About this manual

This manual, Building Applications using DUIM, provides an introduction to developing your own windowed applications using Open Dylan and, in particular, the interface-building functionality provided by the DUIM library suite. It is designed to complement Getting Started with Open Dylan, which provides information on using the Open Dylan development environment, and the DUIM Reference Manual, which provides a complete reference to the DUIM library suite. You are advised to look at Getting Started with Open Dylan before reading this manual in any depth.

This manual is divided into several parts:

Introduction provides an introduction to the concepts behind the DUIM libraries, and their intended use.

The chapters Designing A Simple DUIM Application through to Adding Callbacks to the Application provide an extended example of how to use DUIM to design the user interface to an application. A simple working application is developed from first principles, and this is used as an illustration of some of the most useful features provided by the DUIM libraries. Designing A Simple DUIM Application provides an initial design for the application, Improving The Design improves on this initial design. Adding Menus To The Application shows you how you can add a menu system to an application and Adding Callbacks to the Application demonstrates how to give the application some useful functionality. Using Command Tables introduces the concept of command tables, by re-implementing some of the functionality already described in Adding Menus To The Application. For reference, the full source code of the application described in these chapters is provided in Source Code For The Task List Manager.

A Tour of the DUIM Libraries provides an overall tour of what is available in the suite of DUIM libraries. It provides much less detail than the chapters covering application development, but covers a broader spectrum of functionality. This chapter can be seen as a general introduction to the material covered in the DUIM Reference Manual.

The material provided in A Tour of the DUIM Libraries is reasonably independent from the material provided in Chapters Designing A Simple DUIM Application to Adding Callbacks to the Application, and if you wish, you can read through the tour before looking at the example application. Whichever order you approach them in, you should expect some repetition of subject matter, however.

Running examples in this manual

Naturally, when developing your own DUIM applications, you create, edit, and compile files of source code, and organize them as projects based on Dylan libraries and modules, just as you would when developing Dylan code that uses any other library. When developing your application, you can also take advantage of the development environment to make this process smoother, and to execute sections of code using the interactor. Many of the examples in this manual can be run directly from the interactor. Furthermore, this manual assumes that you are reasonably familiar with the development environment provided by Open Dylan. If you are not, please refer to the Getting Started with Open Dylan manual.

When developing your own projects using the New Project wizard, new modules that use the DUIM library, and any other relevant libraries are created for you. You may also like to use the Dylan Playground to experiment safely with your development code while keeping your project-specific modules clean. You can open the Dylan Playground by choosing Tools > Open Playground from the Dylan the main window.

The full source code for both versions of the application is provided as part of the Open Dylan installation. To load them into the environment, choose Tools > Open Example Project and look in the Documentation category, at the examples labeled Task List.

Further reading

For more information about DUIM, you should refer to the DUIM Reference Manual. This provides complete reference material on all the libraries and modules provided by DUIM. A wide variety of examples are also provided as part of the standard installation. These can be loaded into the environment by choosing Tools > Open Example Project from the main window.