Whither DWT?

freeagle freeagle at inmail.sk
Thu May 4 14:55:04 PDT 2006

Daniel Keep wrote:
> freeagle wrote:
>> Hello,
>> Im quite new to D, but reading a lot of posts lately and checking some
>> websites about D i can say that the demand for good GUI API is quite
>> high in the community (including me).
>> And i must say i agree with the idea of using OpenGL for making a cross
>> platform GUI. Having a modern GUI rendered using graphics hardware could
>>    drag more attention to D. And problem of not native look of such API
>> could be easily handled using different themes. When i checked Terra
>> project source, the actual style of the widgets takes only few lines of
>> code and a set of images. For me, OpenGL is the right way to go.
>> Freeagle
> Personally, I don't like these kinds of GUI toolkits.  Granted, they ARE
> more portable, and easier to write, but:
> A) Visuals.  Not one single self-rendered toolkit I've ever seen has
> looked right.  GTK+, Swing... they all have small, subtle, but very
> annoying quirks that allow you to say: "Hey, this isn't a native app!"
> That should *never* happen.  Sun has had years to try to perfect this,
> and yet they haven't.
> What is worse, what are you going to do about Vista?  When that comes
> out, all your work on the XP skin has to be re-done from scratch.  And
> even then, given that Vista uses all those transparency effects, will it
> even be possible without a major rewrite?

- actually, with a good design, it could be possible to add modify skins 
and themes with just a different set of images, maybe small code 
rewrite. Id never accept a toolkit that need to rewrite whole widget set 
for every available theme/skin it supports. About those transparency 
effects, OpenGL has alpha blending, so i dont see what major rewrites 
you are talking about. But i must say i havent tried vista yet, so im 
not even absolutely sure what transparency effects you are talking about.

> The problem is magnified if Vista has multiple themes.  Then you've got
> to support each one separately... you get the idea.
> And let's not forget the million and one themes of KDE and GNOME...
> B) Operation.  Under Windows, I sometimes use IMEs (Input Method
> Editors) to input text in Japanese.  Now, there's an option in Windows
> to enable extra support for this in text boxes... the problem is that if
> you're rendering the text boxes yourself, this support mysteriously
> disappears.  You will never be able to cover the entire set of system
> built-in functionality.  If you did manage to, you'd basically be
> re-implementing the entire toolkit API on every native system... which
> is much more work than just wrapping it in the first place.
> That said, I still think projects like this are important.  For
> applications that don't care one whit if they "fit" with the system or
> not, they're a boon.  Such is true of things like media players, games,
> and other applications that intend to have a distinctive look (or don't
> need one at all :P)
> But at the end of the day, I'd still prefer to have something like
> wxWidgets or SWT for D (in addition to toolkits like Terra), so that my
> programs will function properly :)
> 	-- Daniel "Foolish Swing!  Everyone knows that Windows tree views have
> SQUARE swizzles, not round ones!  Your heinous deception is unmasked!" Keep

- many of the features you mentioned can be achieved if you thoroughly 
design the toolkit before you start to code. I havent seen any terras 
design document, so i cant say how good is terra with this. Anyway, no 
toolkit can do everything, thats why there are plethora toolkits on the 
market. Everything has pros and cons

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