don't yet support 
Mac OS X.  FreeRIDE (Ruby IDE) is written in Fox and it looks pretty good -- they 
can get it to run on Mac OS X with X, but that's not quite what I'm looking for. 

About Delphi/Kylix -- it doesn't run on the Mac, either.  If I were going for a
closed-source solution, I think I'd pick REBOL (which doesn't work on OS X yet, but
will).  It has some pretty interesting ideas (concise language, designed to be
distributed, runs on virtually everything), and if I were developing commercial
software I'd consider it.  But I'm not ... ;-)


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