GUI interface builder

Community Forums/Developer Stations/GUI interface builder

z80jim(Posted 2008) [#1]
I'm a huge fan of interface builders, also known as form editors or visual editors. Since I'm trying to get into GUI more in blitzmax, I want one for blitzmax. There is a great one out there, with a thread on this forum just check out the GUI section but it is PC only and from what I can see it is kinda complicated or if you prefer, advanced. So what I want to do is create an extremely simple interface builder that allows you to select an object from a list, and then control where it goes on the screen. All you will have to do is select it, give it a few properties such as location, label, size, etc. in an external window, and it will show up on your application window. And when you click a generate button, it will give you all the code you need for a simple GUI app that will include:
a generate GUI sub
an eventsloop sub
a sub for each button

this will give you a basic framework with which to work with. Unfortunately, my skills are not nearly advanced enough either in blitzmax or in C to do this, so I want to see how this can be made to happen, either with someone elses help or with someone else doing it. If this didn't involve knowing any GUI, I could probably do it but since it does, in short I really can't at this point :( any takers?

plash(Posted 2008) [#2]
I don't think this sub-forum is for question asking, more posting of already existing software (and seeing as you've pretty much posted this 2 other places.. I don't know why you would post again).

If this is for the mac again I don't think there is a compiled version of any gui builder for maxgui in mac. If your going to try windows take a look at GUIde in the toolbox.

z80jim(Posted 2008) [#3]
since I want this to happen I wasn't sure if it should stay there lol. The idea of this is to have a multi-platform extremely simple but useful one. I know there are 1 or 2 out there for PCs, so this needs to be on macs. I know there aren't any for macs yet :(

Hotshot2005(Posted 2008) [#4]
Try Viusal :)

z80jim(Posted 2008) [#5]
it says "stay tuned... the big launch is coming soon :)"
needless to say, it wasn't much help.... lol.

SebHoll(Posted 2008) [#6]
It's a pity I don't have time to finish my own multi-platform GUI editor for MaxGUI. I'm too busy trying to fix the actual MaxGUI modules. ;-)

Every now and again I compile and run it for my own personal use - I find it soooo easy to use but it's too buggy to be released as a product (unfortunately):

It's a shame because I've put hundreds of late night coding hours into those 10,000+ lines of code, but I've had to put it on hold because I'm too busy doing other things. Still, I have to keep pinching myself that I made it from the ground up (five times over in complete re-writes) and I'm really quite proud of it!

kragoth74(Posted 2008) [#7]
Looks nice... :-)

z80jim(Posted 2008) [#8]
ya I think it'd be worth your effort to finish it... it looks amazing :)
You know my request was an extremely simple one, and from my experience I don't see how this could be hard. Can you eyeball how hard something like this would be?

open the app...
1. create a new project or whatever. It prompts you for name, and size of window.
2. the app will have three windows. The window for your app in progress, a window with all the possible controls, and a window to edit an object.
3. User selects one of the objects to add, and it puts fields required into the edit window. Location, size, label, ID, the works. But as simple as possible.
4. When done, user clicks done in the edit window and the object appears immediately in the prescribed spot on the users window. By clicking on an object already placed you can re-edit it.
5. When done, click generate code and it makes a simple skeleton with gui sub, event sub, and a sub per control with all gui created.

I can see this taking a fair amount of code, but not nearly the 10k _ it took you to do that and I know from experience it would still be invaluable. I use on on the palmtop and its great.

plash(Posted 2008) [#9]
@SebHoll: That still looks amazing, you really should finish it. Lots of people would have a use for this.

Volker(Posted 2008) [#10]
What about Brucey's wxMod?
WxWidgets is cross platform and there is WxFormbuilder.
Ok, it's not really simpel..

z80jim(Posted 2008) [#11]
I don't care lol where can I find it?

tonyg(Posted 2008) [#12]
Brucey's forum

Volker(Posted 2008) [#13]

You need something like TortoiseSVN to get the code.
You need MingW installed to compile the module.

In the /tools directory is wxCodegen to generate
the BMax-Code from the Formbuilder-files.
for buidling your GUI. You must use "sizers"'; take
a look at the example formbuilder-file to get started.

plash(Posted 2008) [#14]
from my experience I don't see how this could be hard
Try it yourself then!

z80jim(Posted 2008) [#15]
I'd love to the problem is that a) I can't seem to stick to projects that aren't flowing smoothly or just take too long and b) I just don't have the knowledge of GUI. I think I could do it if I could just learn blitzGUI but I tried and it went right over my head lol. Thanks tony and volker!

tonyg(Posted 2008) [#16]
Let's get this right. You don't think it can be that hard and you could do it *if only* BlitzGUI wasn't so hard for you to understand, it didn't take too long and you were able to run the project effectively.
Other than those minor points and from your experience
don't see how this could be hard

Is that right?
It does beg the question : From *what* experience?

z80jim(Posted 2008) [#17]
ugh. If you have a simple program that allows you to create "objects" more namely GUI objects and drag them around and edit the simpler stuff about them, then click generate code and it gives you the code for the objects you've put in there, that's really simple. All you really need is some blitzmax experience in general, and know how to use GUI, probably not even expertly. You're making it sound like I listed common problems, which I probably did. Most people probably get frustrated lol. I just get frustrated way more easily. I'm hopeless lol.

tonyg(Posted 2008) [#18]
So, you want somebody to write something for you because you don't have the knowledge or patience in this particular product area.
So how about MaxGUI with GUIde (source was released free) or paying for LogicGUI (small price to pay for great GUI editor). What about GAs Framework? It has menu and screen code plus lots more AND you get the source so you can learn how to do it yourself. Great value if you want a Game Framework or just some source to look at or even just for subset of the commands.
What about IGlass plus IGlass Studio? Again IGlass sounds exactly what you're looking for and, I believe, IGlass Studio source was released so you can see how it's done. Brucey's wxmod might be the right solution. Finally, I *think* somebody was writing an editor for FryGUI.
<edit> In fact I spoke to Jens (LogicGui author) about creating a 'Menu/Screen editor' a few weeks back and his ImageButtons would be perfect. I might even do it myself using LogicGUI to create the GUI to create the GUI.

z80jim(Posted 2008) [#19]
I'm checking out the other ones you mentioned now... Is there like a list of these somewhere that everyone knows about but me? lol. But anyways, the other ones I've checked out were either only for PC's or were the complicated type. Complicated things are not for me :P

tonyg(Posted 2008) [#20]
... those that come with source will show you how it is done. If you then think it is easy you can see if the source compiles on mac or adjust it if required. GA's framework and IGlass run on Mac.
Toolbox GUI Libs
Toolbox Form Designers
You can also use the Search function with 'GUI Editor'
and check through the results.
Only you can decide what is complicated for you. However, if you lack patience you might struggle. Anyway, I am still interested to know what, from your experience, makes you think it is not hard to create a GUI Designer (even a basic one).

z80jim(Posted 2008) [#21]
ok, I'm familiar with the fact that a project gets way harder all of a sudden once you start it lol. I tried iglass demo... but there's only one download link and that only downloads exe files, nothing for my mac. I looked around in his thread and on his website but nothing there. Thanks for your help, I'll look around more.

z80jim(Posted 2008) [#22]
urgh no mac ones!!!

tonyg(Posted 2008) [#23]
... use the Contact button on the IGlass support page to email the author and check if a Mac demo is available? Post something on these forums and see if Filax will respond? Talk to GreyAlien and see what his framework offers in the way of simple GUI code?
Talk to Jens for any Mac demos there might be for LogicGUI?

plash(Posted 2008) [#24]
I *think* somebody was writing an editor for FryGUI
That was me :) Although the form designer doesn't generate code, it does save as xml, which FryGUI can load by default.

Complicated things are not for me :P
In my experience, code generation can get fairly complicated.

Dreamora(Posted 2008) [#25]
Especially code generation is very problematic on the "what when MaxGUI / BM changes?" end.
with a generic file it will always work as long as the loader is kept up to date.