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Rapid GUI Creation

by set_uk (Pilgrim)
on Dec 09, 2003 at 14:41 UTC ( #313417=perlquestion: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

set_uk has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

I'm trying to decide which approach to use to add a GUI to my application.
The app works really well and uses the Perl Expect module on Unix (as there is no Perl Expect on Win32 it has to reside on Unix).
I want a simple GUI that looks at a number of database tables and allows me to query, add, delete and update against each one. I'm trying to work out which is the fastest way to get this built.
There seems to be a certain amount of overhead using Tk creating accessors and widgets. Is there an automated way within Perl where you can just point an app at a table and have it create a basic GUI for you?
I've been looking at JDeveloper and using it via Oracle's Business Components 4 Java to automatically create all the classes for me and then perhaps using perl or Inline Java to call the Perl Expect code from the GUI.
Can anyone share their experience of doing something similar?
I'm just trying to avoid all the GUI creation grunt work. Simon

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Rapid GUI Creation
by ctilmes (Vicar) on Dec 09, 2003 at 14:46 UTC
    I've had great success with PerlQt.

    You can 'rapidly' prototype your GUI dialogs with Troll's QT Designer program. (If you've got RedHat Linux, just run 'designer'.)

Re: Rapid GUI Creation
by thraxil (Prior) on Dec 09, 2003 at 16:28 UTC

      The gtk-perl bindings for Gtk1.x were never very complete, and Gtk1.x is obsolete as well. Gtk2::GladeXML along with Gtk2-Perl is where it's at. Scott and his crew have done an amazing job.

      As far as I can tell from following the mailing list there are binary installers for Gtk2 for Win32, and precompiled versions of the Perl modules with an installer apparently exist as well.

      Makeshifts last the longest.

      Though you can get Perl to work on Win32, and GTK+ to work (more or less) on Win32, last I heard getting the Perl-GTK+ interface to work on Win32 is tricky, at best. So that eliminates Glade.

      I wanted to explore how Perl's closures can be manipulated, and ended up creating an object system by accident.
      -- Schemer

      : () { :|:& };:

      Note: All code is untested, unless otherwise stated

Re: Rapid GUI Creation
by teabag (Pilgrim) on Dec 09, 2003 at 17:40 UTC
    Monk brother set_uk,
    For rapid GUI creation I allways use PDesign
    UPDATE: Well, I did use it. But that darn site changed and the program is gone.

    PDesign stands for Visual Perl/Tk-Designer. It's Freeware (doh)- and helps you quickly design the layout and positioning of Perl-Tk forms. Very handy and pretty intuitive. Downside is, it runs on windows ;(
    But don't let that drag you down. It saved me shitloads of time.

    Hmm, I did find Tikiartist and it sounds like it's almost the same thing.

    Good luck set_uk,

    Sure there's more than one way, but one just needs one anyway - Teabag
      Thanks for all your answers.
      I'm still looking for the combination of Oracle, Solaris and free. :-) Oracle because the database is.
      Solaris because thats out platform and I cant port to Windows because the hasn't been released for Windows.
      Free - because it would be good if it was.
      I did think about writing a server process that a windows client could connect to to trigger the expect part of the app that ran on unix. But I do try and stop myself making things too complex - sometimes. Simon
        Well, not a Perl answer, but I use PHP for this sort of thing all the time. It runs on *nix, has built-in Oracle support, and is open source.
Re: Rapid GUI Creation
by hardburn (Abbot) on Dec 09, 2003 at 16:47 UTC

    If your requirements are simple, you could get away with making a DSN that Access can use to get at your database (which can be any ODBC database, not just Jet) and build a few forms through there.

    I wanted to explore how Perl's closures can be manipulated, and ended up creating an object system by accident.
    -- Schemer

    : () { :|:& };:

    Note: All code is untested, unless otherwise stated

Re: Rapid GUI Creation
by ctilmes (Vicar) on Dec 09, 2003 at 17:25 UTC
    Not a Perl answer, but worth mentioning I think...


    It could allow you to build a RAD front-end GUI to the database.

    You can still keep your Perl backend that gets its data from from the database.

    Recall is now GPL-ed available here:

Re: Rapid GUI Creation
by Joost (Canon) on Dec 09, 2003 at 21:28 UTC
    My experience with Tk is that it you can create a GUI with it very, very quickly. Plus, it's platform independent and works well. I say, go with Tk. The overhead might not be as large as you think. Especially if you want to generate GUI elements based on your data model. Tk makes that easy. I've had quite different expirences with MFC (albeit from C++), for instance.


Re: Rapid GUI Creation
by gmpassos (Priest) on Dec 11, 2003 at 02:43 UTC

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