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X-Designer - The Ultimate GUI Builder


Build your application graphically using Motif objects or "capture" a running Motif program, put together test suites or create internet-ready applications. Generate code for Motif, Java, Windows or keep it toolkit - independent. This is just a small sample of what X-Designer. the award winning Motif GUI builder, can do.

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.
  • UIL
  • 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.

Pixmap editor

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.

AppGuru

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.

Thin-Client partitioning

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.

Resource objects

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 generated.
  • 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.

XD/Capture

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 Microsoft Windows.

XD/Replay

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.

Internet Connectivity

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 xdconfig.

HyperText help

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 configuration.

Other Features

  • OPEN LOOK DevGuide Import
  • UIL Import and Export
  • Migration path for legacy applications
  • Configurable Resource Bindings
  • Easy sub-classing
  • Internationalization
  • Compound string editor


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