I'm posting this on behalf of Kevin Smith who is leading the current surge of wxRuby development.
olof sivertsson wrote:
> My experience with wxRuby has not been very pleasent.
I am very sorry to hear that. wxRuby is still definitely a beta-quality
product. Until recently, only a few people have contributed much code to
the project, so it has evolved rather slowly. There seems to be some
good momentum now, with several people submitting code patches, so
hopefully this will change.
> The main obstacle was bad docs,
Understandable. We have been focused on getting the basic code working
as a first step. I would rate the documentation as about average for a
FLOSS project. Definitely better than many, but still rough.
> even the docs at wx's main site are confusing.
I think there is a lack of good examples and tutorials, but otherwise I
have found the wx docs to be pretty complete. I would be interested to
know which parts are confusing.
> The wx API interface seems rather bloated in general and this
> translates over to wxRuby.
True. Solving this will be our next phase, after we get a basic wrapper
working. That's the approach that FXRuby took as well, since the FOX API
was a bit heavy.
Once we have wxRuby working, we can add lots of Ruby sugar on top to
make the API much more pleasant. The wx API is definitely not the
cleanest of the GUI toolkits. That's partly due to its maturity (10+
years), and partly due to its use of native widgets where possible.
> We also had problems getting the sizers to work as we wanted,
Sizers can be a challenge. Perhaps that's the part of the wx docs that
you found confusing, and I would probably agree. The sizer API is a bit
odd, and some of the docs still describe the deprecated mechanism that
was replaced by sizers. It will be interesting to see if we can cook up
some really cool ruby-ish API improvements for sizers. At a minimum, we
can create several good examples.
> and things working on windows and not working on Linux etc.
There are a few features that are only available on specific platforms
due to native-widget issues. Not many, though. Generally, wx itself
works very well across multiple platforms. wxRuby probably has more
issues at this point, but we plan to fix them.
> The final nail in the coffin was when we hit the (known)
> bugs and had to code around them.
Yup. I sure wish wxRuby could have made faster progress.
> So we switched to ruby-gtk2
That's a fine toolkit, and I'm glad it is working for you. It isn't
really fully cross-platform, so it's not directly comparable.
> QtRuby also seems to have a nice API, but I haven't gotten it to work.
I haven't tried QtRuby, but also has different strengths and weaknesses
compared to wxRuby. Qt has much more restrictive licensing for example.
> Never tried FXRuby, mainly because it looks just plain ugly. (But
> looking plain ugly on all platforms is better than wx that works on
> some platforms and not others...)
FXRuby is a great toolkit, and probably the one I would recommend to
anyone who needs a full-featured cross-platform GUI toolkit today. The
main reason I choose to work on wxRuby instead is because FOX doesn't
use native widgets.
And of course there are still other toolkits that weren't mentioned
here. Each has some advantages and disadvantages.