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hardware OS4   hardware OS4 : AVD GUI Builder Update
   posted by JamieKrueger on 14-Nov-2005 1:47:32 (4052 reads)
Hello Everyone,

I have posted a couple of new screenshots of the current version of the AVD GUI Builder component. The last two months have been very productive code wise and with a major update coming out to subscribers within the next few days, I thought I would post a public update here as well.


AVD GUI Builder v0.10.0.25
First of all I have posted some new screenshots of the current GUI Builder, version 0.10.0.25, on the BITbyBIT website. They show a sample using most of the available ReAction objects that you can build with along with a demonstration of both the XML and C Source code generation for that interface. You can find the screenshots here:

SCREENSHOTS

This latest version supports the realtime creation and maintenance of currently 25 ReAction/BOOPSI classes objects and gadgets, it also provides an interactive clipboard system and the creation of interfaces that use multiple windows. Additionally both AppWindow and AppIcon support have been included for the instant loading or importing of previously saved projects from their XML source files.

For example, you can now drop project icons onto the GUI Builder's main windows (or even it's iconified state), to either open a new project or import to an already open project. You could also add the GUI Builder to the AmiDock panel and drag 'n drop a XML project icons directly on
on it the same way.

AVD Template Project v1.2.0.0
The AVD Template source has also been updated to support the C Source Code generation of the GUI Builder, and includes some nice new features over the previous versions like code for handling more than one window. As always, updates to the AVD Template source will be released separately under the Freeware AVD Template Project, and should be posted within the next few days.

New Project: Codename guiX
The guiX project is a freely distributed runtime executable along the lines of the IconX command, in that it's job is to execute scripted programs from icons as applications. The major difference being that guiX reads in an XML based project file and generates the runtime graphical interface and application on the fly. This XML project file is generated by the AVD GUI Builder but can also be created by hand if desired. The XML project file contains the complete description of the ReAction interface for a given project, plus combination of externally executed shell commands and some internal functions as well. In most cases you could for example create graphical frontends for command line only programs or custom application launching programs with NO programming whatsoever. This system should be ready for release at the same time as the GUI Builder itself.

Get in on the fun, get an AmigaONE!

Best Regards,

Jamie Krueger
http://www.bitbybitsoftwaregroup.com
    

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AmigaMac 
Re: AVD GUI Builder Update
Posted on 14-Nov-2005 2:26:16
#1 ]
Super Member
Joined: 26-Oct-2002
Posts: 1027
From: 3rd Rock from the Sun!

Jamie,

AWESOME as usual!


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wegster 
Re: AVD GUI Builder Update
Posted on 14-Nov-2005 2:29:34
#2 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 29-Nov-2004
Posts: 8554
From: RTP, NC USA

Jamie- looks promising. Have been waiting for this to get further along (to code generation point) for a project I'd like to get going. Umm, so 'when's it gonna be done?'

How far along from final do you think this is, and what was the component following this one?

Always glad to see news by you!


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JamieKrueger 
Re: AVD GUI Builder Update
Posted on 14-Nov-2005 3:30:47
#3 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 20-Jun-2004
Posts: 147
From: From the BITbyBIT lab: USA

Quote:
Jamie- looks promising. Have been waiting for this to get further along (to code generation point) for a project I'd like to get going. Umm, so 'when's it gonna be done?'

How far along from final do you think this is, and what was the component following this one?


You, along with the other subscribers will have the code generating
version this week, just as soon as I can complete a few more tag mappings.

The 1.0 version is at least a few weeks out, but since the main mechanics
are now complete this is mainly adding more features (reads object tags)
and the ability to visually edit them (expanding context sensitive menu, etc.)
There are many as yet untapped (and unfortunately undocumented) features
in ReAction yet to be made accessible via the visual editor, but there is
plenty of useful stuff already completed in this version. The standalone
version should be ready for direct sale by the end of November.

The very next component will be to get enough of the Project Manager
together to link all the components together under a common interface
and mainly to auto-generate the project Makefiles, expand template
sources into new project areas automatically, that sort of thing.
Basically to get the big "BUILD" button in place so you don't have to
use the shell directly to build if you don't want to.

Overall though, with the GUI Builder on it's feet I will be able to advance
the framework of all the AVD component at the same time. I am looking
forward to the point when AVD is completely generated and maintained
by AVD itself, the mark of a good development system. We are getting
closer to that every day.

Best Regards,

Jamie


_________________
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BITbyBIT Software Group LLC
jamie@bitbybitsoftwaregroup.com
PLEASE NOTE: I only speak for myself and my company,
and am not a spokesperson for Amiga Inc.

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spotUP 
Re: AVD GUI Builder Update
Posted on 14-Nov-2005 3:55:04
#4 ]
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Joined: 19-Aug-2003
Posts: 2896
From: Up Rough Demo Squad

droOOooOooOol!


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Toaks 
Re: AVD GUI Builder Update
Posted on 14-Nov-2005 4:39:39
#5 ]
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Joined: 10-Mar-2003
Posts: 8042
From: amigaguru.com

jamie:

exellent shots! , can't wait to get my hand on this!!


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RinceWynd 
Re: AVD GUI Builder Update
Posted on 14-Nov-2005 4:59:12
#6 ]
Member
Joined: 28-Feb-2004
Posts: 81
From: Unknown

Jamie,

Looking excellent! Congrats with the big progress over previous versions.

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Sembazuru 
Re: AVD GUI Builder Update
Posted on 14-Nov-2005 5:23:31
#7 ]
Member
Joined: 31-Jul-2003
Posts: 91
From: Pennsylvania, USA

Wow. Looks really good. I also like the guiX project idea that goes hand-in-hand with this one. (One question tho... would the gui that shows up from an AVD-generated source run through guiX be useable with ARexx scripts?)

Back to AVD, I really like that the generated C code has comments. Especially for those of us who are finally biting the bullet and learning C. Oh, one more question... How easy do you think it would be to configure GoldEd's C/C++ IDE (i.e. CubicIDE) to be AVD aware?


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Samwel 
Re: AVD GUI Builder Update
Posted on 14-Nov-2005 7:43:15
#8 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 7-Apr-2004
Posts: 3396
From: Sweden

Impressive as always!


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JamieKrueger 
Re: AVD GUI Builder Update
Posted on 14-Nov-2005 8:11:04
#9 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 20-Jun-2004
Posts: 147
From: From the BITbyBIT lab: USA

Quote:

Wow. Looks really good. I also like the guiX project idea that goes hand-in-hand with this one. (One question tho... would the gui that shows up from an AVD-generated source run through guiX be useable with ARexx scripts?)

Yes. This is the way it works:
You either use the GUI Builder to generate (which of course is MUCH easier),
or write the XML description file by hand (the complete format will be documented
with examples as it is an open format). This XML file contains it's tags to
layout the ReAction interface needed, as well as tags to describe the actions
needed for each gadget (say a simple button) on the interface.

guiX understands how to build the interface on the fly from the XML, and then
how to launch external commands from that interface. You can assign nearly
any command line program, shell commands, Arexx scripts etc. to be the
action performed.

For example, a simple use might be to actually use guiX from within a script
as a way to present more complex requests to the user in a friendly way.
The script would run guiX directly (with the argument of where to find it's XML
program file), the GUI interface is built, and opens to present the user with
some choices about settings, or questions to be answered. The user selects
what they want and hits an "OK" button of some sort, or the close gadget on
the window. The user's selection are recorded by using "SetENV" to write them
out as environment variables. Then the interface closes and the script reads
in the environment variables and continues it's execution.

However, more "complex" guiX applications can actually be easier to write and
maintain as they are completely run via the graphical interface until being quit
by the user. In these cases the XML file contains 100% of the script program
within it, and guiX actually executes each piece from within it's internal event
handling loop. No need to write out and read back environment variables for
example.

Quote:

Back to AVD, I really like that the generated C code has comments. Especially for those of us who are finally biting the bullet and learning C.

Then you will also appreciate the fact that the GUI Builder can freely generate
your guiX applications as either open XML files or C source code, so once you
are ready to move that graphical front end you just wrote as a guiX app into a
more complex program, the GUI Builder can take it directly to C source for you.
(At least it terms of everything that is stored within the XML project file that is)

Quote:

Oh, one more question... How easy do you think it would be to configure GoldEd's C/C++ IDE (i.e. CubicIDE) to be AVD aware?

At the moment I would say it should be transparent because the AVD system
is component tool based and can be just popped up as needed to reference the
SDK, or generate the source for a GUI for you. However, the real question of
directly invoking AVD features via GoldEd (or GoldEd's new CubicIDE) still
remains. There will be some support, but I can not say how much at this time.
Mainly because I don't have the latest GoldEd, nor have had the time to discuss
such direct support with it's author as yet.


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BITbyBIT Software Group LLC
jamie@bitbybitsoftwaregroup.com
PLEASE NOTE: I only speak for myself and my company,
and am not a spokesperson for Amiga Inc.

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FuZion 
Re: AVD GUI Builder Update
Posted on 14-Nov-2005 8:14:08
#10 ]
Super Member
Joined: 22-Nov-2003
Posts: 1962
From: Birmingham, England

Wow! This looks nice

I might have to go get this.

FuZion.

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Manu 
Re: AVD GUI Builder Update
Posted on 14-Nov-2005 9:42:58
#11 ]
Super Member
Joined: 4-Feb-2004
Posts: 1561
From: Unknown

Great work Jamie

This makes even a 'zero' like me
wanting to start to learn how to code.


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Crumb 
Re: AVD GUI Builder Update
Posted on 14-Nov-2005 10:01:48
#12 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 12-Mar-2003
Posts: 2208
From: Zaragoza (Aragonian State)

mmm

this makes me feel lazy about my own projects hehehe

good job!


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aldur 
Re: AVD GUI Builder Update
Posted on 14-Nov-2005 11:48:54
#13 ]
Super Member
Joined: 16-Oct-2003
Posts: 1273
From: Birmingham, UK

Looks good Like the XML - App idea


do you know if it will generate XML applications that will be usable with Feelin as Feelin Has XML based Apps too this would giev the ability to switch between Reaction and Feelin GUI

mm I intrested now


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amigacooke 
Re: AVD GUI Builder Update
Posted on 14-Nov-2005 14:56:39
#14 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 14-Mar-2003
Posts: 206
From: Londinium

Well done Jamie.

This is what the 'Amiga' community used to be about. Creating useful software which generates excitement and further interest.


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JamieKrueger 
Re: AVD GUI Builder Update
Posted on 14-Nov-2005 16:42:58
#15 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 20-Jun-2004
Posts: 147
From: From the BITbyBIT lab: USA

Quote:
Looks good Like the XML - App idea

do you know if it will generate XML applications that will be usable with Feelin as Feelin Has XML based Apps too this would giev the ability to switch between Reaction and Feelin GUI

The XML project files produced by AVD's GUI Builder and interpreted by guiX are
currently focused on the GUI system that is stock with OS4, in other words
Intuition/BOOPSI/ReAction. Additionally, the GUI Builder will only every produce
output (as either XML or C source) for those objects and classes that you can
visually edit.

Feelin and MUI, like ReAction/ClassAct, all share the common base of
Intuition and the BOOSPI class system to build up their more advanced set
of classes and objects. However, each system has it's own set of object tags
or "properties" for each class and also there own way of doing things (like
event handling) as well. This makes it difficult to create a general use XML
format which would import/export or build to any of these systems freely
without some conversion being needed.

As some of you already know, a while back I setup a mailing list to support
the discussion of creating a standard means of exchange, based on XML,
between all GUI builders and code generators across the Amiga platform.
I invited the authors of every project along this line that I knew of, including
the author of Feelin, Emperor, and XMLtoReaction. There have been some
good discussions on this topic and AVD will for it's part support many of the
ideas and goals that have been addressed thus far.

The XML project format used by AVD will then by made public for free and
open use by anyone, and may even include some tools to aid in programatically
reading and writing this format. One of the reasons for doing this is to help
support the creation of conversion tools which can aid in bringing other
GUI systems, languages and storage formats to ReAction on OS4 and vice versa.

Will BITbyBIT support the direct visual creation of MUI and or Feelin and in
turn create "muiX" and "FeelinX" runtime application builders? If either or
both were made a stock part of OS4, absolutely yes. If they remain third
party, then maybe, but we will definitely support any other developers who
wish to write conversion tools and the like.

Remember that guiX and the AVD Template Project, along with the XML format
they both build on are FREELY OPEN development efforts, which are only made
possible by the successful sale of the AVD Suite and it's various standalone
components. That and a few donations from great supporters of AmigaOS4 software.
Therefore, the decision to support third party systems like Feelin or MUI directly
is ultimately a business one.

Best Regards,

Jamie


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BITbyBIT Software Group LLC
jamie@bitbybitsoftwaregroup.com
PLEASE NOTE: I only speak for myself and my company,
and am not a spokesperson for Amiga Inc.

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spotUP 
Re: AVD GUI Builder Update
Posted on 14-Nov-2005 18:46:48
#16 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 19-Aug-2003
Posts: 2896
From: Up Rough Demo Squad

Thanx for all the nice info!
Much appreciated.


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TMTisFree 
Re: AVD GUI Builder Update
Posted on 14-Nov-2005 21:36:53
#17 ]
Super Member
Joined: 6-Nov-2003
Posts: 1487
From: Nice, so nice

Hello,

quote
However, more "complex" guiX applications can actually be easier to write and
maintain as they are completely run via the graphical interface until being quit
by the user. In these cases the XML file contains 100% of the script program
within it, and guiX actually executes each piece from within it's internal event
handling loop. No need to write out and read back environment variables for
example.
quote/

So what you mean is that you can have in the same XML file
the XML description of the GUI and the 'core' driving it in ARexx?
I ask because I currently use AWNPipe to develop ARexx programs in
which GUI parts are difficult to manage (no immediate visualisation
of your modification).

Bye,
TMTisFree

Last edited by TMTisFree on 14-Nov-2005 at 09:40 PM.


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JamieKrueger 
Re: AVD GUI Builder Update
Posted on 15-Nov-2005 0:20:39
#18 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 20-Jun-2004
Posts: 147
From: From the BITbyBIT lab: USA

Quote:

So what you mean is that you can have in the same XML file
the XML description of the GUI and the 'core' driving it in ARexx?
I ask because I currently use AWNPipe to develop ARexx programs in
which GUI parts are difficult to manage (no immediate visualisation
of your modification).

Yes, that is correct. In fact it's possible to mix the execution of
Arexx, Shell scripts, application programs, etc. all contained as
embedded commands within the XML.

guiX handles the execution of these pieces from it's event handling
loop, so the user hits a button on the interface, the OS sends a message
of this event to guiX who created the interface, and guiX kicks off
the Shell command, Arexx script, application program, whatever.
(normally as a process of it's own)

Best Regards,

Jamie


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BITbyBIT Software Group LLC
jamie@bitbybitsoftwaregroup.com
PLEASE NOTE: I only speak for myself and my company,
and am not a spokesperson for Amiga Inc.

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Nibunnoichi 
Re: AVD GUI Builder Update
Posted on 15-Nov-2005 16:30:34
#19 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 18-Nov-2004
Posts: 957
From: Roma + Lecco, Italia

Looks gorgeous!
It surely will be on my buy-list when i'll have an OS4 capable machine!


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