|Re: GUI designer tool for XGCONF? [message #1237509 is a reply to message #1236721]
||Wed, 29 January 2014 22:18
| Dave Russo
Registered: July 2009
On 1/27/2014 3:27 PM, James Lockwood wrote:|
> I have stumbled across MSP430 Grace .cfg files. It appears to be using
> XDCTool's XGCONF under the hood. What I find interesting is the mixing
> of the use of graphics and text editing controls inside these graphics
> on their forms. I'd like to do that sort of thing. I've looked at some
> of their .xml files, and I see a bunch of lines similar to this:
> <control type="editbox" value="value:this.maxSignalBandwidth"
> align="right" left="1191" top="3094" width="2223" height="508"/>
> Surely, the values for positioning and size were not entered by hand,
> but some sort of GUI designer generated them. However, I have no clue
> as to what tool was used to generate it.I haven't even been able to
> identify the specific dialect of XML that XDCTool's XGCONF is using for
> the form GUI.
> Can someone tell me what is being used "under the hood" to interpret the
> .xml file, so I can look for an appropriate GUI editor that generates
> this .xml file?
Grace 2.x leverages "browser" capabilities that are built into the XGCONF tool. The XGCONF "browser" was initially created with a limited set of widgets and capabilities with required to support basic embedded software modules (such as those found in, say, SYS/BIOS). When Grace was introduced, these "browser" requirements were stretched to include much greater control of the layout and presentation. In the end we had created a proprietary "mini browser" that was difficult to document/support and could never keep up with the growing HTML5 capabilities _and_ development tools that users have been asking for.
As a result, we are in the process of replacing the XGCONF browser with a _real_ browser; one that can support HTML5 and allows use of a variety of tools to create pages that can interact with the configuration parameters defined by modules. At the same time, due to the "richness" of HTML5, we expect to continue to support simple "table-layout" pages that are used by SYS/BIOS today.
> I would like to have an easier time developing my forms
> for configuring the modules I am writing.
As you point out, it's quite difficult to layout a page of controls without some sort of "designer" tool. The Grace 2.x developers have been using Visio to do layout and then running an in-house tool that reads the Visio .xml output (which contains the positioning data and SVG images) to generate the simplified .xml that can be read by XGCONF. Definitely not a great or scalable solution.
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