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Re: [XForms] Thanks for the great library!

From: Jens Thoms Toerring
Subject: Re: [XForms] Thanks for the great library!
Date: Wed, 1 Apr 2015 00:13:14 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.21 (2010-09-15)

Hi Frank,

On Mon, Mar 30, 2015 at 06:28:52PM -0600, Frank Cox wrote:
> > That's kind of you! But doesn't RHEL/Centos ship XForms anymore? 
> To the best of my knowledge, no. Unless I'm missing something which is not
> beyond the realm of possibility either.
> The rpmforge repo provides an outdated version of xforms (1.0.91) for Centos
> 6, but I don't think anyone provides it for Centos 7 at all. Until now, that
> is.

In that case I would be inclined to add that to the page at
<http://xforms-toolkit.org>. At the moment it states that there
are no DEP/RPM packages, but if you're willing to host it I'd
add a link there. For that case: would you mind adding an <anchor>
tag to make it easier to find on the page?

> I'll probably also be yelling for help with some of the basics a few times
> as well, since I really haven't done any object-oriented programming before
> other than the bit of playing around that I did with GTK+ a while back, and
> I don't really know what I'm doing with GTK+ either.

Yell as much as you need to;-) And, while you're in the process
of familarizing yourself with XForms, don't forget to also send
complaints about the documentation. I'm well aware that it's not
that great. Constructive critizism will be appreciated;-)

But don't expect XForms to be really "object-oriented" in the sense
of C++ or similar languages. It incorporates a few very basic con-
cepts in that each "widget" is an FL_OBJECT (pointer), but that's
mostly about that.

> The monitor on my main computer died recently. Since I generally use that
> sort of thing as an excuse to get something bigger/better/faster than I had
> before, I replaced it with a 27" 2560x1440 model. And then I had to set up
> my desktop all over again since everything turned into a flea circus. And I
> can tell you that a lot of stuff that's a lot more high-profile than xforms
> doesn't seem to be built with super hi-res screens in mind. To make Firefox
> usable, for example, I had to install the Zoom Page add-on and set the
> default to 133%.
> xforms still looks pretty good, though a bit on the small side. Nothing I
> can't live with at the moment, though.

It's not so much about the monitor size but the pixel resolution.
If you've just get a larger monitor, but still with 100 dpi or
so, things will look quite normal (except that a window of the
same size as on a smaller monitor will appear to be comparati-
vely tiny). But should you get a (maybe smaller) monitor with
a 300 or 400 dpi resolution, then things get interesting...

> > Of course, if long-term stability is your main goal and the GUI
> > is just an add-on, then it is probably prudent to write your pro-
> > grams in a way that they are command-line driven, and only make
> > the GUI a wrapper around that, so that switching to a different
> > GUI toolkit is less of an issue...
> As I said earlier, I've never really done much with gui's to date, so this
> stuff is a whole new world for me.

So all your programs don't depend on a GUI (or only on ncurses)
and then I'd recommend to consider very carefully if and how you
can keep the internal workings of the program and the "presenta-
tion layer" apart. I.e., consider if you can split the program
into one part that does the real work and another part that ac-
cepts user input and later shows the results. Can you write the
program in a way that it can use ncurses or XForms for the user
interaction as alternatives? If that's possible I'd go for that
since it will allow you to pick a different GUI toolkit should you
become dissatisfied with XForms.

Of course, that doesn't always work - some programs are simply
GUI-driven, and then you've got to opt for one library - alas,
switching to another then becomes a major hassle.

                           Best regards, Jens
  \   Jens Thoms Toerring  ________      address@hidden
   \_______________________________      http://toerring.de

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