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From: Reece Dunn (msclrhd_at_[hidden])
Date: 2004-08-18 14:11:36

John Torjo wrote:
>Hi Reece,
>Just a few thoughts:
>>I am currently designing a GUI framework in C++ (initially targeting the
>>Windows platform) that uses a model similar to that which Java uses in
>Take a deep breath if you want to make it cross-platform ;)
>I think that's Windows work x 10 or so. Maybe more ;) ...

I was thinking about having a compatibility layer, e.g.:

namespace windows
   class window
         inline handle_type create( const string_type title, ... );
         inline void set_size( long, long );
         // ...

namespace linux{ class window{ ... }; }

Then engineer the library on top of that. This would simplify x-platform
development... the problem is working out the right abstraction.

>>it's AWT and Swing libraries. Specifically:
>>[1] Being able to use constructors to create the windows/components. This
>>means there is no need to explicitly call a Create method like in the MFC
>win32gui does that ;)

:) I am having a look at all the links to the various libraries, so it may
take a while to process them all. (Thanks for everyone who compiled the

>>[2] The use of layout managers. I like the various layout managers in Java
>>and how easy it is to construct complex GUI interfaces.
>I like the idea of layout managers. Still, it seems (to me) in real-life
>they kind of fail. You'll always want that special case where you need to
>hide control X and show control Y, etc.

So why not have that ability in the framework? That is the reason I posted
this, to get ideas. It should not be that difficult to be able to change the
layouts at run-time... once the layout managers have been written, that is.

>So far, I've created splitters on dialogs at design time (still beta ;)).
>If you use them correctly, you can specify a lot ot design time. Also, you
>can easily hide/show the left/right panes.


>>[3] The support for events via "listeners". This will most likely be
>>geared towards key/mouse events and "action" events (e.g. when the user
>>presses on a button).
>I'm not a big fan of listeners. You need to do a lot of coding manually to
>set them, etc. I've implemented them totally different - using event
>handler classes.

My idea was something along the lines of:

class MouseEvent
      static const int LeftButton = 0;
      static const int MiddleButton = 1;
      static const int RightButton = 2;
      int button;
      unsigned int vkeys;
      win::api::point pt;
      inline MouseEvent( int, WPARAM, LPARAM );

MouseEvent::MouseEvent( int btn, WPARAM wp, LPARAM lp ):
   button( btn ),
   vkey( wp ),
   pt( lp )

class MouseListener
      virtual void mouseMove(
const MouseEvent & );
      virtual void mouseButtonDown(
const MouseEvent & );
      virtual void mouseButtonUp(
const MouseEvent & );
      virtual void mouseButtonDoubleClick(
const MouseEvent & );
      virtual ~MouseButtonListener();

With a common listener interface for GUI object actions, e.g. pressing a
mouse button, selecting an item in a listbox, editing text, etc.

>>At the moment, I have a basic working version that allows you to write the
>> swing::JFrame frame( L"Swing JFrame!" );
>> frame.setPane( new swing::JPanel());
>> frame.setSize( 500, 500 );
>> sw );
>> MessageLoop msg;
>> return( msg.Execute());
>can you break the message loop?
>That is, specify when a message loop should end (when a certain signal is

You can call ::PostQuitMessage( 0 ), but that is Windows specific. At the
moment the message loop doesn't do anything fancy (accelerator/dialog box
message processing), but it is on the list of things to work on.

>>This creates two windows: the main frame and a panel that is a child of
>>that frame. The JFrame is created in the constructor, but is not displayed
>>until show is called. Likewise, the JPanel is created inside its
>>constructor and the JFrame.setPane method makes that window a child of the
>>I would appreciate comments and ideas as to what people would like out of
>>a GUI framework, especially one that will be multi-platform.
>I'm all for it, but again, I think it's so much work...

But it will be fun! :D


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