Resource Files (Was: Re: [GUI] More points for the technical discussion)

Wolfgang Thaller
Mon, 17 Feb 2003 13:51:38 +0100

On Monday, February 17, 2003, at 02:40 AM, Seth Kurtzberg wrote:

> I would phrase it slightly differently.  We should have a 
> platform-independent
> API related to resources, which in some cases may use underlying 
> capabilities
> of the target O/S.

On Monday, February 17, 2003, at 11:03 AM, Axel Simon wrote:

> I definitely agree to that. IMHO it is very important to use the 
> toolkit's
> capability to custumize and internationalize the application. Every
> platform has it, Windows has .rc files, Gtk has style files and Apple 
> has
> its functionality. If we don't make use of these facilities we wind up
> writing a toy (educational) API where you have 6 color constants and 3
> font constants and use them blindly.

Are you sure we're talking about the same resource files here?
Resources on MacOS, and, as far as I know, on Windows, have nothing to 
do with customization - whereas IIRC customization and "theming" are 
the main purpose of X11 resources and GTK style files.

I was responding to Glynn Clements' statement that "User-visible text 
doesn't belong in the source code". For Mac OS apps, it belongs in the 
dialog templates (the "nib" file, a binary format editable only with 
Apple's Interface Builder application) and in string tables (nowadays, 
XML files). We don't want to end up having to draw all dialogs three 
times with three different (and possibly proprietary and 
single-platform) tools, or having to write down all user-visible text 
in three different file formats.

On the other hand, it would be great to be able to store bitmaps and 
other data in the .EXE file's resources on Windows, and in the 
appropriate application wrapper on Mac OS, rather than cluttering the 
application directory with many files.

As far as X-style customization is concerned, are there any features 
that you would expect that don't come for free?
As a MacOS developer, I'd just expect some library to provide me with a 
way to say "store this data in the preferences/settings/defaults file" 
(which should be put in the standard location for preferences files). 
Do I have to use a particular resource format in order to be a "good 
citizen" on X11?