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Feedback on cross-platform toolkits?

Does some have good pratical experience with the following cross-platform toolkits, and could tell me how good they are? Thank you.

Sunday, November 28, 2004
Troll tech -- Good, but doesn't use native widgets.
wxWidgets -- uses native widgets

Those are really the only two that I would consider.

I went with wxWidgets for the price..  It is also closer to true C++.  Troll tech uses a lot of #defines and #ifthens I hear.

To get a really good prof. app out the door with wx, you will probably need to tweak the source, which I didn't find that hard.

I hear Trolltech is really easy to get something out really quick, but when you need to start doing less common things, it gets tricky..

Oh, my background was MFC/Win32, and I found the wx API much more intuitive than MFC.
Sunday, November 28, 2004
I was looking for toolkits too some time ago and I settled on wxWidgets.

QT is good too, but costs $$$ :-)

Getting started is wasy enough despite the lack of beginers docs. Get the demo package, play with it and steal the code :-P

Anyway, I'm using wxWidget through wxPython (cause I'm using Python as the programming language) and it's been great.

See for a product created using the above combo (Python + wxPython).

Arsalan Zaidi Send private email
Sunday, November 28, 2004
Always been very pleased with wxWidgets, and it truely does work cross-platform too.
i like i
Monday, November 29, 2004
Have always been extremely pleased with FLTK. It's fast and lightweight, yet very capable.
Ori Berger Send private email
Monday, November 29, 2004
Another vote for wxWidgets.
Monday, November 29, 2004
I've used wxWidgets and been extremely happy with the results.  I prefer it to native, platform specific tools.  The apps are professional looking and truely cross platform.

I looked at FLTK very early on, but I wasn't satisfied with the look and feel of the apps.  They felt like cheap, nasty old school X-windows apps.  If the look is less important than the size though, FLTK may have a lot to offer you.
Clay Dowling Send private email
Monday, November 29, 2004
We use QT here for about three years. I tried wxWindows personally for some evaluation puposes, but didn't step too deep into it.

IMHO, QT is the best toolkit out there, although it sucks in several ways. But it offers everything you need, from graphic stuff to databases, file handling, strings and a cross plattform make system. It is much more feature-complete then wxWindows is.

While wxWindows sticks too much to the Windows API for my taste, QT offers truly OO widgets, much like VB or .NET does. However, the QT class model often is clumsy (e.g. for handling menus and toolbars) and several things that are easy in VB, .NET or native Win API programming can become a pain (setting tab order, e.g., somehow they didn't see the necessacity of a setTabOrder() function).

Last not least: QT comes with a visual designer and build in internationalization capabilities, including a translation editor. And the support is good.

So, if money doesn't matter, choose QT, at least for larger projects. If you are looking for just some UI widgets, however, choose wxWindows.
Gerd Riesselmann
Monday, November 29, 2004

Free if your doing GPL'ed software. Otherwise too expensive for the casual user. As has been said it doesn't use native widgets. Documentation is very good from the few times I've used it. I've never really like the metacompiler stuff (it uses a preprocessor for the signal/slot mechanism) and this is my main quibble with it, though I haven't used it for anything of any size.


I used this for a while but really didn't like. I can' remember why exactly it was a few years ago. I think at least part of it was finding the GUI builder uncomfortable and the ugliness of the widgets. It might improved.


This is what I generally use (via wxPython). It's quite nice. I've heard rude comments about its speed (Joel made a comment about it in a thread a few months back) but haven't come across this (but I've hardly stretched it). Quite nice to use and friendly licensing. Borland have put it in their cross platform Builder platform which is getting it some extra support.

Can't comment on the other two as I've never used them.
Ian G Send private email
Monday, November 29, 2004
Speed problems with wxWidgets (wxWindows) ?

I would like to hear about this.  I have hacked through a lot of the source code for it, and I didn't see anything that would be a speed problem.  In fact, much of waht I saw is a fairly thin layer over the native API.
Monday, November 29, 2004
Don't forget to try XUL.
Send private email
Monday, November 29, 2004
Thx everyone.

Can XUL be used in stand-alone apps, or only web apps?
Monday, November 29, 2004
Yet another option is Tcl/Tk.

Some professional EDA tools are done entirely using Tcl/Tk for the GUI.  You will need to write your own custom widgets, and for this Tk provides X11 emulation for non-Unix platforms.
David Jones Send private email
Monday, November 29, 2004
wxWidgets definitely gets my vote ;-)

We've been using it successfully to build apps for Windows and Mac, and have developed a bit of a love-hate relationship with it. Love because it has a really intuitive API, and so many useful features are implemented for you. Hate because the Mac port isn't quite there in version 2.4, and quite often we have to delve into the wx code to fix obscure bugs. The next version reportedly addresses the shortcomings of the Mac port, so we've waiting for a stable release with bated breath!
Nick Dowell Send private email
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
OK, looks like I'll jump and check out wxWidgets in C++ and Python to see how it works. Documentation seems a bit scarce, though. Does someone know if a book is on the way?
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
There is a book, but its a ways out from my understanding.

The mailing list is good, as is the forum (forum is good for beginners)..

There is a doc file (chm) that works well in windows.  It is all I need.  Occassionally I post to the mailing list/newsgroup, and someone almost always replys.

In fact, lately it is so busy on the mailing list I don't have time to follow it. 

Also, start with the release build (but not the HEAD version from CVS..)  It is fairly stable, and I think Julian ( the head wx guy) uses it in his app.  They are about to do a stable relase of the API in the next few months based on it.  So if you start developing with the release version, you will end up with the stable version having the same functions.

Also, use the WYSIWYG dialog creators such as DialogBlocks, which can help make a GUI interface quick.
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
Thx for the tips.
Thursday, December 02, 2004

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