[Haskell-cafe] Re: Why binding to existing widget toolkits doesn't make any sense

Peter Verswyvelen bugfact at gmail.com
Fri Jan 30 12:54:07 EST 2009

Wow Luke, this is a nice little package you made :)

If you now add support for Bezier curves then you're my hero, then I
can get rid of GTK/Cairo for experiments (which turned out to be
really slow when rendering large double buffered surfaces...)

I also believe that building something on top of OpenGL is the way to
go. Too bad that some techniques are patented, like this [1] cool
technique for rendering curves directly on the GPU (as far as I know
font rendering is still mostly done by the CPU these days)

Today hardware is so fast (and tomorrows hardware will double that
easily) so that redrawing the whole screen is not an issue anymore, as
long as good caching is done to avoid the CPU <-> GPU bottleneck.

Regarding rebuilding the whole GUI tree, actually in modern frameworks
(like Microsoft's Windows Presentation Foundation or that Piccolo open
source framework) every property of every widget *can* be animated on
the fly.

[1] http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/people/cloop/loopblinn05.pdf

2009/1/30 Luke Palmer <lrpalmer at gmail.com>:
> 2009/1/30 Rick R <rick.richardson at gmail.com>
>> I haven't really thought about GUIs much in the last decade, but if one
>> were to embark on such an endeavor, I think an appropriate starting point
>> would be SDL with OpenGL.
>> There would be no very little API structure to hinder the pure functional
>> approach, and it would be portable to a wide variety of platforms. SDL
>> includes support Linux/Win/OSX and now the iPhone. Also you'd have
>> unofficial support for another few platforms.
>> The 1st step would be to build a vector graphics lib for Haskell on
>> OpenGL, but after that, perhaps much of Fruit could be fitted in. (Just a
>> WAG, never heard of the API before now)
> Well, I've started something like that:
> http://hackage.haskell.org/cgi-bin/hackage-scripts/package/graphics-drawingcombinators.
> There are some issues with that library: the semantics are not quite right,
> and its internals are complicated and not easily modified.  I want to try
> again at some point.
> However, I think before the 1st step, the SDL bindings ought to be easily
> installable and usable on Windows -- not first assuming Just The Right
> Setup.
> Luke
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