Saturday, March 28, 2009

What is HWGUI ?

From : HwGUI 2.16 reference manual by Alexander S.Kresin, Sept 2006

1.1. What is HwGUI

HwGUI is an add-on library for Harbour and xHarbour, intended for creating GUI applications. There are two versions of HwGUI - Win32 version, which is based on direct calls of Win32 API, and GTK version, which uses GTK2 library and can be used under any platform where GTK is implemented ( Linux, Windows, probably MacOS ). While developing HwGUI I tried to hide from the end user - Harbour programmer technical details of API calls and to build a set of commands and functions, which could allow easily create and manage GUI objects.

1.2. History of HwGUI

I began to work on HwGUI in August 2001 and the first version was released on August 21. My initial intention was to create a small and fast GUI lib mainly for my own needs. And already in October I had wrote the first small application with HwGUI for my firm, it reads the databases, created and managed with the accounting system, generates some documents and sends them by fax.

Firstly, from the initial release and til the 1.3 HwGUI didn't use the OOP paradigm - and I even had declared this as one of HwGUI features. My main motivations was speed and stability. Harbour's implementation of classes at that time had some bugs and I didn't want to add problems to myself. And, of course, access to object's variables is more slow than access to the array items. OOP is an additional level and using of it reduces application's performance.

But later I have arrived at a decision to make HwGUI OOP based - to simplify user interface and make it better structured and more convenient. So starting from the release 2.0 HwGUI is based on OOP paradigm.

Since the autumn'2003 HwGUI is hosted by SourceForge, and there is a group of developers working on it. Thanks to all of them for participation and contributions.

Yet another important milestone in HwGUI's timeline is a December,2005 - where a development of GTK version has been started, so HwGUI became a cross-platform tool.

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Welcome to Clipper... Clipper... Clipper

In 1997, then using Delphi 3, I had already created 32-bits Windows applications for HRIS, ERP and CRM. In 2007, using Ruby on Rails, an AJAX powered CRM site running on Apache & MySQL was created and I am now using Visual Studio .Net 2008 to create web-based projects and Delphi 7 for Win32 applications using SQL2005 & DBFCDX.

So, why then am I reviving the Original Clipper... Clipper... Clipper via a Blog as CA-Clipper is a programming language for the DOS world ? Believe it or not, there are still some clients using my mission-critical CA-Clipper applications for DOS installed in the late 80's and up to the mid 90's. This is testimony to CA-Clipper's robustness as a language :-)

With the widespread introduction of Windows 7 64-bits as the standard O/S for new Windows based PCs & Notebooks, CA-Clipper EXE simply will not work and it has become imperative for Clipper programmers to migrate immediately to Harbour to build 32/64 bits EXEs

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This site started out as a teeny-weeny section of Who the heck is Chee Chong Hwa ? and has graduated into a full blown web site of more than 140 pages (actually hundreds of A4 size pages) ! This is due to its growing popularity and tremendous encouragements from visiting Clipperheads from 100 countries worldwide, from North America, Central America, Caribbean, South America, Europe, Middle-East, Africa and Asia-Pacific. Thanx Clipperheads, you all made this happen !

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You may ask, what is this Clipper stuff ? Could Clipper be something to do with sailing as it is the name of a very fast sailing American ship in the 19th century ?

Well, Clipper or to be precise, CA-Clipper is the premier PC-Software development tool for DOS. It was first developed by Nantucket Corporation initially as a compiler for dBase3+ programs. Since then, CA-Clipper has evolved away from its x-base roots with the introduction of lexical scoping & pre-defined objects like TBrowse. As at today, the most stable version ofClipper is 5.2e while the latest version, 5.3a was introduced on 21 May 1996.

As at 11th November, 1996, an unofficial 5.3a fixes file was made available by Jo French. See the About CA-Clipper 5.3a section for more details. BTW, Jo French uploaded the revised 5.3a fixes file on 20th November, 1996.

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The latest news is that CA has finally released the long-awaited 5.3b patch on 21 May, 1997.

For 5.3b users, you must a take a look at Jo French's comments on unfixed bugs in 5.3b.

BTW, have you used Click ? If you're a serious Clipperprogrammer and need an excellent code formatter, Click is a natural choice. How to get it ? Simple, access Phil Barnett's site via my Cool Clipper Sites.

32-bits Clipper for Windows ?

Have you tried Xbase ++ ? Well, I have and compared to Delphi (my current Windows programming tool of choice), I'm still sticking to Delphi.

Anyway, you should visit the Alaska Home Page. Give it a chance and then draw your own conclusions !.

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