Its an unsolved challenge … the cross-platform GUI toolkit. It just doesn’t exist in the right form. There’s lots of contenders, but all fall short in some critical way.
It should be simple, all I want to do is create a little cross-platform app that allows my users to upload a large file to a website and report on the upload progress.
My requirements are simple:
- I dont want to have to compile code or execute code or do packageing tasks on all 3 major OS’es (i.e. Qt, GTK, Tk, Fox, wxWdigets etc.). Just give me the toolkit, let me press the button that spits out DMG, EXE and .sh (or whatever linux uses).
- I dont want to be a glaring advertisement for an app development platform …. that’s right, I dont want someone else’s branding and icons all over my app. (AIR, Shoes, etc.) It will just confuse and concern my users.
- I dont want to depend on something that might disappear. Appcelerator does its packaging in the cloud … no!
- I dont want to write C or C++ … I’ve got better things to do.
- I dont want to be drowned in some managed marketting muffle. That’s you AIR! … stop selling and just show me how it works.
- I dont want my user to have to download a platform before installing my app! (AIR, Swing etc.) And please dont try to sell me that I can bundle the platform for a fee.
- I dont want to give my users an app that will then download the *real* app. How do I convince my users that I’m not just installing porn on their harddrive? I want to distribute an app, not an installer!
- I dont want to use some huuuuge application platform that would theoretically allow me to build a 3D rendering application with bells and whistles and blablabla (Mozilla, Qt, etc.). I just want an uploader.
- Dont even mention the word RIA … its just a buzzword used by people looking to invest money so that they can make money, for money’s sake and maybe a fast car and lots of big houses with lots of cash and money money money, note to self:must cash in on RIA and other buzzword technologies.
- Just because a toolkit can do a ‘hello world’ twitter client doesn’t mean anything. Twitter clients just do extremely simple HTTP gets and posts. Try doing a multi-part form upload with large files and reporting on the upload progress. Someone should invent a ‘hello universe’ concept that allows people to test the maturity of new software products.
Lastly … and mostly … I dont want to use some toolkit that’s developed open source by one single person, as a hobby, between other hobbies.
Have a look at how many projects _why has on the boil. What’s this Potion thing he is spending all his time on? … its a whole new language! … oh shit. Its not looking good for Shoes. I’ve wasted so much time on half-baked Shoes.
Where to from here? Subscription accounts are practically completed … I’m that close to launching the site in fully functional commercial mode … I just need to find some decent little toolkit that allows my users to get the content on the site easily and from any OS. arghh.