[CoMoDev] Cross platform development

  • From: David Beers <cervezas@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <comodev@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 6 May 2005 12:10:02 -0600

Dick Grier sent me a pointer to this open source framework for developing 
native cross-platform applications.  http://www.wxwidgets.org

Neither of us has run across this before, though they say they've been around 
for 12 years.  I haven't looked under the hood at all, but from the sound of it 
they've written an abstraction layer that bridges your code to the underlying 
API at compile-time instead of the Java approach of using a virtual machine 
that interprets bytecode.  Cool!

The main focus has been on desktop apps, but they do have ports to WinCE and 
and an alpha Palm OS Cobalt port. I'm taking those claims with a shovel full of 
salt, though.  The implication that you could put an application written for a 
desktop PC and run it on Palm OS after a simple recompile is pretty dubious.  
Even Windows desktop to WinCE is not going to happen that way.  They're just 
different animals.  Still, it would be nice to write WinCE apps that are 
reasonably portable to Palm OS and vice versa and that run at native speed, 
wouldn't it?  (Yeah, I know, I'm the one who is always talking about this kind 
of thing.)

I think I mentioned last year that I've got a colleague who has taken that 
abstraction layer approach to create a unified C/C++ API for targetting WinCE, 
Palm OS, and Symbian devices.  But it's commercial and still very primitive--I 
don't think much has been done to make it more than a platform for writing 
games.  This is the kind of thing that works very well as an open source 
project because writing code that is portable is such a universal 
need--particularly among those who are already inclined toward OSS because of 
their use of Linux/Unix, Mac OSX, etc.  I'm amazed how fast an embedded version 
of SWT (the Java windowing toolkit used to create Eclipse) was cranked out to 
support SWT mobile applications for WinCE and Symbian.  It went from being a 
proposal back in I think October to first release last month.  Granted, you've 
got IBM, Nokia, and Motorola behind the project, but that in itself tells you 
something about how the open source community has matured.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Skype ID: pikesoft

 On Fri, 6 May 2005 09:57:16 -0600, dick_grier Grier wrote:
> Hi David,
> Here is a link that may interest you: http://www.wxwidgets.org/ ;(you may know 
>of it, but I don't think I'd heard of it before).
> Dick
> Richard Grier
> Hard & Software
> 12962 West Louisiana Avenue
> Lakewood, CO  80228
> 303-986-2179 (voice)
> 303-593-9315 (fax)
> Author of Visual Basic Programmer's Guide to Serial Communications, 4th 
>Edition ISBN 1-890422-28-2 (391 pages) published July 2004.For faster service, 
>contact the publisher at http://www.mabry.com/vbpgser4.

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