25 Oct 2004 haruspex   » (Journeyer)

mathrick, we are obviously talking about different things, and therefore completely at crosspurposes. I am talking about user interface (which by definition has nothing to do with specific platforms [sigh]); you seem to be talking about a set of incompatible rulebooks. It's those incompatible (and totally unnecessary, btw) APIs, aka rulebooks, that contribute to the fragmentation that I am complaining about. Your argument is like saying there is no such thing as a cross-platform algorithm because if you write it in BASIC, a C compiler gives errors!

Google is a good example of the antidote, and gives a glimmer of hope because it uses the kind of abstracted description (HTML) that I am talking about and does, consequently, run nearly anywhere useful. Web applications are ubiquitous because they literally can be written once and deployed anywhere. And that is the holy grail. But HTML isn't the final answer, for obvious reasons. The original hypothesis is that there is not yet a final answer for a platform-independent UI. And I believe the answer probably lies in a description (like HTML) not an API (like all the rest). One reason is because it decouples UI from implementation language. Is that so hard to understand?

Swing is still yet another API, and, I therefore claim, a dead end, like the others (some listed below roughly in order of least useful to most useful).

  • Win32, tied to Windows
  • Cocoa/NS, tied to OS X (and ObjC into the bargain)
  • Carbon, tied to MacOS
  • Xlib, tied to X11
  • Swing/AWT, tied to Java
  • GTK/Qt/wxWindows, their own platforms
  • HTML, tied to the web browser (not the web)
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