Confirm My Ruby/GUI investigation?

I have been reviewing the copious old threads (and the various cited web
sites) on this topic from the point of view of my needs. I think I have
some conclusions and am hoping that some of you with actual experience
can tell me if I’m on the right track.

My needs:
a) I write small programs in Ruby for personal convenience, and the fun
of being a do-it-yourselfer. I have programmed professtionally, but that
was many moons ago.

b) I am not interested in a long learning curve. I would like a WSYWIG
dialogue editor, but not at the expense of a package that would weeks to
become productive. Weeks of programming time takes months for a
hobbyist.

c) cheap is required; free is better. I would probably pop for $100 but
nothing like Qt.

d) my target OS is Windows

e) huge footprint not acceptable; I do most of my hobby programming on a
company-owned laptop, not set up as a development machine.

f) I don’t have a C++ compiler and am hoping not to have compile
anything to install.

g) I can get by with bread and butter UIs rather than baked Alaska. I do
want to be able to draw a graph once in awhile.

conclusions

Qt costs about $2K. It has a rich library of widgets and someday I will
wish I had them. I can’t tell how steep the learning curve is, but for
most systems the more bells and whistles the longer it takes to get out
of the station.

Tk is the old reliable, definitely bread maybe butter. I know Python so
I can probably read the Python/TL documentation. Tk now adopts the
windows management of the host, so the GUI I develop would have the same
look and feel as other apps.

wXruby probably assumes that you know the Windows API, which I don’t.

Shoes looks like fun, but it would be premature for a duffer like me to
use it … not enough documentation and patient support for dumb
questions yet.

Hi –

On 09/12/2007, Wesley R. [email protected] wrote:

I have been reviewing the copious old threads (and the various cited web
sites) on this topic from the point of view of my needs. I think I have
some conclusions and am hoping that some of you with actual experience
can tell me if I’m on the right track.

This has been discussed so many times before.

[…]

Tk is the old reliable, definitely bread maybe butter. I know Python so
I can probably read the Python/TL documentation. Tk now adopts the
windows management of the host, so the GUI I develop would have the same
look and feel as other apps.

And it is thus Tk which I would still recommend since it’s shipped
as part of Ruby as well.

– Thomas A.

If you really want to use Qt and don’t mind giving your software away
you can just release your software under the GPL. IIRC, they allow
GPL’d projects to use Qt for free.

Joe

Wesley R. wrote:

wXruby probably assumes that you know the Windows API, which I don’t.

Not at all. wxRuby is a platform-independent GUI based on wxWidgets.

Best regards,

Jari W.

snip

Qt costs about $2K. It has a rich library of widgets and someday I will
wish I had them. I can’t tell how steep the learning curve is, but for
most systems the more bells and whistles the longer it takes to get out
of the station.

Actually, it doesn’t have to. A free version is available under the
GNU license, with the catch being no official Trolltech support
(outside of the widget documentation).

wXruby probably assumes that you know the Windows API, which I don’t.

Don’t worry, you don’t need to know the API. wxWidgets, which (at
least in the C++ implementations I’ve seen) programs close to the same
as Qt, is used in wxRuby. The learning curve is probably as steep as
Qt’s, though.

Thomas A. wrote:

This has been discussed so many times before.

Thanks for the reminder … this is why I made a point of reviewing the
prior discussions first and only imposing on the forum to clarify what
remained unclear.

[…]

And it is thus Tk which I would still recommend since it’s shipped
as part of Ruby as well.

Actually, this is not the case for the Windows distribution. You must
remove Ruby, install Tk, and then reinstall Ruby in order to use Tk with
Ruby.

To be honest… your requirements are too hard to meet.

Maybe for these requirements, Tk really wins. Its almost as if
these requirements are head-tailored in favour of Tk! :slight_smile:

On Sun, 9 Dec 2007 17:09:48 -0500, Thomas A. wrote:

This has been discussed so many times before.

I would like to take this opportunity to coin Levitt’s Inevitable
Appearance of Obstinacy, which I will rename and refine at the first
possible opportunity:

The future search ranking of your reply to an FAQ is directly
proportional
to the level of righteous indignation in that reply - and inversely
proportional to the long-term usefulness of any remaining content.

Which is to say: In three years, someone is going to come looking
through
the archives for information about GUI toolkits, and all they’re going
to
find is a bunch of posts saying “Geez, if you search, you’d find the
answer!”

Luckily, you did not trigger the Corollary, which states:

The presence of a suggested Google search URL in the reply guarantees
its
future placement as the top search result for those very terms.

On Dec 10, 2007 12:04 PM, Marc H. [email protected] wrote:

Maybe for these requirements, Tk really wins. Its almost as if
these requirements are head-tailored in favour of Tk! :slight_smile:

well, maybe we can start using/supporting arcadia
http://arcadia.rubyforge.org/

kind regards -botp :slight_smile:

Wesley R. wrote:

b) I am not interested in a long learning curve. I would like a WSYWIG
company-owned laptop, not set up as a development machine.

f) I don’t have a C++ compiler and am hoping not to have compile
anything to install.

g) I can get by with bread and butter UIs rather than baked Alaska. I do
want to be able to draw a graph once in awhile.

If direct support (specifically from this forum) is less of an issue,
you could consider WideStudio.

  • It has a Visual Basic/ Borland Delphi style Project manager window
    that lets you draw your dialogs.
  • You can get a binary for Windows - no need for
  • It does the wiring between events and invoking certain portions of
    code
  • Not sure about the graphs… but I guess it has something like a canvas
  • The footprint is a bit of a concern. The directory with everything
    installed takes about 400MB (you could selectively remove things you
    don’t need - like its own install of Ruby, Python, Perl, etc.) However,
    I have it running a very simple project for Ruby and it actually says it
    needs only about 10MB.
  • It’s free (and if it matters, open source)

Negatives:

Note that the projects you create will need to link with WideStudio’s
DLLs for accessing the OS native widgets, etc.

http://www.widestudio.org/

Cheers
Mohit.

Joshua S. wrote:

On Dec 18, 2007, at 11:45 AM, Mohit S. wrote:

a) I write small programs in Ruby for personal convenience, and
hobbyist.

You might want to investigate _why’s Shoes libraries.

Works on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.

http://code.whytheluckystiff.net/shoes

Thanks, I looked at Shoes and had the impression that it is “not soup
yet,” in the sense that a duffer like me would not be in a position to
overcome the rough edges of an early effort – and there is not enough
usage yet for a broad support community.

I would be delighted to learn that my initial impression was long,
because Shoes certainly looks neat.

Tkl appears to be the other end of the spectrum. Everybody “used to use
it.” Some of the best books appear to be 10 years old – a remarkable
thing if true.

On Dec 18, 2007, at 11:45 AM, Mohit S. wrote:

a) I write small programs in Ruby for personal convenience, and
hobbyist.

issue, you could consider WideStudio. * It has a Visual Basic/
project for Ruby and it actually says it needs only about 10MB.
http://www.widestudio.org/

Cheers
Mohit.

You might want to investigate _why’s Shoes libraries.

Works on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.

http://code.whytheluckystiff.net/shoes

Joshua S. wrote:

On Dec 18, 2007, at 1:19 PM, Wesley R. wrote:

I don’t work for _why :), but if you purchase the “Nobody Knows
Shoes” book, I would think even a neophyte could do some reasonably
cool things with it. If you’ve worked with some Ruby before, then
you could definitely work it out. I suppose it depends on your use,
if you’re just playing around, I’d definitely check it out.

Thanks. If you have tried Shoes, could you contact me off line for a
short conversation?

wes.rishel [insert the usual circular character here] gartner.com

On Dec 18, 2007, at 1:19 PM, Wesley R. wrote:

http://code.whytheluckystiff.net/shoes

Thanks, I looked at Shoes and had the impression that it is “not soup
yet,” in the sense that a duffer like me would not be in a position to
overcome the rough edges of an early effort – and there is not enough
usage yet for a broad support community.

I would be delighted to learn that my initial impression was long,
because Shoes certainly looks neat.

I don’t work for _why :), but if you purchase the “Nobody Knows
Shoes” book, I would think even a neophyte could do some reasonably
cool things with it. If you’ve worked with some Ruby before, then
you could definitely work it out. I suppose it depends on your use,
if you’re just playing around, I’d definitely check it out.

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