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Almas Designer Version 0.8 released (not a preview anymore!)

Posted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 3:49 pm
by heda
Hi all!
I've released the first non-preview version of my Almas Designer. Many common widgets are now available. Other features such as plugin support is added now. It's not perfect, but I think it's not too bad too!
Please let me know if you have any comments (or any bug reports).

Home Page:

Thanks anyway,

Posted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 9:30 pm
by metalogic
Please don't take this personally as it is more of a general comment and not specifically directed to you.

What I want to say is that this is getting silly. How many more designers do we need? Why can't anyone just collaborate on an existing designer so that we can finally have one (or a few) that have enough of a critical mass that they eventually get to be very robust projects.

If you look around, there are already dozens of stillborn designers for wx. Everyone starts with the best of intentions to create a new designer. Everyone has some excuse for starting from scratch. Then they go back to school or they have kids or they get a girlfriend or start playing Halo and the project just dies.

My humble plea to all developers out there with enough time to work on a designer. Look around you, choose what you feel is the most promissing project and help them out. That way instead of 10 people achieving 10% on 10 different designers, we can have 10 people achieve 100% on one designer.

Sorry for the rant but I've just seen one too many announcements for a new designer and I lost it. :roll:

Posted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 11:13 pm
by daddydave
Nothing wrong with a little competition :D

If the point is to have a finished product that is free and cross-platform, wxGlade comes pretty close. Just get rid of a few minor quirks like having to click on the control palette and hitting [del]Alt-P[/del] [ins]Ctrl-P[/ins] to go to properties, which makes no sense to a Windows user. (Why not just right click on the control in the tree window or in the form and go to Properties?)

I like the way the wxGlade interface blurs most of the differences between different types of sizers, while still providing the additional features of the more advanced sizers. wxGlade makes it ridiculously easy, for example, to change a BoxSizer to a FlexGridSizer and back. It is a great learning tool for the different sizer behaviors. It also has separate tabs for the general and specific control properties, which is nice. It's easy to copy parts of form to other forms, and the property names match the documentation as much as possible. It does invent something called slots, kind of weird but it makes it easy to always see where the next control or sizer is going. Also it works whether you want code or XRC files, and whether you want to use the form classes directly or inherit them.

The authors of wxGlade state it will never be a full-fledged IDE and doesn't generate any event code, so that won't satisfy some people. There's a few other quirks like the one I mentioned, but since it was conceived as a Glade clone, I guess some of those are staying. It didn't take long to get used to quirks, though. I didn't see a plugin architecture in it, although admittedly I wasn't really looking for one. That would be a neat idea for someone to implement, especially if you could easily add new custom controls to it.

Probably there will never be one form design program that satisfies everyone. This is a good thing. Someone will always figure he can do better, and quietly set out on that course.

I guess some people start a new designer project because they think they have ideas that haven't been fully tried and realized, and don't want to get into the politics with other developers.

I still believe competition fuels innovation even if there is no monetary profit involved. It seems that a lot of people on this board view form designer software like honey. That is, it is a commodity and there's only one way to make it, and if only a bunch of worker bees were to work on the same batch, Form Designer utopia could be reached.

Posted: Wed Aug 17, 2005 2:19 am
by jazz
I have to agree with metalogic. I've been looking for a GUI designer and there's so many to choose from and none of them either do what I want or even build properly.

Anywayz, I just wanted to mention that Almas falls into the "doesn't build at all" category. I keep getting "no matching function call" errors when it references wxPropGrid. Yes, i have the correct version (1.1.0) and all that.

Sorry, but the above error seem kinda stoopidly simple to have in a "non-preview" release.

Anywayz, good luck with the project.

Posted: Wed Aug 17, 2005 11:10 am
by VonGodric
DialogBlocks seems to most complete... but it costs monay :evil:

Posted: Wed Aug 17, 2005 1:10 pm
by lowjoel
the wise man always says: "good things never come free" lol i didnt say that some other guy did (or wait... did i? if so cancel the wise part :P)

Posted: Wed Aug 17, 2005 3:09 pm
by daddydave
As I suggested, wxGlade is pretty complete, and comfortable if you don't mind a few UI quirks and no event table code generated

Posted: Wed Aug 17, 2005 11:54 pm
by heda
Hi All!
First, thanks for your notice! Second, I had no claim about my program (while I like it very much!).

And finally, jazz, first of all thanks for downloading my program;but I tested the package before releasing it and I could build it without any problems. Also, you are the first one reporting this problem and I was completely unaware of it. BTW, after seeing your message I downloaded my package from the internet and built it again without any problem. So, Almas is not generally in the "doesn't build at all" category :wink:

Well, as I have not such a problem, I can't help much. It might be really my fault; so it might help if you tell where you get such error messages exactly.

However, I found something which may cause problems in compiling: as I use a unicode wxwidgets build, I link the "wx_gtk2u_propgrid-2.6" library; but for ascii builds it should be changed to "wx_gtk2_propgrid-2.6" in src/ sorry a lot for this problem. I don't know if it will help you or not.

Anyway, sorry for the problem :( But if you help, I will remove such problems from my program.


Posted: Wed Aug 17, 2005 11:55 pm
by heda
Hi again!
WidgetPack1: a set of plugins for Almas 0.8 is out now! It will add 10 new widgets to Almas 0.8 to make it a bit more usable. These are the widgets:

wxStaticLine, wxNotebook, wxScrolledWindow, wxSpinCtrl, wxRadioBox, wxSpinButton, wxListCtrl, wxTreeCtrl, wxGauge, wxSlider

It can be downloaded from here

Good Luck

Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2005 11:31 pm
by heda
WidgetPack2 is available now! It contains:
wxGrid, wxCalendarCtrl, wxSplitterWindow, wxCheckListBox, wxScrollBar, wxGenericDirCtrl, wxListView, wxHtmlWindow, wxContextHelpButton and Popup Menu (Menu which can be added to a toplevel window directly).

You can get the packs from here

Finally, some notes:
1. Yes, Almas is not a preview now but it is still in beta state. So it is not a bug free app; and may have errors in it's configuration for compiling.
2. There is a problem with wxPropGrid: I don't know how to automatically determine proper compiler/linker flags for it ( something such as wx-config ), so I've set the flags directly. The flags should be valid for wxpropgrid built as a shared library with unicode support (my own configuration) but for other configurations proper flags should be set by you before starting the build process. Please let me know if I can do something better.

Thanks anyway

Posted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 8:19 am
by heda
Hi again!
I know that it doesn't sounds good, but I prefer to say:
If you are going to use Almas, there is a small problem to be solved (it is related to code generation):
in (Almas's source directory) src/widgets/wgcontrolwithitems.cpp, line 105

Code: Select all

    inside = true;
should be replaced by:

Code: Select all

           inside = true;
The same correction should be done for wgradiobox.cpp (in WidgetPack1) line 139.


Posted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 6:52 pm
by ssigala
Hi Heda, might I suggest that you add some screenshots to your project homepage?

Also, do you have planned Windows binary releases?


Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 3:42 am
by heda
Hi Heda, might I suggest that you add some screenshots to your project homepage?
I don't know if you know this, but screenshots are available here. But, I'll add a link for them (may be with better screenshots) to the home page.
Also, do you have planned Windows binary releases?
In fact, no. I have not even tested it under Windows and it possibly needs some little changes to work properly under this OS. Also, looks like that there are enough options for Windows developers; however, it would be nice if someone test it under Windows and let me know about the problems (or even better, solve them!) and then give me binary releases to publish for all.
( I CAN'T release a legal windows binary myself because ... oh, not interesting for you (anyone), forget it!)

Thanks a lot

Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 6:16 am
by Jorg
Heda you are making a valuable thinking error here. wxWidgets is cross platform. This means if the user wants to test the code under windows and linux (and mac) he/she needs to be able to make modifications to the project files and code generation on that OS. If you only provide single OS binaries people will walk away because they cannot use it under a different OS.

That is why I walked away from a great tool called ClassBuilder. Windows only, and it limits my code generation under different OS'es ..

- Jorgen

Posted: Wed Aug 24, 2005 6:31 am
by heda
Well, you're right. But, as I've said, I like my app to be cross-platform. And in fact, the source code is cross-platform as all of its requierments are cross-platform ( wxWidgets, wxPeropertyGrid, libxml2 and standard C++ ). AFAIK, you should be able to compile Almas on platforms which support these without any problem. But I don't know how will be the result.
So, if there is anyone interested in a Windows (or any other OS which supports the code) version: please buid it under that OS and report any problems it has. If there not, there is no reason for supporting that OS.

All what I wanted to say was this: I can't test Almas on anything other than Linux currently. I need help to test the app on other OSes or publishing binary releases for them.