[fxruby-users] [Foxgui-users] FOX

Lyle Johnson lyle at lylejohnson.name
Thu Sep 16 15:48:10 EDT 2010


On Sep 16, 2010, at 1:13 PM, Ralph Shnelvar wrote:

> I am interested in helping but I am very much of a novice when it comes to many of the tools that are used.  I am, though, a really good C++ programmer.
> 
> I am clueless, for instance, on the weltanschauung of gitHub, forking, etc.

Start here:

	http://help.github.com/

and then ask questions on the mailing list (or in the #github IRC channel, or whatever). Lots of folks in the Ruby community are using Git and GitHub.

> I am clueless, at this time, of how to build FXRuby on a Windows platform.

Start here:

	http://github.com/lylejohnson/fxruby/wiki/Setting-Up-a-Windows-Build-Environment

and then ask questions. ;)

> Nonetheless, I'm a bit confused about the "age" of FXRuby (which seems to be remarkably stable).
> 
> Isn't it the case that FXRuby is "old technology"?  Is this the way to go?

I'm not 100% sure that I understand the question, but I'll try to answer the question I think you're asking. ;)

FOX's underlying architecture, in terms of how widgets communicate via message passing, is an incredibly elegant way of doing things. Jeroen's design for this drew in part from his experiences with the NeXT operating system, and its NeXTStep UI. And of course, NeXT was also the basis for Apple's Cocoa framework, so there's a lot of similarity there. So in that sense, FOX is very much current. Likewise for the GUI update mechanism, data targets, and other neat things. I've learned a lot about software design by reading through the FOX source code, and it can be an elegant platform for building GUI applications.

On the other hand... you have issues like look and feel. FOX looks vaguely like a Windows 95-era user interface, which is to say, pretty darned aged. There is a discussion taking place on the FOX mailing list as we speak, about whether FOX should incorporate theming so that FOX-based GUI applications could be made to look more like platform-native apps (especially on OS X). I can tell you as a FOX "veteran" that if you're waiting for theming in FOX, you ought not hold your breath. So if having a native "look and feel" for your application is an issue, you should be looking elsewhere. Likewise for things like strong i18n support, or whatever.
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