[Tutor] OT: Drag and Drop GUI IDE ideas

Walter Prins wprins at gmail.com
Sat Jul 23 02:01:48 CEST 2011

Hi Rance,

On 21 July 2011 23:17, Rance Hall <ranceh at gmail.com> wrote:

> The MIS department at UNK is looking to create a course in business
> app development.
> The course will be about the app life cycle and discuss problem
> statement, testing, maintenance and disposal/decommissioning, etc.
> We want the students to develop a small app in the process, It could
> be a firefox extension, mobile phone app, or any other type simple
> structure.

Does it have to involve mobile platforms etc or can it be a more
conventional MIS PC application?  And, are you really after some sort of RAD
environment where you can build the GUI by dragging and dropping widgets,
and have it generate the tie-up of event handlers to your program code?  If
so, I'd have suggested Embarcadero Delphi (which uses Object Pascal as the
language) rather than VB, but that is commercial.  As an alternative
sticking with the Delphi/Pascalish theme, you might consider is the Lazarus
project.  It is a Free software implementation that mimics Delphi and uses
Free Pascal as the language.  It attempts to be as compatible as possible
with Delphi but unlike Delphi also has the benefit of being natively cross
platform -- applications written in Lazarus will compile unmodified on
either Windows or Linux (or any other platform it's available on, e.g. Mac)
It does have a GUI designer allowing you drag and drop controls onto the
form, attach event handlers and so on, and then view the code behind the
form (F12) etc.  The IDE has syntax highlighting and the core of the usual
things seen in IDE's these days (code completion, context sensitive help
etc.)  Continuing in this theme, a possible third option to consider would
be "Boa Constructor".  It is a RAD'ish IDE environment for Python and
WxWidgets, styled on the Delphi IDE.  It again allows you to design forms
visually while the IDE generates the boilerplate application code and wires
up widgets to events and so on.  I'm however unsure how actively maintained
the Boa project is currently -- the last update seems to be circa 2007.

Hoping that is useful,

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