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Promit

C# tools/UI and Mac OSX

6 posts in this topic

I find myself in the nasty situation that my game tools need to support Mac OSX and I can't demand Windows only. The good news is that I don't have to port any tools -- this is a ground up write that can take both platforms into account ahead of time. I'm free to choose any language I like, but an attempt with Python and wxWidgets convinced me that it wasn't a path I want to follow. Right now I would very much like to use C# for all my tool stuff and just build it in a way that works well across Windows, OSX, and potentially Linux.

 

I already know that Mono's runtime works well enough for my purposes, so I'm not concerned about that. I'm also not concerned with rendering. The big question is what to do about the UI library. I want to build fairly complex interfaces, and I only want to do it once. That tends to suggest either WinForms or Gtk#, but I don't know how well WinForms works on OSX or how well Gtk# works in general. I'm hoping one of you has "in the trenches" experience on doing cross platform C# interfaces and some recommendations about how to do this.

Edited by Promit
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I haven't done any C# cross platform interfaces yet so I won't comment on that.

 

What's wrong with Python and wxWidgets? Is it Python or wxWidgets?

 

If it's wxWidgets, you could also try Python and Qt (using the PyQt or Pyside bindings). I use it at work and for personal projects and I enjoy it very much. You have the whole power of the Qt framework (and the Qt designer) combined with a good high level language.

 

Also when you say that you want to build complex interfaces, do you have something specific requirements?

Edited by renega_666
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I've done a bit of Windows-and-OSX GUI with C#. WinForms doesn't work well enough on OSX (multi-monitor scenarios will totally screw up mouse handling in a lot of WinForms apps on OSX).

Gtk# is what I used. It has a **much** more cumbersome API than WinForms (you can't really RAD with it as quickly as WinForms), but at least it behaves the same on both platforms.

The cross-platform UI support between Windows and OSX sucks so bad we even tried Flex and Java, but those were even worse (Our app was responsible for running several command-line apps, and in Java apparently there is no way to discover the ProcessID of the app you just launched like there is in C#). Flex's performance was just complete and total shit compared to C#. So we gave up and went back to C#.


I'm currently on a project where we use Unity, and we just write all of our tools to run in the editor's GUI (which is also horrible compared to WinForms since it has this disgusting concept of immediate-mode GUI, but as long as we never do anything too complex, we're fine).
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My experience pretty much mirrors Nypyren's - WinForms isn't an option, and Gtk# is unpleasant in any context.

 

I'd definitely take a look at going the Python/Qt route. Qt is solid as a rock, and Python makes it vastly more bearable than in it's C++ incarnation.

 

If you don't have a requirement to match an existing tool's UI, how about going out in left field, and trying something like Kivy?

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Unfortunately it's more the Python that I have a problem with. It's not a style of language or development that I'm particularly fond of. I may have to put up with Gtk#'s wonkiness, because I'm not sure what other options there are short of C++/wxWidgets.

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Damn, it's unfortunate to learn that WinForms doesn't work well enough on OSX through Mono. It was something I was going to be looking into on my own projects in a future date, and I personally can't stand gtk#.

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because I'm not sure what other options there are short of C++/wxWidgets

That's a hell I don't envy you.

 

It's really a shame that Qyoto has never been fully stabilised on Windows and Mac.

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