[Zope] Prerequisites for a desktop IDE, or any desktop app w/ Zope

sean.upton@uniontrib.com sean.upton@uniontrib.com
Thu, 24 May 2001 15:58:29 -0700

Keep it simple; I don't think a non-python and/or non-free solution would
mesh well enough for new users of Zope, supposing that all of the sudden, it
became a popular tool for GUI-based enterprise applications.

Uh, if you are going to create a framework of python classes to do UI stuff,
why base it on a foundation of Kylix?  Its not true x-platform at all and
even if you used it to create a "free" (whatever that means) toolkit you
just add library bloat by having to support toolkits on top of toolkits on
top of toolkits, none of which are free.  

I love Python enough to not want to move away from coding in it, even for a
GUI app.  I want Borland-style RAD to do this, but I'm willing to wait until
I get it free, and in Python (i.e. Boa-Constructor).  In the meantime, I can
code in wxPython, and have nice looking apps with themed GTK widgets
displayed under X, and expect that all this will run on Win32 as well - all
at no cost to me as a developer (money doesn't grow on trees, for me at
least) and no cost to users as well.

I'm not sure if I understand what you mean by an application as a toolkit?
That doesn't make sense to me: function libraries are toolkits; class
libraries are toolkits.  Running all this within an app sounds like the
functional equivalent of running GW basic code under DOS on a 8086: you are
forced to run apps inside an interpreter, there is no runtime, and this is
not transparent to the user.  Why force this kind of complication?  To
produce an IDE that won't create standalone applications, let alone ones
that use simple, freely available toolkits?

FYI, Inprise EULAs forbid creating competing products; for example, during
the days when Borland marketed Paradox, they explitly forbit Delphi
developers from using the BDE to create general-purpose database app
workalikes to Borland products.

Anyway, this is making the problem more complex than it needs to be; the
only value Kylix has is as a RAD tool; it has no value for creating toolkits
for development without the closed RAD tool, so what's the point? 


-----Original Message-----
From: Christian Tismer [mailto:tismer@tismer.com]
Sent: Thursday, May 24, 2001 3:14 PM
To: sean.upton@uniontrib.com
Cc: zope@zope.org
Subject: Re: [Zope] Prerequisites for a desktop IDE, or any desktop app
w/ Zope

sean.upton@uniontrib.com wrote:
> As a former VCL and OWL programmer, I have a bit of an affinity towards
> way of doing things; the catch is of course, given I mainly do server-side
> development now (and frankly, it makes no sense to do non-client
> in non-open tools, for the most part), I don't have the interest, or the
> money to keep paying Borland for upgrades every time the release a new
> version of Kylix/Delphi/Whatever; I stopped playing that game at about
> 3 after going from TP1.5->Delphi2->BCPP 3.  I could only afford the decent
> versions of those tools when I was a student and had access to academic
> pricing at the campus bookstore, and now that I don't I do work in free
> tools, and get more satisfaction out of it.  Kylix still has too high of a
> barrier to entry for most developers to even be considered for any
> open-source development.

I see your point, partially. But is the problem with server-side
development? I wouldn't consider to do anything in Kylix on the server
side. We are talking abount a GUI, which is the only reason to move away
from Python at all.

What I'm thinking of is: We can build a generic application using
Kylix or Delphi, which has all the components in it, which are
needed so far. They could be made higly configurable, and finally,
that Kylix app would be like a toolkit, like wxPython is. It would
be compiled once, and the executable would be freely available.
Applications for this tool would then we written in Python,
completely. It would configure that generic app. With this cheap
trick, Kylix would be turned into a generic GUI builder tool,
at no cost.

> wxPython has definitely rekindled my interest in doing some desktop
> development, with the idea that Zope would provide a good middleware suite
> backend for those kind of apps.  I can't wait to see what the
> Boa-Constructor people have been doing...
> If I could get the ability to have a tool like Delphi, et al and be able
> code in Python, and use Zope as an object brokering system for a backend -
> and have it all free - I would be very willing to give up sleeping and
> eating just to code more ;)

My proposal is to use Delphi, and build a tool with it which is like
Delphi. The task would be just to write such an app, not too hard
probably. Delphi is written in itself, as you know.
I have already written some generic application with about 20 generic
widgets, which are all configurable at runtime. And Delphi is able
to produce .dfm files at runtime and to read them back in.
It is so self-contained that it is somehow waiting to be stolen
as a generic app framework. I'm wondering why nobody does it.

Maybe I should do this now.

ciao - chris

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