Ruby Programming/GUI Toolkit Modules
Ruby GUI toolkits are typically 3rd party GUI platforms that are driven (wrapped) by a Ruby driver.
QtRuby[edit | edit source]
- QtRuby gives you Ruby bindings to the Qt toolkit (the toolkit used in the KDE desktop system).
- Has a book.
- Has Qt designer for help designing.
- Gem is available for the Windows installation
- Only source code is available for other platforms (but ruby-qt binding and libraries are often packaged by Linux distributions).
FXRuby[edit | edit source]
- Has a gem.
- Non-native look and feel. It looks like Windows XP even on a Mac or in Windows 7.
- Binary gems are available for Windows, OS X, and Ubuntu Linux but for other platforms, installing the gem requires you to compile native code.
- Even with binary gems it has non-Ruby dependencies that cannot be packaged with the code thus requiring end users to manually download, compile, and install dependencies.
Shoes[edit | edit source]
Shoes was originally written by _why, and is now maintained by others. Its aim is to make ruby GUI development actually fun.
- Cool graphics, control at a lower level, simple interface, can be used to distribute redistributables easily, used to have examples available.
- 4.0.0-pre has gems that do work. [No gem (current gem, 3.0.1, is a place holder that does nothing), still a bit rough around the edges since it attempts to support so many platforms.]
- Lacks many of the more robust widgets common in other toolkits.
Tk[edit | edit source]
- Bindings are built-in to some Ruby distros.
- Since Tk 8.5 it has had native look-and-feel for Windows, *nix and Mac.
- Has Ruby-DSL for interface declaration.
- When you install Ruby from source code, you need to be sure you also have the Tk dependencies and make sure the compilation settings include Tk.
Example project: arcadia
GNOME ruby[edit | edit source]
- Native look.
- Bad windows support
- Doesn't support multi threaded testing well.
RubyCocoa[edit | edit source]
- Well integrated with MacRuby, good balance between power and ease of coding. Good support for testing.
- OS X only
JRuby toolkits[edit | edit source]
- Note that you can use the Rawr tool to cross-platform package any JRuby application so that it includes all the code plus JRuby. The only real external dependency when using JRuby + Rawr is Java. Also working with JRuby might integrate well with editing using NetBeans editor.
Swing wrappers[edit | edit source]
- Swing is built in to the JRI.
- You can also create the UI using a traditional java visual developer, like NetBeans, then use it in Ruby.
- Some wrappers libraries are a little rough.
Simple GUI creator[edit | edit source]
This simplifies common tasks like asking for user input, dropdown forms, etc, and even has its own "Text based" layout engine, see here
SWT[edit | edit source]
This is the eclipse widget library, a competitor to Swing, in the Java world, and can be transparently used from JRuby. RedCar is a project using it that is pretty complete. Glimmer is an open-source JRuby wrapper that facilitates using SWT widgets via a light-weight DSL. Also see: book
- Mature (used by Eclipse and supported)
- Native widgets for the most part (like wxWidgets), supporting cross-platform native look and feel.
- Extensive Java documentation around the toolkit.
- JARs must be bundled for cross platform deployment.