[erlang-questions] A future for gs?

Kenneth Lundin <>
Tue Jun 15 09:18:24 CEST 2010


gs will not be further developed. We recommend the use of wx.
If you like the gs type of API it could probably be built on top of wx.
The problem with GS is that as soon as you want to do something
serious you end up in
bypassing the limited gs API and going directly towards tcl/tk.

/Kenneth, Erlang/OTP Ericsson

On Tue, Jun 15, 2010 at 8:19 AM, Michael Turner
<> wrote:
> I started writing a little diagram editor in gs, but have just run aground
> on a limitation: there doesn't seem to be any way to track where you are in
> a canvas when you're scrolling around in one.  The scrollbars work, the
> canvas objects updates canvas object positions appropriately, but it seems I
> can't find out what part of the canvas I've scrolled *to*.  Without that, I
> can't convert window coordinates to canvas coordinates and back again.
> I can't even get scrollbar interaction events.  I started looking at the gs
> source and found that there's an API-exposed but undocumented "scrollbar".
>  And you can ask to have a scrollbar created, returning successfully.  But
> you can't do anything with it.  You can't even see it.
> I've also found some code for some dialog boxes, useful (if ugly) for
> alerts, file selection, etc.  The comments describe this module as
> "internal", but nothing in the gs source directory actually refers to them.
>  They are clearly not ready for prime-time (and so "widgety" that Steve Jobs
> would vomit).  But they do work (sort of.)
> This package looks like it was dropped mid-stride, even though it seems to
> have started off in a reasonable direction: wrapping Tcl/Tk.
> Regretfully, I'm starting to look at wx again, but I find it only reminds me
> far too much of what I disliked about GUI programming in C++.  If you
> already know the wxWidgets API from some other language, the very similar
> Erlang bindings might seem like a Godsend.  But if you just want to get a
> GUI up and out of the way (my goal), and you don't have that wdWidgets
> background, it all just seems verbose, over-parameterized, encyclopedically
> overwhelming.  (IMAO, anyway -- I've done Mac programming, Windows
> programming, and hated every minute of GUI programming on both.)
> Is there a future for gs?  I've gotten the impression that the sun is
> setting on Tcl/Tk.  Maybe gs will follow it?
> -michael turner

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