[Mono-osx] Menu Bar for Mac OS X?

Andrew Brehm ajbrehm at gmail.com
Mon Apr 5 08:16:57 EDT 2010

PemIam wrote:
> Overall, I'm looking at what's the best set of languages / tools / API's /
> IDE's for cross-platform development that includes some GUI.  However,
> keep
> in mind that my version of "best" leans towards "easier" (and towards -
> the
> API does more of the work for you).  By this I mean that I was hoping to
> find the best cross-platform GUI toolkit, rather than implement a
> completely
> separate application GUI for Mac OS X.

This is of course very difficult because the guidelines (i.e. what users
expect) are very different on Windows and Mac OS; not so much on Linux.

You can easily write for Windows and run on Linux but it's impossible to use
the same GUI on Mac OS and get away with it in the eyes of the user.

> So now I'm starting to feel like (Java Swing Eclipse) is ahead of Mono, in
> terms of Mac OS X support - especially in terms of the GUI support?
> Especially based on that Apple doc (
> http://developer.apple.com/mac/library/documentation/Java/Conceptual/Java14Development/00-Intro/JavaDevelopment.html#//apple_ref/doc/uid/TP40001911).
>  Then again, it sounds like Swing might be old...

Doesn't Eclipse advocate the use of SWT rather than Swing?

You'd still have to create an app bundle for the Java application to make it
look really native on Mac OS.

> It sounds like Qt (with C++?  or Java?) might be an even better choice
> than
> Java Swing?  (Possibly with C++, Visual Studio for Windows, Eclipse for
> Linux / Mac)?  I'm starting to think that Qt looks more promising.  Here
> is
> Qt's doc ( http://qt.nokia.com/doc/4.6/qtmac-as-native.html ).

Qt doesn't look very native on Mac OS. It follows the general look and feel
but all the controls seem foreign. I also think that choosing between C# and
C++ is not a trivial choice to make.

> I also heard about REAL Studio (
> http://www.realsoftware.com/movies/intro_video_full.php ) (
> http://www.realsoftware.com/support/choosingadev.php ).  It seems to focus
> on cross-platform IDE and GUI...  Of course I'm skeptical about it
> competing
> with Qt (and it's kind of expensive), but it still might be a good
> possible
> choice.  They seem to at least be trying to claim that they do a better
> job
> than Qt on the Mac OS X support for cross-platform GUI stuff.

They are although they support fewer controls and the language is limited. I
use REALbasic for small projects in my free time but mostly because it is
easier than Cocoa and not primarily because it's portable. But it is
portable and they are doing an excellent job with it.

It's not very expensive. The personal edition costs US$ 99 and the
professional edition costs US$ 299. You probably won't need the enterprise
edition. Personal edition compiles for one platform, professional edition
compiles for all three platform. I have the person editions for Mac OS and

Note that REALbasic compiles to Intel as well as PowerPC code on Mac OS but
only x86 on Windows and Linux. There is no support for 64 bit and nor is
there support for Linux on any architecture but x86. Mono and Qt don't have
that problem. (And I always think that if you publish a program for Linux it
shouldn't be x86-only.)

Finally, Embarcadero are working (for release this summer, I think) on a
cross platform version of Delphi. Their toolkit would work for Pascal and
C++ but is very expensive. They are usually doing a great job so maybe you
can wait until summer or go to their Web site and find out more now?


I still think separate GUIs are the way to go. Mono/.NET allows you to use
the same library on all target platforms and keeping GUI and logic separate
makes it much easier to support the application later.

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