What about Limelight?

Hi all,

I am a Ruby GUI freak. Every once in a while, I’ll google something
like “ruby gui api”. So far, though, I have only worked with FXRuby
because of its, IMO, excellent book, which I bought in Amazon. While
looking into GUIs, I came across LimeLight, an API for JRuby. I tried
out a few of the examples, and I liked what I saw. But I wonder… why
is it rarely mentioned in these forums? Is it not a regular GUI API?
Though I have not delved into the API itself, it seems to have a
different concept about GUI programming (like, setting up “stages” or
something). Is there a reason for this, or is it not that well known?
I’m just curious, more than anything.

tuti plain wrote:

Hi all,

I am a Ruby GUI freak. Every once in a while, I’ll google something
like “ruby gui api”. So far, though, I have only worked with FXRuby
because of its, IMO, excellent book, which I bought in Amazon.

Books are overrated in a space as fast-moving as the Ruby world. Have
you looked at Monkeybars?

While
looking into GUIs, I came across LimeLight, an API for JRuby. I tried
out a few of the examples, and I liked what I saw. But I wonder… why
is it rarely mentioned in these forums?

It’s very new. It certainly looks promising.

Is it not a regular GUI API?
Though I have not delved into the API itself, it seems to have a
different concept about GUI programming (like, setting up “stages” or
something). Is there a reason for this,

Probably that the developers thought it would be clearer…

or is it not that well known?
I’m just curious, more than anything.

Best,
–Â
Marnen Laibow-Koser
http://www.marnen.org
[email protected]

looking into GUIs, I came across LimeLight, an API for JRuby. I tried
out a few of the examples, and I liked what I saw. But I wonder… why
is it rarely mentioned in these forums? Is it not a regular GUI API?

Quite new, and so hasn’t had time to build a community. To get any
library to become “popular” takes awhile and a lot of work and
publicity, typically.

-r

Roger P. wrote:

looking into GUIs, I came across LimeLight, an API for JRuby. I tried
out a few of the examples, and I liked what I saw. But I wonder… why
is it rarely mentioned in these forums? Is it not a regular GUI API?

Quite new, and so hasn’t had time to build a community. To get any
library to become “popular” takes awhile and a lot of work and
publicity, typically.

It’s also fairly limited, offering (last time I checked) the equivalent
of HTML 3.2 for desktop apps.


James B.

www.jamesbritt.com - Playing with Better Toys
www.ruby-doc.org - Ruby Help & Documentation
www.rubystuff.com - The Ruby Store for Ruby Stuff
www.neurogami.com - Smart application development

James B. wrote:

Roger P. wrote:

looking into GUIs, I came across LimeLight, an API for JRuby. I tried
out a few of the examples, and I liked what I saw. But I wonder… why
is it rarely mentioned in these forums? Is it not a regular GUI API?

Quite new, and so hasn’t had time to build a community. To get any
library to become “popular” takes awhile and a lot of work and
publicity, typically.

It’s also fairly limited, offering (last time I checked) the equivalent
of HTML 3.2 for desktop apps.

Uh, what? I don’t think Limelight uses HTML.


James B.

Best,
–Â
Marnen Laibow-Koser
http://www.marnen.org
[email protected]

A good friend brought this thread to my attention. Limelight has been
my pet project for a few years now. I’ll see what I can do to answer
your questions.

tuti plain wrote:

Hi all,

I am a Ruby GUI freak. Every once in a while, I’ll google something
like “ruby gui api”. So far, though, I have only worked with FXRuby
because of its, IMO, excellent book, which I bought in Amazon. While
looking into GUIs, I came across LimeLight, an API for JRuby. I tried
out a few of the examples, and I liked what I saw. But I wonder… why
is it rarely mentioned in these forums?

I guess we haven’t done a really good job of publicizing it. I’ve
presented it at a couple conference as have a couple other people. But
so far it doesn’t have much of a user base.

Here at 8th Light, we love using Limelight. We use it for internal
projects and client projects. It’s great!

Is it not a regular GUI API?

Hmm… Interesting question. I suppose I like to think that it’s not
“regular”. Where it differs most from other GUI APIs is in it’s
declarative syntax.

Though I have not delved into the API itself, it seems to have a
different concept about GUI programming (like, setting up “stages” or
something). Is there a reason for this, or is it not that well known?

Yeah. The theater metaphor used by Limelight evolved after many
iterations of development. There are things I like about desktop GUI
development and there are things I like about web GUI development. In
developing Limelight, I took the best of both worlds. Although it’s
still evolving, the Limelight API is what feels most natural to me.

If you’ve got some patience, here’s a 25 min video of a talk I gave at
qcon SF 2009. It’s a light weight overview of the Limelight framework.
http://www.vimeo.com/8583283

Micah

You’re right James. Rather than provide a buffet of widgets, Limelight
provides one simple, yet flexible building block called a prop. Props
can be styled to look the way you want them to look and coded to behave
the way you want them to behave. By combining multiple props, you can
build complex widgets of your own design.

Micah

James B. wrote:

Marnen Laibow-Koser wrote:

Uh, what? I don’t think Limelight uses HTML.

Correct. That’s why I said “equivalent of HTML 3.2 for desktop apps”

You’re limited to some small set of widgets and input fields, much like
HTML 3.2.

No calendar controls, no sortable tables, etc.

(Again, if I’m wrong about this, please correct me.)


James B.

www.jamesbritt.com - Playing with Better Toys
www.ruby-doc.org - Ruby Help & Documentation
www.rubystuff.com - The Ruby Store for Ruby Stuff
www.neurogami.com - Smart application development

Micah M. wrote:

You’re right James. Rather than provide a buffet of widgets, Limelight
provides one simple, yet flexible building block called a prop. Props
can be styled to look the way you want them to look and coded to behave
the way you want them to behave. By combining multiple props, you can
build complex widgets of your own design.

Thanks, good to know.


James B.

www.jamesbritt.com - Playing with Better Toys
www.ruby-doc.org - Ruby Help & Documentation
www.rubystuff.com - The Ruby Store for Ruby Stuff
www.neurogami.com - Smart application development

Hi, thanks for for the info. I will certainly look more into LimeLight.
Not hearing regularly about, I was thinking it didn’t hold a good
reputation, but now I see it’s just not that well known. A big thank
you for the whole community, you guys are the best!

Marnen Laibow-Koser wrote:

Uh, what? I don’t think Limelight uses HTML.

Correct. That’s why I said “equivalent of HTML 3.2 for desktop apps”

You’re limited to some small set of widgets and input fields, much like
HTML 3.2.

No calendar controls, no sortable tables, etc.

(Again, if I’m wrong about this, please correct me.)


James B.

www.jamesbritt.com - Playing with Better Toys
www.ruby-doc.org - Ruby Help & Documentation
www.rubystuff.com - The Ruby Store for Ruby Stuff
www.neurogami.com - Smart application development

On Fri, Feb 5, 2010 at 10:31 AM, Roger P. [email protected]
wrote:

I guess we haven’t done a really good job of publicizing it. Â I’ve
presented it at a couple conference as have a couple other people. Â But
so far it doesn’t have much of a user base.

Looks like its mailing list:
http://groups.google.com/group/limelight_users

is mostly spam–might want to do something about that.

Yeah, Limelight is really cool. Everyone I show it to is impressed
with how clean and easy it is to use. It’s a perfect tool for building
Flash/Flex-like applications on JRuby.

I’d suggest the following:

  • get the mailing list cleaned up
  • post a summary of the project to ruby-talk and jruby’s user list
    with links to demo apps, screencasts, whatever
  • write up an updated blog post (and we’ll happily retweet it on @jruby)
  • PROFIT

I’m sure Limelight could draw a following if more people knew about it.

  • Charlie

  • Charlie

On Thu, Feb 4, 2010 at 1:55 PM, Micah M. [email protected]
wrote:

I guess we haven’t done a really good job of publicizing it.

I’d definitely say you have a publicity problem. Limelight looks really
interesting but this is the first time I’ve ever heard of it, and I’d
like
to think I read a decent number of Ruby-related blogs, this mailing
list,
talk about Ruby on IRC, read tweets from a number of Rubyists, etc.

I guess we haven’t done a really good job of publicizing it. I’ve
presented it at a couple conference as have a couple other people. But
so far it doesn’t have much of a user base.

Looks like its mailing list:
http://groups.google.com/group/limelight_users

is mostly spam–might want to do something about that.
-r

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