Live Interface Design
As you design your user interface it is shown live in its own separate window. This
enables you to try out the interface as you are building it. As you set any resource,
including strings and icons,
Flexible Code generation
X-Designer lets you generate:
- C and C++ with full ANSI support.
- Java. Fully portable, 100% Pure Java using your choice of AWT
or Swing components.
- Microsoft Windows MFC
- Complete Makefiles
There are no proprietary libraries, all code generated is portable and clean.
Guard comments are included to allow for incremental code generation to protect
any code you may wish to add. You can also add to generated Makefiles in order to
build other aspects of your application.
X-Designer's integrated color pixmap editor has a full set of familiar drawing tools,
zoom in/out and a configurable color palette. Pixmaps are written out as XPM files
giving portability. For Windows code generation, BMP or ICO files are generated.
Let X-Designer get you started with AppGuru. Tell AppGuru which of the standard
interface dialogs and components you would like in your own user interface and they
are immediately added, giving you a full design ready to be customized. AppGuru is
itself fully configurable through its own wizard, AppGuru Designer.
X-Designer helps you to create a clean division between a lightweight client
controlling the user interface and a remote server providing data to the client.
Whether you are starting from a new design or a large-scale, traditional Motif
application, you can create this type of thin-client and server structure.
Widgets are grouped together into portable data structures and the callbacks
are enhanced so that they can either run remotely or communicate with a remote
server. You can even test your new structure by telling the interface to "Go
Live" at which time server callbacks are activated and the interface
connects to the specified URL.
Online Code Editing
With X-Designer you can add your own sections to the generated code. You can
choose whether to add the code into a separate dialog or directly into the
generated code. To allow you to add code directly, X-Designer first generates
the code if it needs to and then presents it in an editing window. You are
shown where you can safely add your own lines so that they are preserved when
code is regenerated.
Reusable widget hierarchies
Widget hierarchies can be saved as reusable definitions and loaded onto the
widget palette. This reuse, central to X-Designer's design philosophy, enables
you to maintain consistency across or within applications and speeds up development.
The exported definitions are as configurable and extendable as you need them to be.
Building on X-Designer's philosophy of reuse, resources can be defined as
"objects" and referred to by name anywhere within an application.
This applies to font, pixmap, string and color resources. Using resource
objects gives you application-wide consistency, faster development and code
which is easier to maintain.
Rapid Development - Rapid Prototyping
X-Designer has an intuitive and friendly point-and-click interface so that user
interface design is fast and simple. This saves not only on developer time but
also allows you to sketch out a working prototype at the design stage. X-Designer
is also able to scale up as your application grows - features such as graphical
Search and Annotation and Fast Find give you an overview of the resources and
callbacks you have set and allow you to find objects and resources across multiple
hierarchies. To make development easier still, X-Designer can be tailored to
your specific use with a customizable toolbar and widget palette.
Windows code generation for cross-platform designing
When running in "Windows mode", X-Designer gives you visual hints
about how suitable your design is for translation into a Windows application.
Elements of the interface which cannot be created in Windows are shown to you
so that you can make any changes necessary before generating code. You can also
ask X-Designer for "Windows compliance", non-compliant areas are then
listed for you. This applies to any existing design as well as new ones created
especially for Windows.
When you generate Windows code, you are given:
- A choice of MFC (Microsoft Windows Code) version to be
- Native code - fully portable and non-proprietary.
- High quality generated code similar to the MFC code a
developer would write.
- All configurable resources generated as Windows resources
for easy adjustment on the Microsoft Windows platform.
Advanced layout editor
The arrangement of a Form widget's children used to be one of the most daunting
tasks facing a Motif programmer but X-Designer's Layout Editor has reduced it
to a few minutes design work. With a simple click-and-drag interface and
multi-level Undo button the developer can quickly experiment with different
layouts and resize behaviors. For cross-platform applications, X-Designer
automatically generates C++ code to reproduce the sophisticated Motif-style
resize behavior on Microsoft Windows.
Grab the user interface of any running X11 application and put the result into
X-Designer as a fully configurable design. You can then customize and generate
code from the design as normal, including the ability to generate code for
XD/Replay is an X-Designer tool which allows you to record your use of an X11
application and then replay it without user intervention. Portable text scripts
are generated from XD/Replay when you record so that you can let the application
replay at any time. Creating test scripts or performing screen dumps are just
two of the many possible uses for this technology.
Use X-Designer's Internet Smart Code to design a thick client which is truly
Internet-ready. As with thin-client partitioning, widgets are grouped into
portable structures using toolkit-independent Smart Code and callbacks can be
enhanced to communicate with a remote server. You can "Go Live" to
test your client application and the HTTP code required for the server
communication is generated when you generate the code for your thick client.
Full context-sensitive help
X-Designer includes full help which can be viewed in either Netscape or XD/Help.
Netscape is a standard browser, XD/Help is X-Designer's own help browser which
can read and interpret a subset of HTML. XD/Help includes file, edit and
navigation menus, a toolbar and a list of hypertext links from each page of
help. Each dialog in X-Designer has a Help button which causes help on that
context to be displayed in the viewer of your choice.
User defined widget integration
If you need to use third party widgets in your design, they can be integrated
into the widget palette by using either one of the pre-configured "kits"
freely available with X-Designer or by using the X-Designer integration tool
X-Designer gives you full support for adding your own help for your application.
You can choose whether your help will be viewed using the Internet browser
Netscape, X-Designer's non-proprietary help browser XD/Help or FrameMaker.
If you need to use another help system, you can do so with a small amount of
- OPEN LOOK DevGuide Import
- UIL Import and Export
- Migration path for legacy applications
- Configurable Resource Bindings
- Easy sub-classing
- Compound string editor