[Pipet Devel] dLoo BlueBox

J.W. Bizzaro bizzaro at geoserve.net
Sun Jun 11 00:52:34 EDT 2000

This sounds a bit like how I planned to implement UI's in Piper:

Basically, we've extended the GNOME communities ideas in libglade. Libglade,
as you know, reads in an XML file for an application describing its interface
and uses it to display the application. A major innovation since this allows
users to customize programs without recompiling.

What we've done is two things: 

1) moved the signal handling from the program to BlueBox (our version of
libglade). This means that the program doesn't need to have any GNOME or GTK
dependencies. It also means that the program and the interface are completely

2) Handle communications between the program and the interface with network
calls, right now SOAP, but it could just as easily be CORBA or XML-RPC.

So, what's this mean. It means that BlueBox loads an XML file just like
libglade does and displays the buttons, toolbars, etc. using the native
toolkit of whatever environment it is in, i.e., GTK, QT, Win32, etc. This is
possible because there are no signal handling dependencies.

Then, when a user interacts with the interface, BlueBox sends network calls to
the program to the effect that "Hey, this button has been pressed," etc.

The program then signals back-again in SOAP (but it could be CORBA)-"Well,
then change this." 

All of this is very similar to how web pages work: A platform independent
interface (HTML) and an intemediary talking to the server. It requires
extremely low network traffic and allows GNOME to serve programs over an
intranet or the Internet. This in turn means that GNOME can be the platform of
choice for both centralized software management and ASP.

>From a Gnotices announcement

about dLoo BlueBox

                      |           J.W. Bizzaro           |
                      |                                  |
                      | http://bioinformatics.org/~jeff/ |
                      |                                  |
                      |        BIOINFORMATICS.ORG        |
                      |           The Open Lab           |
                      |                                  |
                      |    http://bioinformatics.org/    |

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