wxWidgets Future?

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priyank_bolia
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wxWidgets Future?

Post by priyank_bolia » Tue Aug 09, 2005 2:56 pm

13 years of work, highly efficient, C++ based, easy to use and still no one knows outside the room. Why?
What can be done to make it popular, so that we attract more developers to work with us to keep it up with the future?
My Suggestion:
1.)A good documentation
2.)Introduction to widgets should be easy to learn, that ready to use things, just Visual Studio setup and MFC wizard.
3.)A good website where people can post their projects. there are few but no upto my expectations.
4.)Easyness for others to modify the existing lib and add their own controls etc.
5.)More adverisements, events, more forums at differents big programming sites.

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Re: wxWidgets Future?

Post by vdell » Tue Aug 09, 2005 3:23 pm

priyank_bolia wrote:13 years of work, highly efficient, C++ based, easy to use and still no one knows outside the room. Why?
What can be done to make it popular, so that we attract more developers to work with us to keep it up with the future?
My Suggestion:
1.)A good documentation
2.)Introduction to widgets should be easy to learn, that ready to use things, just Visual Studio setup and MFC wizard.
3.)A good website where people can post their projects. there are few but no upto my expectations.
4.)Easyness for others to modify the existing lib and add their own controls etc.
5.)More adverisements, events, more forums at differents big programming sites.
1. I consider the documentation to be great. I have pretty much always found my answers from there.
2. There are a lot of samples shipped with wxWidgets (and also many tutorials floating around the net). You can also always ask your questions on the mailing list or this forum.
3. There is a project list in the wxWiki and IIRC in the actual homepage of wxWidgets too.
4. Is it currently hard to do that? I have seen many new controls in the time that I have used wxWidgets (about two years now)
5. Another forums? What's wrong with this one? I would not consider it useful to have many different forum.
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Post by geon » Wed Aug 10, 2005 10:14 pm

wx really needs some better documentation and/or simplification of the compilation process.

As it is now, you would have to be a compiler guru to make work on mingw32 without lots-and-lots of trial-and-error. At least with wxGLCanvas turned on.

It is also strange to not have binaries avaiable on the website. It's like saying "We think this you should use this great product, but we don't care.". Contradictional when the rest of the site is used to promote the lib.

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Post by KevinHock » Thu Aug 11, 2005 1:52 am

What binaries do you think would be appropriate to distribute?

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Post by priyank_bolia » Thu Aug 11, 2005 5:39 am

When I first started using first wxWidgets on windows, it was a nightmare, actually I have no other option than to use it only, becuase of client requirement. I downloaded everything wxDevCpp, wxWidgets, many editors like codeblocks, ming. every thing that I found I downloaded and installed. But nothing worked after a good whole day of work, I finally succedded with wxWidgets and VS.Net 2003 compiler. I have no Idea as a newbie, where to look what are the libraries and where to get them. I somehow managed to get through. I think if not a compulsion to use wxWidgets many people would quit at this stage only. Whatever you die hard fans say, but I believe, if there was just dll, lib, and cpp/h files to just copy into the project and a hello world wizard. It would attract atleast thousands of MFC programmer to switch to wxWidgets.

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Post by Jorg » Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:54 am

I am all in favor of distributing the most common binaries. Although I am experienced enough to start compiling wxWidgets, I think teh real newbie needs to get wxWidgets on his plate without even touching the wxWidgets insides, let alone project files).

I would say;

- DLL Debug / Release
- DLL Unicode Debug / Release
- Standard Debug / Release
- Standard Unicode Debug / Release

Provide NOT bakefiles only but a skeleton project for each major solution. This means an empty (with an example .cpp / .h file in it) VS6, VS7, Makefile, MinGW solution for the following situations:

- A simple frame with an about dialog, linking against DLL / LIB
- A simple DLL wrapper where you use wxWidgets, linking against DLL / LIB
- A simple LIB wrapper where you use wxWidgets, linking against DLL / LIB
- A simple dialog, linking against DLL / LIB
- A console application with cmdline parser in place, linking against DLL / LIB
- One exampe project that contains all the most common classes needed, the way that wxWidgets SHOULD be used. With wxValidators, events that are runtime linked, TransferDataFromWindow, wxConfig as base, wxStandardPaths, all the stuff that is really important.

If you make this a setup where you set the WXWIN env var at installation phase, 9 out of 10 times I don't even need to recompile because I use wxWidgets pretty standard.

It's sad to say, but most wxWidgets core members do not want to even think about this. As the level of complexity even rises, we are losing potential new users, only people who are persistent enough will eventually use it.

By providing this toolkit without sources, a lot of people are helped. People can choose their favorite skeleton project, and extend it with extra sources thus get to know wxWidgets a lot easier then diving in the deep with their favorite compiler and running into trouble, how many times has the setup.h question not been answered ?? ;-)

I hope you can have some influence on this Kevin, sometimes the mailinglist feels like posting to the blind, and people simply ignore ideas or comments.

Regards,
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Post by upCASE » Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:58 am

Hi!
priyank_bolia wrote:Whatever you die hard fans say, but I believe, if there was just dll, lib, and cpp/h files to just copy into the project and a hello world wizard. It would attract atleast thousands of MFC programmer to switch to wxWidgets.
That may be true for the windows people. Sure we could do release a precompiled DLL and a lib for VC like Qt used to, but then the gcc using people would come and demand the same. What about Mac and Linux users?
And what if I don't want to distribute a wxWidgets dll everytime I ship an app?

For the wizard you're right, this really simplifies things. To be honest that's what I'm working with. I found an old wizard on the wxWidgets site dating some while back and hacked it up a little to suite my needs. Essentially it does the same as http://www.litwindow.com/wxVisualSetup/index.html. I even managed to integrate the help files, but it was a real mess to do so. For compilation with mingw I wrote a tutorial on how to do so. It's a bit outdated but should still work. I really need to revamp my site someday and place these things up there.
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Post by Jorg » Thu Aug 11, 2005 7:18 am

Maybe we should join forces and make something like a simple template generator ? I was already thinking about that for my next version of wxCRP where I want to use abstract XML to define classes and relations.

If we make a wizard based upon wxTreeMultiCtrl with some options like what to generate, what to include and simply generate all the projects ..

This is not to offend Bakefile, but it is too much for a beginning wx-user.

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priyank_bolia
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Post by priyank_bolia » Thu Aug 11, 2005 9:14 am

May be I am also thinking of writing an article on CP "Introduction to wxWidgets". I have also written there article on GTK, but as I also don't have much knowledge it was not much appreciated. So, this time, I want to have some good idea of wxWidgets than write an article. The problem is that though there are 1-2 article that talks about Visual C++, but there are pretty old, using years old version of VC++ 6.0 and no screenshots of settings. Also no one talks of where to get the wxmsw.lib, etc. The problem: windows people aren't habitual of doing such things, downloading a setup, install it, then compile the source too, the do settings, etc http://www.nata2.info/humor/flash/switchlinux3.swf. They just think download and install with default settings, Finish. Whatever linux community thinks that its bad, and mac people also demand than these things. But talking in chinese to an american and expect that he should understand it as 1 billion people knows that language, isn't a good idea. You have to definitely put your heart one side when you come in business. To sell a thing MNC companies do the same thing, the underlying machine remains the same, but packaging is done accourding to country taste. The more the ease of use, the more the people using and the more open source movement.
Some people say that there is adequate doc at the wx site and its allied site contains all the info. We don't need another forums, etc. But they should compare this with windows. Even though they have bible (MSDN), there are other plenty of other sites. Websites uses blogs and posts in many forum to make them popular, so the thing that starting something new is unnecessary and create more confusion and descrease our popularity is said. Even there is CP, but people visit MSDN, and both are helping each other to make money. Even though you find all things on CP but then also you have to visit to the original source MSDN.

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Post by NinjaNL » Thu Aug 11, 2005 10:18 am

upCASE wrote:Hi!
priyank_bolia wrote:Whatever you die hard fans say, but I believe, if there was just dll, lib, and cpp/h files to just copy into the project and a hello world wizard. It would attract atleast thousands of MFC programmer to switch to wxWidgets.
That may be true for the windows people. Sure we could do release a precompiled DLL and a lib for VC like Qt used to, but then the gcc using people would come and demand the same.
That could be taken care of. Simply release a set of "official" devpaks. All options set to 1 so that everything is compiled in (even generic windows if I can find out how to do this) and place them on the devpak.org site (as well as other devpak related sites).
Follow the development of my screenplay authoring program at http://wxscreenplaywriter.blogspot.com/

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Post by AkiraDev » Thu Aug 11, 2005 12:35 pm

NinjaNL wrote:
upCASE wrote:Hi!
priyank_bolia wrote:Whatever you die hard fans say, but I believe, if there was just dll, lib, and cpp/h files to just copy into the project and a hello world wizard. It would attract atleast thousands of MFC programmer to switch to wxWidgets.
That may be true for the windows people. Sure we could do release a precompiled DLL and a lib for VC like Qt used to, but then the gcc using people would come and demand the same.
That could be taken care of. Simply release a set of "official" devpaks. All options set to 1 so that everything is compiled in (even generic windows if I can find out how to do this) and place them on the devpak.org site (as well as other devpak related sites).
Binary distributions are a tricky issue, because of the overwhelming amount of possible configurations. A least common denominator approach, like the one mentioned by Jorg, sounds good though. However, in order to work, it should become standardized and distributed at www.wxwidgets.org as well.

AFAIK, there were also plans for a binary ditribution of a wxConfigTool - one can already compile it under the utils folder -, which makes the library configuration somewhat easier. This approach sounds like a reasonable compromise.
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Post by Jorg » Thu Aug 11, 2005 1:06 pm

Hi AkiraDev,

Well I was already working on this, so it will not be too hard to "confine" my idea a bit. Making a wizard interface that can generate projects and simple objects, might be a good thing. I am still debating if I will use code readback in it as well, so that re-generating files will not lose code.

This is what I will make;

Left is a wxVirtualDirTreeCtrl with found repository items. This is baiscally the repository store found on disk. Right is the wxTreeMultiCtrl which will be filled with an XML contents, where users can define things like project name, kind of projects etc.

The code generator will look inside the sources and recognise special tags to e.g. leave out specific stuff, or put stuff in there. This way people can for example generate a project file, suitable for VS7, VS6, bakefile, etc. This will also allow people to make more of these templates like in wxCRP, buit this time done right. You can for example make an example control based upon a wxPanel, and use that as base for your coding.

It will not be done overnight, but I will start working on it this weekend. This way I will offer a community wizard usable for projects, code fragments etc. I will use XML as my main format, for ease of use, the wxTreeMultiCtrl will read in files such as:

Code: Select all

<wizard>
  <category name="Project Settings">
    <string name="_CVL_PRJNAME_" default="My Project" />
  </category>  

  <category name="Project Kind">
    <radio name="_CVL_PRJKIND_" default="1">
      <item id="0" value="Library" />
      <item id="1" value="Application" />
      <item id="2" value="Console" />
    </radio>
  </category>
</wizard>
This will be read in and put in a wxTreeMultiCtrl. It is perfect for the job and especially designed for my future needs in that ;-)

These values can be checked upon, and the proper files can be generated. This will be similar to wxCRP, generating the code for the user.

- Jorgen
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Post by NinjaNL » Thu Aug 11, 2005 2:24 pm

AkiraDev wrote:AFAIK, there were also plans for a binary ditribution of a wxConfigTool - one can already compile it under the utils folder -, which makes the library configuration somewhat easier. This approach sounds like a reasonable compromise.
Acerooney, I hadn't seen that. A ready to run version would be nice, yeah.

It still needs some development, as several "standard" options aren't included but it is a great start.

Looks easily extendable if needed.

My only comment about it is that I would have liked all the comments from the setup0.h file to be included in the produced setup.h file as well. Still I can insert this into the source files to create an ideal setup.h file.
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Re: wxWidgets Future?

Post by Frantisek_Sidak » Mon Aug 15, 2005 12:48 pm

priyank_bolia wrote:What can be done to make it popular, so that we attract more developers to work with us to keep it up with the future?
For me can be interesting combination of XRC and localization/internationalization. Combining of these tools is now a little complicated. (Not so much ;)) Maybe add to XRC simple strings and locale params.

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Post by ilazarte » Wed Oct 19, 2005 7:32 am

as a beginner, it's been difficult for me to learn, but something i've appreciated about wxwidgets all the way is that it's been very consistent in how it is implemented, as well as some of the complicated features- it's there because it makes sense.

fyi, i've been somewhat hotheaded about it, but unlike any other product out there, where you like it less the more you know it, wxwidgets makes you feel more joy the more you get to know it. i've only felt that for scripting languages so far :)

i think its a great software, please keep up the great work.
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