|Index||Musings on computing|
Widget-driven design is related to the style guidelines approach. A widget is an interactive object presented on the display, such as a window, button, or scroll bar. Platform vendors supply toolkits with code for implementing standard widgets, and high-level tools provide visual palettes of widgets for building user interfaces. The developer can "tear off" copies of the widgets and "paste" them onto the screen at the desired location. The tool generates code that allows the developer to connect the widgets to application code. The tools are valuable within the more principled design method. Basing the design on the tool, however, creates complex and confusing interfaces, cluttered with windows and buttons.
Page 14 of "Designing Object-Oriented User Interfaces" Dave Collins, Benjamin/Cummings, ISBN 0-8053-5350-X. Quoted without permission.
I remember seeing an advert for the annual VB conference, VBits. It had a whole page filled with a VB tool palette of widgets. Hundreds of different controls to confuse users. In my mind, VB has all the elegance of C combined with the runtime speed of Smalltalk. I can see that visual development environments using Smalltalk are useful, since Smalltalk is a powerful and well thought out language. BASIC should have died with the 8bit home microcomputer. Sadly, BASIC is the pet language of Bill Gates, and so it is destined to live for far longer than its natural life.
Copyright © Paul John Floyd 2002.