The Universe of Discourse

Fri, 30 May 2008

Last week I needed to mock up a dialog box I was talking about in this article:

I wasn't sure how to do this, and my first draft just had a description. But the day before, I had happened to notice a new item that had appeared in the "Programming" menu on my Ubuntu computer: It said "Glade Interface Designer". I had started it up, for no particular reason, and tinkered with it for about two minutes.

Glade lets you design a window interface, by positioning buttons and sliders and things, and then does something or other. At the time I didn't know what it would do, but I knew I could mock up the window I wanted, and I thought maybe I could screenshot the mockup for the blog article.

The Glade thing was so easy to use that the easiest way to get a mockup of the dialog was to have Glade generate a complete, working windowing application, compile and run the application, and then screenshot the application. I got this done in about fifteen minutes.

The application I made doesn't actually do anything, but it does compile, run, and pop up the dialog box I designed. I'm confident that I could get it to do something pretty easily, if I wanted. The auto-generated code, and some of the Glade controls, are very suggestive.

I give Glade a big gold star. I went from having never heard of it to a working (although trivial) window application in one two-minute session and one fifteen-minute session. Maybe two big gold stars and a "Good work!" sticker.

[ Addendum 20080530: I went ahead with making an application that actually does something. It worked. ]

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