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Message1. Yet another wxDialog Designer
#2902
Posted by: 2003-11-17 17:19:34
Hi All,
I have created a new wxDialog designer which almost mimics Delphi/C++ Builder Form Designer. Since it is very hard for the beginers (like me) to use  the sizer widgets, I created this designer to be free from constraint widgets.

This program also generates a DevCpp project file for compiling the Dialog immeditaly.

The most impostant thing I had in mind is to integrate this designer with DevCpp(Like QT designer that can be launced from VC++ IDE). I will send a mail to the DEVCPP authors to ask them to include this new feature.

Currently, you can only design a form with Label, TextControl and Buttons only. I will include other controls to the component palletes in the coming days.

You can download the program from

http://www-ec.njit.edu/~grk4352/wxdlg/wxdlgdsgn.zip

I'm going to release the source code in BSD style license. I will add
necessary License information in the code and release it asap.

Kindly send your suggestions/bugreports etc to me.

-regards,
Guru Kathiresan
Message2. Re: Yet another wxDialog Designer
#2906
Posted by: mooncake 2003-11-18 20:03:46
Wow.. it is great.  Wish you will include more componets soon... :)

Meow~
Message3. Re: Yet another wxDialog Designer
#2907
Posted by: upCASE 2003-11-18 23:12:05
Hi!
Yes, indeed: It's great so far!

But three thoughts come rushing through my mind:
1. Why not use sizers as a second option?
2. Will it be able to output RC files?
3. What did Colin (or any other developer of Dev-C++) think about it?

I guess I'll have to comment on my thoughts :)

1. You're quite right: Sizers are at first pretty hard to work with, especially when you where used to working with a dialog designer like the one build into VC or Qt-Designer.
But once you get how it all works, sizers are quite usefull and I don't want to miss them (like layout contraints in Java). I normally work with wxGlade that uses sizers all the time.
I personally think that it would be great to have a tool that offers both, sizer aided design and design by absolute positioning. For "quick and dirty" one-dialog-panel-only projects you could choose absulute positioning and be very quick in designing the GUI, like when using VB for example. For more complex stuff you could choose sizers and be happy (and believe my: There are situations where you don't want to go without sizers... I've been working on a rather complex wizard and without sizers I would have had to change the GUI constantly whenever I added or removed features.)

2. I personally find the idea of having a GUI designer in Dev-C++ really good. This is one of the major features that it's currently missing. There where some other guys who wanted to start a GUI builder for Dev-C++, but I guess they haven't accomplished much by now.
For beeing a real success with Dev-C++ I guess your tool would have to output RC files too, because this is what most of the people using Dev are waiting for. For the wxWindows hardcore users it would be advised to output XRC files too.

3. I guess one of the major disadvantages Colin or anybody else in the forum would mention is that it doesn't produce RC files right now (beside from the lost souls out there that would reply something like "Naaa, shitty thing. Why don't you use XYZ instead". Don't give a damn about them, carry on, it's really good looking by now!)

As a conclusion I might say: Carry on! It looks promising!
If I can be of help: Mail me!
Although I got some personal projects right now, I would be willing to assist you if you need me.

upcase

BTW: Did you write your designer with wxWindows or is it just pure Win32 API code? Even if it will be "open source", I wouldn't dare to disassemble it :) It's prohibited by the law :))
upCASE
-----------------------------------
If it was hard to write, it should be hard to read!- Do. Or do not. There is no try!
Message4. Re: Yet another wxDialog Designer
#2913
Posted by: 2003-11-19 16:41:27
Hi,

>But three thoughts come rushing through my mind:

Let me run through them and clarify some :o)

>I guess I'll have to comment on my thoughts :)
>
>1. Why not use sizers as a second option?
>1. You're quite right: Sizers are at first pretty hard to work with,
>especially when you where used to working with a dialog designer
>like the one build into VC or Qt-Designer.
>I personally think that it would be great to have a tool that offers both,
>sizer aided design and design by absolute positioning. For "quick and dirty"
>one-dialog-panel-only projects you could choose absulute positioning and
>be very quick in designing the GUI, like when using VB for example. For more
> complex stuff you could choose sizers and be happy (and believe my: There
> are situations where you don't want to go without sizers... I've been
>working on a rather complex wizard and without sizers I would have had to
>change the GUI constantly whenever I added or removed features.)

I forgot to mention that Sizers are really useful features but not out of the box for any newbie coming from a Windows world. Yes, I'm going to make sure this program gets the support for the Sizers. I hope I get all the suggestions from people like you to get it implemented to the fullest extent.


>2. Will it be able to output RC files?
I personally dont see any necessary for the RC file. If we can create an RC file, we cannot manipulate many intrinsic properties. if you look at any MFC program it will read the Form information from the Resource and do a quite a lot of work in repainting according to the dropped component.  for example it doesnt support anything called listview instead listview is saved as control and then MSF would add code to repaint it accordingly.

>2. I personally find the idea of having a GUI designer in Dev-C++ really
>good.
I thought a QT like designer would be helpful to all major IDEs. At one point I thougt of make some modification to DEV-CPP and start making this designer as a part of it. But later decided I cannot cope with the pace the current authors of Dev-CPP are working.

>This is one of the major features that it's currently missing. There
>where some other guys who wanted to start a GUI builder for Dev-C++, but
> I guess they haven't accomplished much by now.
I think VisualWx is a good one in terms of generating the code, but it sucks big time in the interface. You can say VisualWx is the actually driving force for me to Create a decent look designer.  I thought of helping the VisualWx project but I was told that it was a closed source program.

>For beeing a real success with Dev-C++ I guess your tool would have to
>output RC files too, because this is what most of the people using Dev are
>waiting for. For the wxWindows hardcore users it would be advised to
>output XRC files too.

I completely agree with you. But we have to understand that the Designer is directly giving the output as a C++ Code , so I dont see any thing that is holding people to use it.  The next step would be to create form convertors for  MFC resource file and Delphi/BCB forms.

>3. What did Colin (or any other developer of Dev-C++) think about it?
I mailed all the DevCpp authors couple of days back, Until now I havent got any reply from them. I presume they are busy.

>3. I guess one of the major disadvantages Colin or anybody else in the
>forum would mention is that it doesn't produce RC files right now (beside
>from the lost souls out there that would reply something like "Naaa, shitty
>thing. Why don't you use XYZ instead". Don't give a damn about them, carry
> on, it's really good looking by now!)

As I told you before the designer will directly generate the GUI code directly. The form file wxForm is only for designing the form. After we design the form when we save it, it will generate the C++ code.

>As a conclusion I might say: Carry on! It looks promising!
Thank you so much.

>If I can be of help: Mail me!
Sure, I'm not good with wxWindows ; Infact you can call me a newbie. I would be grateful to you if you can let me know what properties can be added and how certain code can be generated etc.

>Although I got some personal projects right now, I would be willing to
>assist you if you need me.

I'm looking forward to get help from you :o).

>BTW: Did you write your designer with wxWindows or is it just pure
>Win32 API code? Even if it will be "open source", I wouldn't dare to
>disassemble it :) It's prohibited by the law :))

As I said before I'm a complete wxWindows newbie. I'm working with Delphi for a while, so I decided to create this app (in delphi) so that I wont miss my beloved Delphi Environment when working with wxWindows :o).

I will update this group once I'm done with the next version of the designer.

-Guru Kathiresan (email - guru ram nath @ yahoo . com ) (remove all spaces and send the mail)
Message5. Re: Yet another wxDialog Designer
#2923
Posted by: upCASE 2003-11-20 19:02:21
Hi!
Looking forward to a new version :)
Again: If you need some help (I'm not a delphi expert for I only used it once a long time ago), mail me or post here (I visit every day if I can).

Greetings
    upcase
upCASE
-----------------------------------
If it was hard to write, it should be hard to read!- Do. Or do not. There is no try!
Message6. Re: Yet another wxDialog Designer
#2924
Posted by: 2003-11-20 20:18:30
i looked the sw through. i think this is a simple and nice one, which is needed by many ones.

i have seen some additional .cd files at the download directory? they seem to be additional control descriptions but i could not make them work...

where should i copy them?

thanks anyway!

viktor
Message7. Re: Yet another wxDialog Designer
#2925
Posted by: 2003-11-20 20:42:52
you may ask the visual mingw developers also for integration. as i see from their history, they are working fast these days.

http://www.parinya.ca/

i have a feeling, that this ide can be simpler to use than dev-cpp, but i will give a try only some days later.

viktor
Message8. Re: Yet another wxDialog Designer
#2931
Posted by: jmoliere 2003-11-21 01:28:20
If your tool could subclass wxPanel instead of wxDialog, that would be great!

James Moliere
wxWindows@molamini.com
Message9. Re: Yet another wxDialog Designer
#2932
Posted by: 2003-11-21 01:43:54
Kathiresan:
Like viktor said you should check out MinGWStudio.
I saw a link to here from their forms and people are requesting a resource editor for MinGWStudio. This might be a good fit for it IMO.

The web site for MinGWStudio is http://www.parinya.ca/
Message10. Re: Yet another wxDialog Designer
#2933
Posted by: 2003-11-21 06:46:49
Hi Viktor,

>i have seen some additional .cd files at the download directory?
>they seem to be additional control descriptions but i could not
>make them work...

The .CD files are only for creating Delphi components for the deisgner. You dont have to worry about that. I'm in the process of intergrating those files to the new designer. I hope you will have almost all the basic components in the next release. Since I'm working alone, it is very hard for me concentrate on building the designer and concentrating on the Code Generation part. Any help with the code generation suggestion is greatly appreciated. If some one can help me with that, please let me know, I'll send the pre-release version of the next version asap.

-regards,
Kathiresan
Message11. Re: Yet another wxDialog Designer
#2934
Posted by: 2003-11-21 06:51:01
James ,
>If your tool could subclass wxPanel instead
>of wxDialog, that would be great!

The next version of the program will allow you to manipulate the subclass of a widget. So if you have a custom button widget, what you can do is Use the Designer to create a wxButton instance and just change the base class option to whatever your class is (instead of wxButton). I think will give more control to the user to use custom derived classes from the wxWidgets.

-Kathiresan
Message12. Re: Yet another wxDialog Designer
#2935
Posted by: 2003-11-21 06:53:10
Harley,

>Like viktor said you should check out MinGWStudio.
>I saw a link to here from their forms and people are requesting
>a resource editor for MinGWStudio. This might be a good fit for it IMO.
I sent a mail to the Author of  MinGWStudio and hoping to hear from him :) .

Thanks to you can viktor for the suggestion.
-Kathiresan
Message13. Re: Yet another wxDialog Designer
#2937
Posted by: 2003-11-21 15:33:19
When are your going to release the source code?
Message14. Re: Yet another wxDialog Designer
#2938
Posted by: 2003-11-21 17:50:40
Hello,

I just made a short test of your dialog designer and it looks very good accordingly to the early state of development.
Am I right that you store the component informations as binary file? If yes it would be great if you change it. Binary files are not the best choice for managing it with cvs or other version managing systems.


Best regards, Tilo
Message15. Re: Yet another wxDialog Designer
#2939
Posted by: 2003-11-22 01:03:11
I use wxGlade all the time,
and I too wish it would output an rc file in the cpp version
(heck, I wish it would output a makefile as well)
Message16. Re: Yet another wxDialog Designer
#2941
Posted by: upCASE 2003-11-22 01:50:54
Hi!
Well, to clarify what I meant with rc file support:
I just thought that to make it the "standard" resource editor for Dev-C++ it would need rc file support, because many people using Dev-C++ do win32 API programming and don't use wxWindows. So to suite there and our needs, three formats would be cool: RC (for the win API hackers), C++ headers and source (for wxWindows users) and XRC (for the ones using this newer feature of wxWindows).
Python and other ports of wxWindows could be supported in later versions of the editor.

One big problem would be the XRC code. Working with Delphi it won't be that easy to create them, while wxXRC has methods to do that.

upcase
upCASE
-----------------------------------
If it was hard to write, it should be hard to read!- Do. Or do not. There is no try!
Message17. Re: Yet another wxDialog Designer
#2943
Posted by: 2003-11-22 03:40:13

>When are your going to release the source code?
Currently I'm trying to add all the standard components and I need to change some architectural changes to the program in such a way that the code generation is seemless and not dependent on hardcoded class name and attributes. I hope after the addition of the standard components, I will release the code.

-Kathiresan
Message18. Re: Yet another wxDialog Designer
#2944
Posted by: 2003-11-22 03:41:18
Hi,

>I use wxGlade all the time,
>and I too wish it would output an rc file in the cpp version
>(heck, I wish it would output a makefile as well)

Do you mean by xrc file ?

-Kathiresan
Message19. Re: Yet another wxDialog Designer
#2945
Posted by: 2003-11-22 03:48:21
Hi Rene,

>I just thought that to make it the "standard" resource editor for Dev-C++
>it would need rc file support, because many people using Dev-C++ do
>win32 API programming and don't use wxWindows.
I thought there are lot of free resource editor for windows. Since I dont work with win32 api, I dont have any clue about it.

>So to suite there
>and our needs, three formats would be cool: RC (for the win API hackers),
>C++ headers and source (for wxWindows users) and XRC (for the ones
>using this newer feature of wxWindows).
Thats true, but currently the designer is too much wxWindows centric. I think
creating a xRC file shouldnt be a problem, because its just like an xml file.

>Python and other ports of wxWindows could be supported in later
>versions of the editor.

I thought python already had a very good GUI editor ? I checked Boa Constructor and it almost resembles delphi IDE for wxPython.

>One big problem would be the XRC code. Working with Delphi it
>won't be that easy to create them, while wxXRC has methods to do that.
As I said before, xrc almost resembles the XML format. I think we can create one without any problem. If not, we can always write a dll based on wxWindows and call them in Delphi :o). I 'm planning to do the same thing for creating the xpm files too.

-Kathiresan
Message20. Re: Yet another wxDialog Designer
#2946
Posted by: 2003-11-22 03:52:51
Hi Tilo,

>Am I right that you store the component informations as binary file?
>If yes it would be great if you change it. Binary files are not the best
>choice for managing it with cvs or other version managing systems.

You are absolutely correct. This is only applicable for the Preview 0.0.2 alpha. From the next version on, we will have only one file called .wxForm in text format and all the data (form and components) will be saved in the same file. I hope all the SCCS can be happy to have the text file.

-Kathiresan
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