which GUI (noob)

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which GUI (noob)

Gour
Hello,

I’m new to FPC and researching about different GUI options available to
write open-source multi-platform desktop app using FPC…

Based on what I’ve found there are mainly three options:

a) Lazarus and LCL

b) fpGUI

c) MSEgui

Afaict, a) support all three main OS-es - Linux, Mac & Windows by
providing native look’n’feel although, iirc, Cocoa supprt for Mac is not
finished yet.

MSEgui works on Linux and Windows, while fpGUI works on all three OS-es
but on Mac support is done via X11 libs.

Now, let me say that Linux (Debian) is my native platform which I use
and will develop on it, but would like to provide versions for Mac &
Windows.

Does it automatically eliminates c) or there is plan to add support for
Mac?

Is b)’s support for Mac via X11 good-enough or is b) more suitable, as I
read somewhere, for embedded platforms?

What about learning curve of each one?

I probably do not need full power of GTK2(3) or Qt toolkit, but need
some database support - app would use sqlite3 as storage backend.

Another concern is that, afaics, both b) and c) are mostly one-man
project, while a) has much larger community behind.

Any advice is helpful?


Sincerely,
Gour

--
Perform your prescribed duty, for doing so is better than not
working. One cannot even maintain one's physical body without work.

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Re: which GUI (noob)

Graeme Geldenhuys-6
On 2015-08-03 15:41, Gour wrote:
> Is b)’s support for Mac via X11 good-enough or is b) more suitable, as I
> read somewhere, for embedded platforms?

As I mentioned in a private email, I have written commercial software
using fpGUI for the Mac. The client I worked for was not at all phased
by the fact that it used the X11 support included with OSX. Neither were
they bothered by the fact that it doesn't look 100% native (many of
Apple's own software doesn't adhere to their own interface guidelines).
My client's main concern was that the software is stable and that it
works by delivering the functionality they required - which it did.

Having the same look and feel between OSX, Linux and Windows was also a
plus for them, as it reduced the amount of staff training on the software.


> What about learning curve of each one?

LCL and fpGUI has pretty much the same learning curve I think. MSEgui
might be slightly harder. But my observations could be skewed because I
came from a Delphi/Kylix background, and fpGUI and LCL is similar to those.

> but need
> some database support - app would use sqlite3 as storage backend.

Database support is obviously supported by all three toolkits you
mentioned. Database support shouldn't be tightly tied to a GUI toolkit
anyway - that is just bad design.

If you have the time I suggest you take a look at another open source
project called tiOPF (TechInsite Object Persistence Framework). It
abstracts the data persistence (saving/loading), so you simply
concentrate on designing your business objects. The tiOPF framework then
takes care of the rest and allows you to switch where you store your
data (XML, Firebird, MySQL, SQL Server, SQLite etc), without needing any
code changes.

For displaying and interacting with data in a user interface, tiOPF uses
a design pattern called Model-GUI-Mediator (MGM) and allows standard
user interface widgets to become "object aware" without needing
additional custom DB-aware widgets. tiOPF already supports the most
frequently used widgets and has MGM mediators for Delphi's VCL and FMX,
Lazarus's LCL and fpGUI.

I've personally used tiOPF for over 15 years in commercial software, and
highly recommend it for Client/Server or 3-tier database development work.

  http://www.tiopf.com


> Another concern is that, afaics, both b) and c) are mostly one-man
> project, while a) has much larger community behind.

As I already explained in the Lazarus mailing list. I might be the
driving force behind fpGUI, but it certainly has had many many
contributions over the last 10 years.

A smaller development team doesn't make a project any less useful. eg:
The Free Pascal Compiler development team is minute compared to say the
Qt project. Yet I [and many others] find FPC immensely useful, and more
importantly what allows us [as developers] to make a living.


Regards,
  - Graeme -

--
fpGUI Toolkit - a cross-platform GUI toolkit using Free Pascal
http://fpgui.sourceforge.net/
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Re: which GUI (noob)

Mark Morgan Lloyd-5
In reply to this post by Gour
Gour wrote:

> Hello,
> I’m new to FPC and researching about different GUI options available towrite open-source multi-platform desktop app using FPC…
> Based on what I’ve found there are mainly three options:
> a) Lazarus and LCL
> b) fpGUI
> c) MSEgui
> Afaict, a) support all three main OS-es - Linux, Mac & Windows byproviding native look’n’feel although, iirc, Cocoa supprt for Mac is notfinished yet.
> MSEgui works on Linux and Windows, while fpGUI works on all three OS-esbut on Mac support is done via X11 libs.
> Now, let me say that Linux (Debian) is my native platform which I useand will develop on it, but would like to provide versions for Mac &Windows.
> Does it automatically eliminates c) or there is plan to add support forMac?
> Is b)’s support for Mac via X11 good-enough or is b) more suitable, as Iread somewhere, for embedded platforms?
> What about learning curve of each one?
> I probably do not need full power of GTK2(3) or Qt toolkit, but needsome database support - app would use sqlite3 as storage backend.
> Another concern is that, afaics, both b) and c) are mostly one-manproject, while a) has much larger community behind.
> Any advice is helpful?

The first option would be a pure Pascal one, driving either a graphical
or a text-based (curses etc.) UI. However in practice I think you'll
find that the majority in here who have any interest in GUI support use
Lazarus.

I tend to use the FPC+Lazarus combination on (Debian) Linux targeting
x86 (including -64), SPARC, PPC and sometimes ARM, MIPS is also getting
there slowly. Sometimes also x86 Windows and SPARC Solaris, and other
people regularly target OSX etc. There is a bit of a problem in that all
of us tend to test the less popular combinations somewhat sporadically,
and at present some of these really do require careful choice of
compiler version and- if using Lazarus- widget set.

fpGUI and MSEgui definitely have their good points, they're lean and are
only mean in self-defence :-)

--
Mark Morgan Lloyd
markMLl .AT. telemetry.co .DOT. uk

[Opinions above are the author's, not those of his employers or colleagues]
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Re: which GUI (noob)

Mark Morgan Lloyd-5
In reply to this post by Graeme Geldenhuys-6
Graeme Geldenhuys wrote:
> On 2015-08-03 15:41, Gour wrote:> Is b)’s support for Mac via X11 good-enough or is b) more suitable, as I> read somewhere, for embedded platforms?
> As I mentioned in a private email, I have written commercial softwareusing fpGUI for the Mac. The client I worked for was not at all phasedby the fact that it used the X11 support included with OSX. Neither werethey bothered by the fact that it doesn't look 100% native (many ofApple's own software doesn't adhere to their own interface guidelines).My client's main concern was that the software is stable and that itworks by delivering the functionality they required - which it did.
> Having the same look and feel between OSX, Linux and Windows was also aplus for them, as it reduced the amount of staff training on the software.
>
>> What about learning curve of each one?
> LCL and fpGUI has pretty much the same learning curve I think.

Graeme, could you update us on the extent to which Lazarus or an
equivalent IDE supports form design etc. for fpGUI these days?

--
Mark Morgan Lloyd
markMLl .AT. telemetry.co .DOT. uk

[Opinions above are the author's, not those of his employers or colleagues]
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Re: which GUI (noob)

Graeme Geldenhuys-6
On 2015-08-04 11:05, Mark Morgan Lloyd wrote:
> Graeme, could you update us on the extent to which Lazarus or an
> equivalent IDE supports form design etc. for fpGUI these days?

I'm not sure I fully understand the question, but I'll try answering it.
fpGUI was design so it doesn't dictate what development tools you need
to use to work with it. For that reason the tools included with fpGUI
are stand-alone tools. So you can use the UIDesigner (fpGUI Forms
Designer) (or DocView) as stand-alone from a desktop icon or command
line, or integrate it with any IDE or Editor that support "external
tools" functionality.

eg: I develop fpGUI applications with both Lazarus IDE and MSEide. In
both cases I have setup context sensitive help (via F1 key press) which
launches DocView and displays the appropriate help based on the cursor
position. The same is done with the UIDesigner, where I launch the form
designer and load the current file using the Ctrl+Shift+F12 shortcut
because both Lazarus IDE and MSEide hard-codes F12 (or used too) for its
own usage.

I've done the same with my favourite text editor, EditPad Pro.

Here is some instructions on how to set this up using Lazarus, MSEide,
Delphi 7 and EditPad Pro.

  http://fpgui.sourceforge.net/docview_ide_integration.shtml


Even using fpGUI's UIDesigner is optional, but it does make the process
of designing a form faster. The UIDesigner generates pure Object Pascal
code, as if a human typed it. It doesn't use external *.lfm or *.dfm
files, so the true full change history is easily seen in a code
repository. This also has some other benefits like supporting multiple
forms in a single *.pas unit, properties can quickly be changed directly
in code (without needing to launch the Forms Designer), Searching for
properties or even Search & Replace can be done on code, widgets or
properties.

I hope this answers your question.


Regards,
  - Graeme -

--
fpGUI Toolkit - a cross-platform GUI toolkit using Free Pascal
http://fpgui.sourceforge.net/
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Re: which GUI (noob)

Gour
In reply to this post by Graeme Geldenhuys-6
Graeme Geldenhuys <mailinglists-8YTDi+lb5bF/[hidden email]>
writes:

> If you have the time I suggest you take a look at another open source
> project called tiOPF (TechInsite Object Persistence Framework). It
> abstracts the data persistence (saving/loading), so you simply
> concentrate on designing your business objects. The tiOPF framework then
> takes care of the rest and allows you to switch where you store your
> data (XML, Firebird, MySQL, SQL Server, SQLite etc), without needing any
> code changes.

Interesting…I was looking at this page
(http://wiki.lazarus.freepascal.org/tiOPF) and wondered why there is no
support for Sqlite3. :-)

> I've personally used tiOPF for over 15 years in commercial software, and
> highly recommend it for Client/Server or 3-tier database development work.

Thanks. It’s bookmarked now.

> A smaller development team doesn't make a project any less useful. eg:
> The Free Pascal Compiler development team is minute compared to say the
> Qt project. Yet I [and many others] find FPC immensely useful, and more
> importantly what allows us [as developers] to make a living.

Thank you very much for your input.


Sincerely,
Gour

--
You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you
are not entitled to the fruits of action. Never consider
yourself the cause of the results of your activities,
and never be attached to not doing your duty.
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Re: which GUI (noob)

Gour
In reply to this post by Mark Morgan Lloyd-5
Mark Morgan Lloyd
<markMLl.fpc-pascal-wEaNgGkE20o7VdE/[hidden email]> writes:

> The first option would be a pure Pascal one, driving either a
> graphical or a text-based (curses etc.) UI.

Here you mean fpGUI & MSEgui?

> I tend to use the FPC+Lazarus combination on (Debian) Linux targeting
> x86 (including -64), SPARC, PPC and sometimes ARM, MIPS is also
> getting there slowly. Sometimes also x86 Windows and SPARC Solaris,
> and other people regularly target OSX etc.

Nice set. ;)

> fpGUI and MSEgui definitely have their good points, they're lean and
> are only mean in self-defence :-)

:-)

--
Even a man of knowledge acts according to his own nature, for
everyone follows the nature he has acquired from the three modes.
What can repression accomplish?

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Re: which GUI (noob)

Paul Breneman
On 08/04/2015 07:33 AM, Gour wrote:

> Mark Morgan Lloyd
> <markMLl.fpc-pascal-wEaNgGkE20o7VdE/[hidden email]> writes:
>
>> The first option would be a pure Pascal one, driving either a
>> graphical or a text-based (curses etc.) UI.
>
> Here you mean fpGUI & MSEgui?
>
>> I tend to use the FPC+Lazarus combination on (Debian) Linux targeting
>> x86 (including -64), SPARC, PPC and sometimes ARM, MIPS is also
>> getting there slowly. Sometimes also x86 Windows and SPARC Solaris,
>> and other people regularly target OSX etc.
>
> Nice set. ;)
>
>> fpGUI and MSEgui definitely have their good points, they're lean and
>> are only mean in self-defence :-)
>
> :-)
>

And fpGUI is very easy to try:
http://www.turbocontrol.com/easyfpgui.htm

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Re: which GUI (noob)

Mark Morgan Lloyd-5
In reply to this post by Gour
Gour wrote:
> Mark Morgan Lloyd
> <markMLl.fpc-pascal-wEaNgGkE20o7VdE/[hidden email]> writes:
>
>> The first option would be a pure Pascal one, driving either a
>> graphical or a text-based (curses etc.) UI.
>
> Here you mean fpGUI & MSEgui?

No, more than anything I mean going directly to the relevant APIs. Using
fpGUI etc. is a potentially-useful shortcut, particularly if their form
designers are adequate.

--
Mark Morgan Lloyd
markMLl .AT. telemetry.co .DOT. uk

[Opinions above are the author's, not those of his employers or colleagues]
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Re: which GUI (noob)

Graeme Geldenhuys-6
In reply to this post by Gour
On 2015-08-04 12:27, Gour wrote:
> (http://wiki.lazarus.freepascal.org/tiOPF) and wondered why there is no
> support for Sqlite3. :-)

I can confirm that SQLite3 is supported via the SqlDB database
components. That wiki page is simply a bit out of date.


Regards,
  - Graeme -

--
fpGUI Toolkit - a cross-platform GUI toolkit using Free Pascal
http://fpgui.sourceforge.net/
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Re: which GUI (noob)

Gour
In reply to this post by Paul Breneman
Paul Breneman <[hidden email]> writes:

> And fpGUI is very easy to try:
> http://www.turbocontrol.com/easyfpgui.htm

Ohh, this is a good one. Thanks.


Sincerely,
Gour

--
He is a perfect yogī who, by comparison to his own self,
sees the true equality of all beings, in both their
happiness and their distress, O Arjuna!

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Re: which GUI (noob)

Marc Santhoff-2
In reply to this post by Graeme Geldenhuys-6
On Di, 2015-08-04 at 10:49 +0100, Graeme Geldenhuys wrote:
> For displaying and interacting with data in a user interface, tiOPF uses
> a design pattern called Model-GUI-Mediator (MGM) and allows standard
> user interface widgets to become "object aware" without needing
> additional custom DB-aware widgets. tiOPF already supports the most
> frequently used widgets and has MGM mediators for Delphi's VCL and FMX,
> Lazarus's LCL and fpGUI.

Graeme,

can you give a short explanation how the pattern is implemented or show
a documentation link, please?

TIA,
Marc

--
Marc Santhoff <[hidden email]>

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Re: which GUI (noob)

Gour
In reply to this post by Graeme Geldenhuys-6
Graeme Geldenhuys <mailinglists-8YTDi+lb5bF/[hidden email]>
writes:

> I can confirm that SQLite3 is supported via the SqlDB database
> components. That wiki page is simply a bit out of date.

Thank you.


Sincerely,
Gour

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Re: which GUI (noob)

Graeme Geldenhuys-6
In reply to this post by Marc Santhoff-2
On 2015-08-04 14:04, Marc Santhoff wrote:
>
> can you give a short explanation how the pattern is implemented or show
> a documentation link, please?

Model-GUI-Mediator is a combination of the Observer and Mediator design
patterns working together.


Follow the URL shown below, and view the second article from the top.

It is an introduction to Model-GUI-Mediator, but the implementation
found in tiOPF goes far beyond what is covered in that article. Needless
to say the one found in tiOPF is much improved, easier to use and way
more powerful. The underlying idea is the same though.

  http://geldenhuys.co.uk/articles/



Regards,
  - Graeme -

--
fpGUI Toolkit - a cross-platform GUI toolkit using Free Pascal
http://fpgui.sourceforge.net/
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Re: which GUI (noob)

Peter
In reply to this post by Gour
On 03/08/15 15:41, Gour wrote:
>
> I probably do not need full power of GTK2(3) or Qt toolkit,


I would advise anyway against using LCL (Qt) on Linux at the moment.
I understand its based on Qt4, and Qt4 is being dropped in favour of
Qt5. At the very least, check how long your distribution will be
supporting Qt4.

http://perezmeyer.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/early-announce-qt4-removal-in-jessie1.html

I don't think you will get a complete GTK3 in the LCL either at the
moment. Its 'alpha' status according to the wiki.

fpGui, while it has far fewer features, is independent of these widget
sets and their major version transitions.

I suggest, check what features you need. Does fpGui have them?
If not, use LCL-GTK

I have not used Lazarus for a while, but I think you can use it as an
IDE, while using fpGUI as a component set. Perhaps someone can confirm?


MSE stuff has a following, but last time I looked, there wasn’t much
documentation to help get started with it.


Peter

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Re: which GUI (noob)

Graeme Geldenhuys-6
On 2015-08-04 16:11, Peter wrote:
> I have not used Lazarus for a while, but I think you can use it as an
> IDE, while using fpGUI as a component set. Perhaps someone can confirm?

I believe I answered that in an earlier reply.

  http://lists.freepascal.org/pipermail/fpc-pascal/2015-August/044795.html


Regards,
  - Graeme -


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Re: which GUI (noob)

Martin Schreiber-2
In reply to this post by Gour
Hi, I am the author of MSEide+MSEgui.

On Monday 03 August 2015 16:41:44 Gour wrote:

>
> MSEgui works on Linux and Windows, while fpGUI works on all three OS-es
> but on Mac support is done via X11 libs.
>
> Now, let me say that Linux (Debian) is my native platform which I use
> and will develop on it, but would like to provide versions for Mac &
> Windows.
>
> Does it automatically eliminates c) or there is plan to add support for
> Mac?
>
MSEgui works on Linux, FreeBSD and Windows. A port for OSX with X11 backend is
probably doable with not much effort. I would prefer to interface to Quartz
directly, such a solution needs a sponsor because of the rather big
expenditure and I don't need OSX myself.
Though I often read that Mac people never will accept something which is not
made and sold by Apple so a toolkit like MSEgui on Mac is useless and Apple
tries to lock out "alien" solutions.

> Is b)’s support for Mac via X11 good-enough or is b) more suitable, as I
> read somewhere, for embedded platforms?
>
> What about learning curve of each one?
>
MSEide+MSEgui is no Delphi clone, so if you are experienced to work with
Delphi and don't like to learn something new you probably would have a hard
time with MSEide+MSEgui at the beginning.
If you don't know Delphi or you think that Delphi not necessarily is the only
possible way to make a GUI toolkit and IDE, MSEide+MSEgui can be easily
learned because of its orthogonal architecture and most things "simply work",
also difficult things like visual form inheritance, frames and docking - BTW
since many years already.
I started development of MSEide+MSEgui in 1999 and invested about 20'000 hours
up to now. Because of the small team the software architecture, quality and
strictness is very good. MSEgui probably is the most versatile GUI toolkit
you will find on the market.
License of MSEide is GPL, license of MSEgui is LGPL with static linking
exception, so you are free to fork the projects if you don't like my
development direction .

> I probably do not need full power of GTK2(3) or Qt toolkit, but need
> some database support - app would use sqlite3 as storage backend.
>
MSEide+MSEgui has excellent database support, please take a look in the MSEide
component palette tabs 'DB', 'DBe', 'DBl', 'DBf', 'Rep' and 'ifi' .
Please take the recommendation of tiOPF design patterns by Graeme with a grain
of salt, it is not the only possibility to build high quality database
applications and he is a little bit biased. ;-)

Please ask questions about MSEide+MSEgui on the mailing list:
https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/mseide-msegui-talk

Mail archive:
http://www.mail-archive.com/mseide-msegui-talk@.../

NNTP gateway:
nntp://news.gmane.org/gmane.comp.ide.mseide.user

Martin
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Re: which GUI (noob)

Mark Morgan Lloyd-5
In reply to this post by Peter
Peter wrote:
> On 03/08/15 15:41, Gour wrote:> > I probably do not need full power of GTK2(3) or Qt toolkit,
>
> I would advise anyway against using LCL (Qt) on Linux at the moment.I understand its based on Qt4, and Qt4 is being dropped in favour ofQt5. At the very least, check how long your distribution will besupporting Qt4.
> http://perezmeyer.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/early-announce-qt4-removal-in-jessie1.html
> I don't think you will get a complete GTK3 in the LCL either at themoment. Its 'alpha' status according to the wiki.

That's going to be a problem. On x86 and x86-64 Jessie, my experience so
far is that GTK2 doesn't work and that Qt is the only viable option.

GOK what it's like on other platforms that might not have such a
well-tested Qt etc.

--
Mark Morgan Lloyd
markMLl .AT. telemetry.co .DOT. uk

[Opinions above are the author's, not those of his employers or colleagues]
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Re: which GUI (noob)

Gour
In reply to this post by Peter
Peter <peter-FHq+SjPhcZrJ7da/[hidden email]> writes:

> I would advise anyway against using LCL (Qt) on Linux at the moment.
> I understand its based on Qt4, and Qt4 is being dropped in favour of
> Qt5. At the very least, check how long your distribution will be
> supporting Qt4.

That’s helpful hint.

> I don't think you will get a complete GTK3 in the LCL either at the
> moment. Its 'alpha' status according to the wiki.

Another one. ;)

> fpGui, while it has far fewer features, is independent of these widget
> sets and their major version transitions.

I must admit I’m heavily leaning towards it at the moment having some
very welcome features and less bloat.

> I have not used Lazarus for a while, but I think you can use it as an
> IDE, while using fpGUI as a component set. Perhaps someone can confirm?

Well, ability of fpGUI to use one’s preferred editor is another ’plus’.


Sincerely,
Gour

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Re: which GUI (noob)

Gour
In reply to this post by Mark Morgan Lloyd-5
Mark Morgan Lloyd
<markMLl.fpc-pascal-wEaNgGkE20o7VdE/[hidden email]> writes:

> That's going to be a problem. On x86 and x86-64 Jessie, my experience
> so far is that GTK2 doesn't work and that Qt is the only viable
> option.

That’s another ’pro’ argument to use fpGUI or MSEgui…


Sincerely,
Gour

--
The working senses are superior to dull matter; mind is higher
than the senses; intelligence is still higher than the mind;
and he [the soul] is even higher than the intelligence.
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