26 Oct 2004 ppol   » (Observer)

I have given up (temporarily) learning perl. Because: I don't think it is correctly integrated with GUI. I mean when you write a "print Hello World" in Perl it is not really foreseen in the langage to specify the font, the color or the position of the text on the screen. I know there are many ways to do gui with perl (TK, GTK,...) but none of them does look correctly integrated with the language to me.

I think we have a REAL problem here, in the 1980s under DOS it was easy to make a colorful program by playing with the text attributes or going to graphical mode. But today it does not seem to be so simple anymore (I see here a real regression: isn't programming expected to be easier with all the tools we have today?) when you talk to people and say let's write a tetris game (under Linux or windows) everybody (well nearly everybody) seems to think they cannot do it. In the past on TI99/4A, ZXSpectrum, BBCmodelB,Amstrad CPC6128, PC AT under DOS,... this was easy but since the 1990s with windows and Linux this does not seem possible anymore!!!

We have a real problem here: the languages have not integrated the GUI!!

The keyboard, the filesystem, the text display are well supported by all the languages: In C: getc, fprintf, puts,... give me all the functionality I need (ok they are not part of the language but part of the universaly supported standard library so they are available in all C implementation).

WHY aren't the mouse, the windows, the menus supported the same way? Why isn't there a standard way to open a window in Perl, in Python, in C++,... (OK JAVA was invented with AWT and afterwards swing but that's more an exception than a rule and I don't think this is the best GUI implementation I have ever seen)

What we need is a GUI framework that is
1/ universal (both Linux, windows, and even the other OS...)
2/ that is standardized
3/ that is well documented
4/ that is (nearly) part of the language (in the same way as printf is nearly part of C)

WE SHOULD REALLY FIGHT TO HAVE THAT otherwise our applications will still more look like mainframe batches from the 1970s than 21th century programs


The best GUI framework I have found yet is WxWidget (new name for WxWindows). Well, I don't like its documentation and it is not at all integrated with C++ or standardized but it seems to be easy (even fun) to use, quite stable and available on both Linux and windows. This is probably the best GUI framework I have found yet.

If I succed to write a pac-man with it then I will say it is great!

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