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Gui Builders for Ruby

 
 
Kyle Schmitt
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      03-02-2007
This maybe a bit off topic, and is really more of a discussion question but...

Are there GUI builders for Ruby that allow one to truly divorce the
GUI from the logic? Reading the tutorials for the GUI toolkits, and
the tutorial for foxguib, it appears the idea is make you GUI, then
have your classes inherit the GUI class. Or worse, embed the GUI code
directly into your classes.

I suppose one good question would be the _right_ way to to make GUIs
for ruby scripts. Really just inheriting the GUI class, making a
separate gui and worker object and glue code between them?

Admittedly I maybe looking at these tookits a bit naively as I'm just
now writing some front ends to my utility scripts that use on a day in
and day out basis.

Thanks for any suggestions or comments.
--Kyle

 
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Martin Boese
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      03-03-2007
Have a look at Glade (ruby-libglade2).
With glade you can draw your GUI and produce an xml file. Your ruby program
then loads it and connect code to the handlers. That should faily divorce the
gui and logic but I think you are limited to GTK+ and Gnome elements and I am
unsure how portable an application can be.

Here are some examples:
http://ruby-gnome2.sourceforge.jp/hiki.cgi?Samples

...and this is a very nice program using it:
http://www.grism.org/

martin


On Friday 02 March 2007 19:11, Kyle Schmitt wrote:
> This maybe a bit off topic, and is really more of a discussion question
> but...
>
> Are there GUI builders for Ruby that allow one to truly divorce the
> GUI from the logic? Reading the tutorials for the GUI toolkits, and
> the tutorial for foxguib, it appears the idea is make you GUI, then
> have your classes inherit the GUI class. Or worse, embed the GUI code
> directly into your classes.
>
> I suppose one good question would be the _right_ way to to make GUIs
> for ruby scripts. Really just inheriting the GUI class, making a
> separate gui and worker object and glue code between them?
>
> Admittedly I maybe looking at these tookits a bit naively as I'm just
> now writing some front ends to my utility scripts that use on a day in
> and day out basis.
>
> Thanks for any suggestions or comments.
> --Kyle


 
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David Vallner
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      03-03-2007
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Kyle Schmitt wrote:
> Reading the tutorials for the GUI toolkits, and
> the tutorial for foxguib, it appears the idea is make you GUI, then
> have your classes inherit the GUI class.


I'd presume it looks so scary because doing a layered design is outside
of the scope of those tutorials.

Usually in my Qt code, I inherit from the GUI class into a class that
only handles the mapping of low-level GUI events into a separate layer
of logic actions. This gives you an extra level of indirection that lets
you reuse the same UI code for let's say a form-input and a read-only
variant of the same GUI, but there's nothing forcing you to put -all-
your logic into that layer. (It's just much simpler in introductory
tutorials - you have to admit that a clean, layered design usually takes
a while to wrap your head around.)

David Vallner


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Meinrad Recheis
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      03-04-2007
On 3/2/07, Kyle Schmitt <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> This maybe a bit off topic, and is really more of a discussion question but...
>
> Are there GUI builders for Ruby that allow one to truly divorce the
> GUI from the logic? Reading the tutorials for the GUI toolkits, and
> the tutorial for foxguib, it appears the idea is make you GUI, then
> have your classes inherit the GUI class. Or worse, embed the GUI code
> directly into your classes.


hi kyle,
the foxGUIb docs don't suggest that the application logic classes
inherit from the GUI classes! It suggests to extend the GUI class in a
subclass or a seperate file by using Ruby's class extension mechanism
to seperate manual GUI related code from autogenerated code. Whether
you stuff your app's code into the gui class or not is left to you.

best practice is like this:

mydialog_guib.rb
------
class MyDialog # generated by foxGUIb
end

mydiaog.rb
-----
class MyDialog < MyDialog
#connect some event handlers to bind widgets together ...
# provide events for the application via Observer Pattern
end

application.rb
----

# use MyDialog here

what you need to do to cleanly decouple gui and application is to use
the observer pattern. there is a neat implementation of the Observer
Pattern in RAA: Observable by Joel Vanderwarf

hope this helps,
-- meinrad recheis
>
> I suppose one good question would be the _right_ way to to make GUIs
> for ruby scripts. Really just inheriting the GUI class, making a
> separate gui and worker object and glue code between them?
>
> Admittedly I maybe looking at these tookits a bit naively as I'm just
> now writing some front ends to my utility scripts that use on a day in
> and day out basis.
>
> Thanks for any suggestions or comments.
> --Kyle
>
>


 
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Alex Fenton
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      03-04-2007
Kyle Schmitt wrote:

> Are there GUI builders for Ruby that allow one to truly divorce the
> GUI from the logic?


With wxRuby you can use any of a number of free and commercial designers and save the results as XRC. It's an XML format describing the layout; you load it in Ruby and hook up the event handling etc logic there. It's a similar idea to Glade, except it gives you native widgets on Windows and OS X.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WxWidge..._and_RAD_tools

> I suppose one good question would be the _right_ way to to make GUIs
> for ruby scripts. Really just inheriting the GUI class, making a
> separate gui and worker object and glue code between them?


I doubt there's one right way. Having a well thought-out set of application classes is a good start; unit tests can help. Beyond that strictly separating GUI layout from event handling (eg by XRC) is one strategy. But with Ruby's concise, adaptable syntax and mix-ins, writing GUI programs using just inheritance and pure ruby is worth considering. But current GUI libraries tend to betray their C/C++ derivation so GUI layout code in Ruby still ends up looking clunky.

http://wxruby.rubyforge.org/wiki/wiki.pl?WxSugar

alex
 
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