Towards a native windows GUI

Mats Cronqvist <>
Thu Aug 18 11:33:37 CEST 2005

Joe Armstrong (AL/EAB) wrote:

>     It seems to me that things went wrong at stage 4 - the very fact that you *need*
> a IDE/wizard/whatever to write the code for you seems the underlying structure is
> too complicated.

   well, a nice-looking, complex GUI *IS* complicated. you need a GUI builder to 
work effectively with GTK (and all other GUI toolkits). i think you're being a 
bit rash in implying that this is because the GTK people are lame. you need 
powerful tools to solve difficult problems.

>       With GUI builders - the learning curve is steeper, interfacing to Erlang is
> painful, and forget dynamic GUIS.

   glade is orders of magnitude easier to learn than, say, GS.
   with gtkNode, you send erlang messages to the GTK widgets. not painful.
   what is a "dynamic GUI"?

>       The trade-off is "Easy to program = Ugly GUI" vs. "Difficult to program = Nice GUI".

   optimally. i think it's quite easy to wind up with "Difficult and Ugly".

> 	Suppose we (say) implement an Erlang interface to GTK (there seem to be
> at least 3 of these), then the following problems seem to occur:
> 	a) The interface library won't build in my environment
> 	  (it worked fine on the developers machine but particular combination of
> 	   shared libraries/OS etc. needed differs on my machine)
> 	b) I have to learnt the GTK programming model in order to write a GUI
> 	  (and is that fun? - no)
> 	c) The result is non-portable
> 	   (ie the target machine must have performed a) successfully)

a) is non-trivial even if you use X.
b) actually, it is fun :>
c) many GTK applications include the GTK runtime (firefox, gimp etc). as far as 
gtkNode goes, the problem with building a static gtkNode.exe for windows is in 
getting the erl_interface stuff to compile, not the GTK bit.


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