What Features Should A GUI toolkit have?

Russel Winder via Digitalmars-d digitalmars-d at puremagic.com
Fri Mar 6 23:32:51 PST 2015

On Fri, 2015-03-06 at 11:30 +0000, via Digitalmars-d wrote:
> Not sure what you mean by a "non-browser UI". You need a model, a 
> layout engine, a composition engine and know-how. Competing with 
> browser engines is a lot of work.

I meant a user interface not using a browser as the infrastructure.
Cocoa, Qt, GTK, JavaFX, etc. are all there already, and have everything
browsers are still trying to get. I agree the pressure of fashion and
orthodoxy is moving to HTML and JavaScript as the one true UI framework,
but it's only real positive is that it is (supposed to be) pre-installed
and the same on every machine. Sadly though, from what I can see, vast
amounts of code and time is spent dealing with the differences between

> It is going to be very hard to compete with reusable UI 
> components implemented in html+javascript, when they have worked 
> out the quirks, due to:
> 1. ease of development
> 2. ease of modification
> 3. volume of UI components
> 4. styling know-how
> 5. integration
> 6. installed base

HTML and Javascript may have an edge on ease of deployment, but
regarding the other dimensions, I fear you must have imbibed of the
Kool-Aid. I agree that most people creating UIs do so with browsers,
HTML and JS, but that doesn't mean they are doing it right or not
blindly recreating from scratch a whole mass of things that were already
known. We would be a lot further forward today on UI and UX if people in
the Web arena had researched more and taken NIH attitudes less. Clearly
new technology and new application require new things, but simply
ignoring already known stuff is just wrong.

> What you need is a reactive layer that access native data. And 
> webtech provides the basic building blocks for it, thanks to the 
> requirements of asm.js/pnacl.

Dr Russel Winder      t: +44 20 7585 2200   voip: sip:russel.winder at ekiga.net
41 Buckmaster Road    m: +44 7770 465 077   xmpp: russel at winder.org.uk
London SW11 1EN, UK   w: www.russel.org.uk  skype: russel_winder
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