[sword-devel] Ideal SWORD Front-end? (cross-platform)

Greg Hellings greg.hellings at gmail.com
Tue Oct 21 22:47:14 MST 2008

On Wed, Oct 22, 2008 at 12:03 AM, Nathan Youngman <junkmail at nathany.com> wrote:
> Just looking around the Wiki, and saw the entry for making a single
> cross-platform front-end.
> http://www.crosswire.org/wiki/index.php/Frontends:FeatureList
> It reminded me of Larosa Johnson's "The Ultimate Bible Software Application"
> blog posts back in March.
> 	http://blog.trailblazinministries.com/tech-stuff/
> Briefly, he discusses a single cross-platform net-connected application with
> YouVersion like features, and later talks about open source and Sword.
> Interesting that he's discussing something better, considering he builds
> modules for WORDsearch, which came out on top for Windows Bible software for
> the layman.
> 	http://www.fostertribe.org/biblesoftware.html
> ~
> Functionality-wise, I can't see there every being one Bible app "to rule
> them all." Different apps target different audiences.
> Having one really good cross-platform app would be good, but he
> cross-platform aspect seems particularly challenging. Cross-platform GUIs
> always require some sacrifice.
> Cross-platform toolkits that use native widgets still don't necessarily
> "feel" quite right... at least to aesthetic Mac heads like me. Maybe because
> they tend to use Carbon rather than Cocoa, avoiding Objective-C's runtime
> message dispatching, but missing out on 64-bit goodness as Apple moves
> further towards Cocoa.
> Some of the tools that use native widgets:
> WxWdigets (BPBible)
> Lazarus (Pascal with a component library)
> RealBasic (commercial)
> Runtime Revolution (commercial, interpreted)
> SWT (Eclipse)
> Some UIs use skins instead, but try to match the look with the OS:
> Java Swing
> Mono 2.0 Windows.Forms 2.0
> Others go their own way:
> Adobe Flex
> How does one make a single app that really "feels" at home on anything from
> Leopard, Ubuntu, XP, or Vista?

Short of writing the same UI in the native libraries... That's a tall order.

GTK and Qt offer the best looking results that I've seen - I've not
used them in programming myself, but they come well recommended by my
friends.  Qt looks much better in OS X in my opinion, than GTK, and
they both look superb in Windows.  I've used wxWidgets, which looks
decent, but lacks quite a bit of functionality and just feels a little
cobbled together (many classes or options simply don't exist or do
nothing on some platforms, etc).

I've heard good things about wx in Python, though.  People often put
up the BitTorrent program as an example of an application written
across platforms using it.  But graphically it's pretty low-intensity.

Just my $0.02 on my own opinions.

> Is it possible?
> - nathan
> ---
> Nathan Youngman
> Web: http://www.nathany.com
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