Cross Platform Build - my first

Alex Rice alex at
Tue Nov 4 13:25:56 EST 2003

On Oct 29, 2003, at 5:05 PM, Thomas J McGrath III wrote:

> I have been going back and checking each object on the background and 
> find that I know nothing about REV....
> It appears I thought that a group would override an object and as such 
> have dozens of groups to 'simplify' my updating of object colors and 
> sizes and text. I guess I screwed it all up. BUT it did look ok on 
> OSX.
> I had to laugh when I read this. But, No they didn't look like regular 
> XP window buttons at all. I set all kinds of stupid border, color, 
> text settings and then put them all in groups because I thought that 
> would help separate sections of the app. Boy, did I screw up.
> One question: If I had left them alone would the standard 'unabused' 
> buttons change their look when in 2000 and then change their look in 
> XP and still again look normal in OSX/Classic??????
> I used my favorite font - Arial - Is that not good for Windows???
> What fonts are good?? also I have group settings for fonts and then 
> item settings for fonts etc. I screwed this up but good.

Thomas- unfortunately, this is the reality of cross platform 
development in Revolution.

IMHO Ken's answers paint the ideal scenario (use the default control 
settings, use the Preview/ Look and Feel menu item). In practice for 
me, that doesn't work.

Yes, the core engine is remarkably cross-platform. But the IDE really 
falls short of previewing what your app will look like a) when built as 
a standalone and b) when run on other platforms, and combinations of a) 
and b).

As far as I can tell, Rev has not improved at all in this respect. 
Someone correct me if I'm not being sensitive enough, but *has* this 
improved at all from 1.1.1 through 2.1.1RC?

There are all kinds of hacks and workarounds, but you can pretty much 
count on spending a lot of tweaking various platforms to get it right.

Examples of what I'm talking about:

-- View | Look and Feel menu will show you the new shapes for the 
controls, but it *will* get the colors and fonts wrong.
-- Distribution Builder messes up colors (see thread "Re: DBuilder- 
sets "bottomColor" to 0,0,0?")
-- Standalones may get a different background color, or other color 
properties from the OS when running as a standalone. Dirty workaround- 
look up colors in the Windows Registry when your app launches.
-- Properties inheritance is difficult to use. (you are a smart guy, 
and graphics guru, but your attempt to use properties inheritance in 
groups etc was less than spectacular eh?)

I want View | Look and Feel to show me *exactly* what it will look like 
on another platform. Of course fonts and gamma will not be the same. Of 
course Windows and Linux cannot preview Mac OS appearance manager. But 
other than that- WHY should the View | Look and Feel results look SO 
different than at runtime? This is after all, a 4GL with an 
emulated-abstracted display system emulated-abstract GUI widgets, 
right? It always looks different, and there are always surprises.

By gut feeling is that the Rev IDE does not isolate it's display 
properties from the user's stacks, well enough. The IDE colors/biases a 
lot of your projects display properties to be the IDE's instead of what 
at runtime will be gotten by your stack from the engine and OS.

Sorry for all this, I've just spent a couple of hours trying to figure 
out why the bottomColor and shadowColor are getting so screwed up in my 
standalones- why it differs between stacks and substacks in the 
standalone, and wondering if the Distribution Builder is an AI or 
something which would explain the erratic results.


Zipping mouth now...

Alex Rice <alex at> | Mindlube Software | 

what a waste of thumbs that are opposable
to make machines that are disposable  -Ani DiFranco

More information about the Use-livecode mailing list