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Ken Laninga wrote:
> I just heard about Ruby and it looks fascinating. I see lots of code be=
ing=20
> discussed but I see no mention of the actual windows and input/output=20
> boxes/windows which it may or may not produce.
>=20
> Does it make windows?
>=20

Oi, this might get bloody.

Firstly, not all programming involves graphical user interfaces (windows
/ dialogs; I'll just use GUI onwards).

But, here goes. For Ruby (and most anything that isn't Visual Basic),
GUI is a thing that is handled in a library. (Mostly because Ruby aims
to be a crossplatform language, and trying to handle GUIs crossplatform
is finicky and would probably end in tragedy if tried.)

As far as I'm aware, Ruby doesn't include a GUI library in the standard
library.

However, such libraries are available. I'll audaciously presume your
background to be Windows. In this case, you can either do raw Win32 API
callouts (even if it might be slightly maddening.), which is part of the
standard Windows distribution.

Also, if you're using the One Click Installer (which you should, since
it's by far the Path Least Annoying), you will get both VisualuRuby (a
Windows-only higher-level wrapper around the GUI calls, aims to look
VB-like from the programming point of view in the vruby variant), and
FOX (a synthethic crossplatform toolkit with probably more bells and
whistles than VisualuRuby, but you have to bear with what I consider
ugly-looking results - YMMV).

If those don't work for you, there's always Gtk, so far the only GUI
library I can recall that comes with prebuilt Windows bindings mature
enough I would consider usable outside personal code. Gtk visual quality
and native veracity has improved from a sorry status recently, but is
still lacking in a few areas if you have pet peeves. (Like I do,
specifically non-native file choosers.) I do have hopes for the
wxWidgets binding maturing, and a prebuilt Qt4 one appearing though,
those two toolkits are the ones I prefer - wx for nigh-on-perfect native
veracity, Qt4 for Designer, Linguist, Assistant, and the whole shebang,
and the API style. (Which is very friendly to metaprogramming.) I
currently use the latter from its Python binding (both wx and Qt4 have
well-maintained and uptodate Python bindings), so if you want to get
something done, as opposed to poking around specifically Ruby, you might
try The Other Language.

David Vallner


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