[MAT-devel] hmi-gtk module


Thread Starter

Juan Carlos Orozco

Hi all,

I am writing this message to inform of the current work and plans for the hmi_gtk module. I subscribed into the glade development newsgroup to present them the problems that glade has to be used with hmi_gtk to build hmi's. My
primary concern right now is the annoying problem with the scaled property in the gnome pixmap widget, Damon Chaplin already agreed to correct this problem in glade. I will let the group know as soon as he corrects this. I will like to warn hmi_gtk users here that using scaled gnome pixmaps in glade is at this moment an unpleasant experience, I use a lex parser that corrects the .glade files by adding the scaled property of course this is an interim solution and I think that we will have the glade fix soon.

I thought it will be good for the group to know also what is my vision for future enhancements of the hmi_gtk. One of the first things I want to change about hmi_gtk is to use properties to set up the point connection and
configuration of the hmi widgets instead of writing this as part of the widget name. The technology to do this is already on its way, it will be implemented on what is called glade2. To achieve this we need to write custom widgets to add the extra properties to it, glade2 will show this custom properties in the properties window. Other technology that can solve this is bonobo which is a component model for gnome, we could write the hmi_gtk widgets as bonobo components and when pasted into the windows we will be asked to fill our custom properties. This will also aloud us to build more elaborated widgets that will be of great value for an hmi instead of just using the widgets that are more specific to form filling that for an hmi application. Glade2 is supposed to support bonobo. I don't know the
current status or expected deadline for this project but I expect to learn more about it now that I am in their mailing list. I will keep the group informed of progress in this respect. Any comments or suggestions are welcomed.

In conclusion, the hmi_gtk module has a path to becoming a more professional and complete HMI but a user does not have to wait for this new
features to build an HMI, the current status of the module is enough to build a small to medium sized HMI although with limited io widgets.


Juan Carlos Orozco

ACElab Industrial Automation
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Mario de Sousa

Hi Juan,

I too believe the above approach is the correct way to go. It wouldn't make much sense for us to write our own graphical form editor. We might
just as well use those that are already available.

But why stop at one of them, in this case glade? Why not support others, like the qt-designer, and maybe even Kylix? The end user should be able to pick and choose whichever (s)he prefers and feels most comfortable with.

What I am really driving at is to ask if the glade2 deadline starts to slide, would you be willing to work with another environment? I myself
would sugest Kylix. You probably know that this is borland's 'port' of Delphi onto Linux. I seem to remember reading something about Kylix already supporting the extension of existing widgets, and I don't think linking Kylix (pascal) code with our C library should present too many difficulties. Granted, Kylix is not GPL software, but it is free (as in beer) for people who want to develop GPL'd software.

Maybe you might prefer qt-designer (used by Kdeveloper), but I don't know if this supports widget extension. I wouldn't be too surprised if
it already does.

I know all of the above represents a lot of work, which is why I am not going to dive in.

Maybe somebody else would like to end a hand?




Mario J. R. de Sousa
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