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[Caml-list] GUI toolkit advice
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Date: -- (:)
From: Matt Gushee <mgushee@h...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] GUI toolkit advice
On Wed, May 28, 2003 at 12:32:50PM +1200, sashan wrote:
> I was looking around the O'Caml website and surrounding sites for gui 
> toolkits. I'm interested in a platform independent (windows or linux) 
> toolkit. The bindings I've come across so far are LablGTK and a binding 
> for tk. Are there any other gui toolkits? What would you use if you 
> wanted to write an app with a gui that could run no linux or windows?

I'm not sure there's a perfect solution to this problem. For me it would
depend a lot on the nature of the application and my relationship with
the user(s). Here's the thing: GTK is more-or-less a "modern" GUI
toolkit, has most types of widgets that GUI developers are accustomed to
using, looks nice (at least most people seem to think so ... personally
I think the button styling is rather dorky), and is reasonably well
internationalized ... but the Windows port of GTK is not very mature, so
you might have to watch out for a lot of bugs.

Tk, on the other hand, is a bit primitive: it lacks some common widget
types, and may have some issues with I18N. Also, unless you get the very
latest version (which may or may not work with LablTk), it lacks support
for common image formats like JPEG and PNG. Furthermore, some people
think it looks ugly (though I've found that in many cases they just
don't know how to configure it to look good). But Tk has been around
forever and AFAIK works well on all supported platforms.

So for simple applications, e.g. a data entry interface, Tk might be a
better choice. But if you are creating, say, the ultimate IDE, I imagine
you're better off with GTK, bugs or no.

Matt Gushee                 When a nation follows the Way,
Englewood, Colorado, USA    Horses bear manure through           its fields;   When a nation ignores the Way,
                            Horses bear soldiers through
                                its streets.
                            --Lao Tzu (Peter Merel, trans.)

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