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Re: OCaml + GTK vs F# on Windows
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Date: 2007-06-21 (09:42)
From: David Allsopp <dra-news@m...>
Subject: Re: OCaml + GTK vs F# on Windows
> Folks,
> I need to reboot my translator as a Windows app. I would like to know  
> how well is LablGTK supported on Windows (specially with Glade) and  
> whether this is advisable if Windows is my only target platform.
> F# is the other option that I see but will require porting my parser  
> from Dypgen back to Yacc, among other things. Not a big deal since  
> I'm not using functors or any advanced features of OCaml but still  
> work to do.
> What's your opinion?
IMHO GUI apps knocked together quickly using toolkits such as GTK tend to
look hideous under Windows (although slightly better than AWT apps did in
the early days of Java!). ocamlbrowser is a "good" example (I'm talking
about appearance here, not functionality, cross-platform compatibility,
etc!!). If Windows is your only platform, I'd use a Windows-only toolkit as
otherwise you end up with "lowest common denominator" feature support (or
badly emulated controls). Of course, it helps to be sure that you're
definitely "Windows-only" :o)

> What option would you recommend and why?
There're a couple of stub wrappers for Win32 API functions for writing GUIs
on the hump but that's a bit hardcore (not to mention time consuming) if
you've never done that before - I would have thought that splitting your app
into logic written in O'Caml (as it already is) and control written in F#
giving you full access to the .NET GUI Library only for the required parts
of your app were the way forward...



PS For developing Windows apps, there're some books on the subject of GUI
design - e.g. The setup program for Richard Jones'
XP Hello World, for example, breaks the recommendation for not having
Windows 3.11 style Remove links in Start Menu groups and Desktop Icons
[p.294] ;o)... though at least it gives the option not install the desktop