Writer is shaping up

I had a good portion of writer done before I realized I was copying the same things over and over again - so I took a breath and refactored so I had a parent abstract window class for all those identical windows.  And moved to using GtkActions (by the way - actions make life a LOT easier)  The refactoring has acutally allowed me to speed up a bit and throw in some features I thought would have to wait (mainly toolbar display and customization stuff).  I'm a bit behind in helping out with php-gtk2 docs because the new phpwomen thing is eating my time (I'm writing a series for them which will probably turn my brain to mush)

The biggest dissapointment for me has been printing support in php.  I know it's primarily a server side language but wow.  Gtk+ 2.10 has printing support, but since php-gtk2 isn't out of alpha yet and only does 2.6 I'm going to be waiting a long time for that to happen.  So I'll have to figure out some kind of workaround.  My wish list for writer includes using native windows dialogs for opening files and printing - so I may just have to break down and write a .dll that supports that (maybe throw in an exec wrapper that doesn't pop dos windows).  The pecl win32std extension handles some of that (basic open file/folder handling and a shell exec wrapper) but I'm looking at building a class that will mimic GtkFileChooser stuff.  Anyway, that's for another day.  For now I'm using the printer pecl extension on windows (only plain text is supported at this point, although other formats are also on the huge todo list)  Windows xp supports lpr so I might go that route too.

So the code is still available in svn and I'm hoping to have a release out... soon (what, I'm not as bad as PHP5.2 which is in RC6 - and no it's not ilia's fault, and who the heck decided that static abstract should be fatal?  I use it for enforcing a contract on a class when I don't want to do an abstract class AND an interface.  And why do they have to have the same signatures?  Why is PHP becoming JAVA?  IF I WANTED JAVA I'D WRITE IN JAVA.) I'm taking a deep breath now.

I'll have more screenshots up and perhaps the updated todo list...sometime.  Right now I'm dealing with sick kids (Michigan + Fall + School = Everyone Sick)


Hal Davey

More thoughts from Texas. I have been wanting to build a B&B management package for several years now - but the lack of a really good stand-alone desktop application package has stopped me. I still am not sure about PHP_GTK. For example a B&B Management package needs to be stand-alone because I would not want to be responsible for someone's lost reservations info or money matters, due to some kind of web problem. It is better for some users to have the data and program sitting on their hot little PC. 10 years ago I did several nice packages with VB6, and then dropped it when M$ tried to force me to the .NET crap. Then I tried Java, PHP, and so on, but they are all server-side stuff not suited to desktop apps. The really sad thing is that you can easily do in VB6 what you still cannot do in most of the newer languages. User GUI is a piece of cake, but the code behind it can get really tangled if you are not careful. And it was, until recently tied to the dreadful Acess DB. VB6 is undergoing a rebirth - there are several wrappers and so forth that will allow VB6 to work with SQLite, and printed output is a snap using Crystal Reports. It can be hooked to the web easily - in short it will already do most of what you are waiting for PHP-GTK to get around to. M$ recently woke up - albeit 10 years late - and has now reinstated support for VB6.rnEnough already.rnCheers,rnHal

2006-11-04 7:49 am


Ah - but VB6 will never run on Linux. Or a mac... Now you're getting into the whole language debate :) I like php because it's easy to use, has extensions for everything, and I'm one of those who prefers the C style syntax. It's what I'm used to, it doesn't make my eyes bleed when I try to read it. I like Gtk+ because it's cross platform - like PHP if you can get it to compile it'll run. And it does have everything I want - in the C version.rnrnI prefer scripting languages for my projects because support is simplified when you don't have to worry about a dozen different platforms and architectures when compiling. The problem right now is that PHP-GTK2 is a wrapper around GTK+ and it's not done - heck it's not even a beta yet! If I wanted a finished wrapper I could look at python for a fantastic complete version of the same thing - wrapping a C library with bindings from another language - with the strengths of the python language. I simply cannot stand python syntax. It's not a "I hate python for some existential reason" - I just don't like the syntax, which may seem silly to some people but it's like prefering pink to blue - you're never going to convince me I like blue better :) Ruby makes me shudder the same way, and that's why I like C# - similiar way of doing things and braces, dammit.rnrnPeople can argue until they're blue in the face about how X language would be a better choice, but for me PHP is a "C for dummies" and PHP-GTK2 works for what I want :)

2006-11-05 8:16 am

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