[fxruby-users] Thinking about Rails and FXRuby

Berin Loritsch bloritsch at d-haven.org
Tue Mar 22 09:06:53 EST 2005


Hal Fulton wrote:
> Hi, guys...
> 
> Just some random thoughts here.
> 
> Please point out anything I'm overlooking.
> 
> I was thinking about the popularity of Rails, and I got to
> thinking: It's mostly about doing things automatically, and
> it's about user interface.
> 
> So I got to thinking: Could something similar be done in the
> non-web world, i.e., generate a GUI app rather than a web app?

It is possible....

In order to make it work seemlessly, you will have to have some
automatic binding library do the work for you.  The SmallTalk world
used ValueHolders that would send events when the property changed
allowing both the model and the view to update themselves accordingly.
JGoodies followed the same pattern for its binding API.

I did some work on a layout engine for Java Swing a while back to
provide a simple form oriented layout language.  I had a good start,
but never finished.

However to have automatic layout work (even with a language) it helps
to have a working layout manager.  That layout manager is responsible
for orienting the labels and fields, sizing the form to accomodate
different lengths for internationalized text, etc.

> 
> There are some subtleties, of course... HTML is very flexible
> and lays the burden on the renderer and the layout engine.
> But the result is fairly ugly.

For HTML the result is fairly easily tunable within reason.  It'll
never look like a native Application though.

> 
> But my basic question is: Is it possible/practical to create
> a Rails-like tool that will generate fxruby code?

I'm sure it is possible.  As to practical, I can't answer.  It would
be very practical to have the tool.

> 
> And as a side thought, would it be practical to build a
> CSS-like layer on top of fxruby?

??  Probably not.  GUIs are not HTML sheets, having a good layout
manager is beneficial though.


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