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

nobodyhere pem.accounts.spam at gmail.com
Tue Apr 6 20:09:03 EDT 2010

I feel like it might be an extremist (ie, fundamentalist) thing to suggest that there is not any apps ever anywhere (in practice and in theory) where it's justified to use a cross-platform GUI toolkit, rather than 3 separate (or 2 separate) native GUI toolkits.

I gave two somewhat specific examples of internal tools.  One where most of the code is GUI code, yet the GUI widgets are all simple / basic (and not that different on Mac OS X).  The other example was just a front-end to a command line tool (where having a GUI at all is just a convenience), where having a Mac version of the GUI at all is only because we think it's better to do the "low hanging fruit" than to do nothing, to support the small minority of theoretical Mac users (who are all internal company teammates / coworkers).  Duane's hobby project Super Mario Kart track editor is an example.  Another obvious example is if you have a huge existing application that already relies on WinForms, and you just want to port it to Linux and Mac - and you can justify a few months work (but not a few years work).

I realize that Joanna has given some good arguments for why, in certain situations, or in the ideal situation (the all things equal situation of infinite resources), it might better to consider using a native GUI toolkit for every platform.  However, I find it very extremist to suggest that there is not ever any situation where a cross-platform GUI toolkit is the right choice.  (As a side note, I think it's even more extremist to suggest that it's not possible to make a good cross-platform GUI toolkit).

There are cross-platform GUI toolkits, which are at least trying to support an Aqua look and feel for Mac OS X.  Apple supports Java, and seems to especially support Swing (as a viable path to meet their HIG) (I'm unclear about SWT).  Also, my impression of Qt is that it might be as good - if not better (for Mac OS X Aqua support)?

In fact, for some of these examples, I find it hard to believe that a cross-platform GUI toolkit would even be distinguishable from a native GUI app toolkit.  What if the only GUI your app has is a textbox (for a file name) and a "Start" button?  Or maybe that plus a few common cross-platform widgets for options (like a pull-down menu, a few checkboxes, a few radio buttons)?  As Apple puts it in their "Java Development Guide for Mac OS X" doc, "With just a little work on your part, Java applications can be nearly indistinguishable from native applications".

My original post to this topic was to ask for information about to what extent Mono / MonoDevelop / GTK# (or Qt / Qtoya?) is at the point where it can really compete with the alternative options (for Mac OS X Aqua support, when writing a GUI application from scratch).  At this point, my impressions are as follows:

0) Using a native GUI toolkit for Windows and Mac and Linux (or even GTK# for Windows and Interface Builder for Mac) is a good option to consider in many situations.  However, it is (too much extra work) and (would have negligible benefit) - for this one specific project

1) Mono, GTK#, MonoDevelop - I love them, but they are not the best choice - this my one specific project

2) Java with Swing is supported by Apple.  SWT may be a viable alternative, but I'm unclear on that?  Not sure yet if the IDE would be Eclipse or NetBeans or some other IDE.

3) C++, Qt, Qt Creator - this sounds like it might be an even better option than Java

4) REAL Studio, sounds pretty cool, but nothing about it screams "much better Mac OS X Aqua support han Java and Qt", and it's not my top choice - for this one specific project

Overall, I think that either (Java with Swing, or SWT, not sure about the IDE) or (C++, Qt, Qt Creator) sounds like my top two choices?

thank you for any info

----- Original Message -----
From: "Duane Wandless" <duane at wandless.net>
To: "Stifu" <stifu at free.fr>
Cc: mono-osx at lists.ximian.com
Sent: Tuesday, April 6, 2010 2:31:56 PM GMT -06:00 US/Canada Central
Subject: Re: [Mono-osx] Menu Bar for Mac OS X?

I think this is a great app... and yes you are correct having a single cross platform UI would be very useful for this project. 

Your definition of cross platform does include the UI. And yes it would be nice if there existed a C# cross platform UI that at least functioned as expected everywhere... even if the interface was not 100% standard on each platform. 

On Tue, Apr 6, 2010 at 8:51 AM, Stifu < stifu at free.fr > wrote: 

Joanna Carter wrote: 
> But, since you say the app is open source, where can I see it? 

Here's my app: http://code.google.com/p/epicedit/ 
You'll understand I can't make money with this (and don't want to even if I 
could, anyway). So there is no market to capture. In the first place, I'm 
making this for myself. 

I've talked to at least one Mac user who was very happy he could use it, 
although Mac-specific WinForms bugs got in the way 
( https://bugzilla.novell.com/show_bug.cgi?id=468420 , 
https://bugzilla.novell.com/show_bug.cgi?id=469194 ). 
It's a shame such major bugs don't get any attention. 
View this message in context: http://n4.nabble.com/Menu-Bar-for-Mac-OS-X-tp1750710p1752770.html 

Sent from the Mono - OSX mailing list archive at Nabble.com. 

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