[fxruby-users] cross-platform quest

Lyle Johnson lyle at knology.net
Sun May 14 15:16:57 EDT 2006

On May 13, 2006, at 9:25 AM, Hans Fugal wrote:

> Hello Lyle,
> I submitted a Summer of Code proposal to pick that toolkit which is 
> closest to the cross-platform panacea and take up the slack to help it 
> reach it. I don't know yet if I'll get it, but I'm getting a head 
> start.
> Of all the toolkits, I have the most experience with fxruby. It's the 
> easiest to get running in Windows (of course) and Linux. The area 
> where it lacks is on OS X. I once had it working on my iBook, but I've 
> failed to get it going at least twice since then. Also, it runs under 
> X rather than natively which is a strike against it, but may not be a 
> deal-breaker.

It's fairly straightforward to build FXRuby on Mac OS X, especially if 
you use something like fink or darwinports to pull down the 
dependencies (e.g. libpng).

> So my questions for you are: do you believe it should be perfectly 
> feasible to create a binary gem for OSX (or some other binary 
> distribution method), and do you know of any winds of change that 
> might mean native widgets for OS X for Fox in the near future? I can 
> think of no reason why the binary wouldn't be possible. I don't know 
> about Fox and OSX.

The issue with building a (single) binary Gem for a particular 
operating system is that you need to account for all possible 
combinations of OS and Ruby versions. For example, I'm still running OS 
X 10.3, but most people have long since upgraded to 10.4. Likewise, I'm 
guessing that there are pockets of people out there still using Ruby 
1.8.2 and not 1.8.4.

Native widgets for FOX would involve pretty much a complete redesign 
and reimplementation of the library, so no, that's probably not going 
to happen. It is not an accident that FOX uses "lightweight" 
(non-native) widgets in its implementation; that was one of up-front 
Jeroen's design decisions. It's sort of the same as people saying that 
Ruby would be so much better if it had static typing, or required 
Python-like indentation. ;)

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