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Date: 2001-03-31 (09:31)
From: Mattias Waldau <mattias.waldau@a...>
Subject: [Caml-list] Using HTML as a standard GUI for Ocaml
- Is the idea below good or bad?
- I am looking for ideas how to implement the idea below.
- Making some kind of JSP/ASP-package for Ocaml could be a solution,
but code likes that gets very messy.
- What has been done? Unpublished code?
- Alternatives?

Using HTML for GUIs

Today there exists two flavors of gui for Ocaml based on Tcl or GTK.
Tcl is portable, and GTK is becoming portable.

What about using HTML-interfaces
instead of standard GUIs like Tcl and GTK?

The architecture is
that you start some kind of HTTP-based server and than you
start the browser and go to a local adress like

The advantages are
- Portable
- Much nicer looking GUI's, it is easier to add pictures, fonts etc
  to a HTML-gui, than to a Tcl/GTK-based
- Many GUI-operations are easier to do in HTML than in a standard
  GUI-tool, for example HTML-tables are easier to create the
  listboxes with columns.
- Easy to create server-based solutions out of client-applications.
  Only need to handle state in a general and scalable way.
- Smaller executables, for example including GTK statically into
  Unison increases the size from 700Kb to 2400Kb on Windows.
- Easier to integrate with other applikations, since two
  applications can merged on the HTML-page

The disadvantages are
- slower
- difficult to set focus correctly if the whole page is updated
  after each input (bugs i IE). This can be solved by being
  XML-based and talk XML from the browser to the server (which
  only works on IE>=5 and Netscape 6).
- browser incompabilities. (for example HTC in IE makes event
  very easy to handle, but incompatible with active sheet on Netscape,
  which is buggy)


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