Mac style UI in Windows Program

A few weeks ago I asked why the Xojo UI looked like a Mac program on my windows machine which was answered both promptly and thoroughly - Thanks!

Last week at work, I saw a database program running on Windows 7 that had a Mac style UI and asked the guy who created it if it was programmed in Xojo. He said no it was Java, but was glad to see he was familiar with Xojo. Aside from some mac libraries involved, how do you change the UI style? While I appreciate Xojo creating programs that have native controls, there is something to be said in having your programs having the same standard look regardless of the platform. Also, is this something easily done by a beginner?

I have to disagree here. The functionality should be the same perhaps but the look and feel of the app should be native to the platform upon which it’s running. I see no benefit to having the exact same look and feel on multiple platforms.

Being former military, I like standardization. Once I got over the Mac-like UI of Xojo on my windows machine, I like the fact it looks exactly the same on both my Windows and Linux machines.

Opinions will vary but I would prefer as consistent behavior as possible across operating system platforms but a native look and feel unique to each operating system platform and version.

Geoff Perlman I have to disagree here. The functionality should be the same perhaps but the look and feel of the app should be native to the platform upon which it’s running. I see no benefit to having the exact same look and feel on multiple platforms.

Then what was the reasoning behind Xojo’s UI? It is certainly not native to each platform.

It’s a lot more work to give a native look to each platform when you use custom controls… and IDE uses a LOT of custom controls.

  • Karen

Karen, I don’t think I understand your point.

Geoff disagrees with me which is fine… it’s his company. I do agree with him that functionality should be the same across platforms - to me that should be a given. He goes on to state the look and feel should be native to the platform and he sees no benefit to having the same look and feel on multiple platforms. If there is no benefit to this, then why does Xojo look like it does on Windows, Linux, and I’m assuming a Mac (I don’t own a Mac). Following that line of logic, then Xojo should look like a regular Windows and Linux program on my machines.

I happen to like that they look exactly the same across platforms and would like to learn how to do that for myself.

Because they use custom controls that they draw themselves instead of native controls for the IDE.

So you’re telling me this is too hard to do as a beginner? If so, I’ll move on.

It’s not too hard as a beginner. In fact, there is little you have to do for beginner level projects. But for a project as extensive as the IDE, where native controls just don’t cut it, they didn’t have enough time/resources to make it look native on all platforms. I believe they said they will address that in the future.

Thanks Tim. I flipped through Xojo’s 4 User Guide books and didn’t see any examples on how to do it. I did find a 3rd party tool (Jeremie Leroy’s Custom UI) though as a hobbyist and beginner 199 Euros is a bit out of my price range. I’m sure there’s a more cost effective way to do this.

I see a benefit and strong argument for having the same or very similar UI for an application like Xojo where the users of the application are using the same application across different platforms on (hopefully) a very regular basis. I think you may see potential Windows customers for Xojo complaining that it looks like a Mac application and that may influence your decision. However you may want to remind them that one of, if not the most successful multimedia application on Windows is iTunes and it too has a very Mac-like UI. Even Office 2011 for Mac keeps the Windows Ribbon menus and just sacrifices the toolbar when going the other way around.

Do you hope to make a Visual Studio / Office 2013 like UI (flat using WPF) for Xojo or stick with the outdated legacy style?

Carl, such people are called “straddlers”. I’ve had a very popular cross-platform application used in schools where the similarity of Mac and Windows UI was a huge selling point. It let school district IT purchasers do whatever deal with Apple or Dell or whomever that they wanted to do without having to worry about a key application either working or needing additional platform-specific training.

Whether you go really platform native with your UIs in a cross-platform app or keep them very similar really depends on how you’re deploying. If you’re in OS vendors’ app stores, then it’s probably super important to be as platform native as possible. If you’re selling to mixed environments, it’s probably super important to not have a lot of friction for those who have to or want to straddle. YMMV.

I think that I am a ‘straddler’ then :slight_smile: I do believe that the apps compiled by Xojo should look native to the target, at least by default. However I am not convinced as an existing user (and primarily Windows) that Xojo needs to look native and when I ‘straddle’ (I think it is natural to do so with Xojo) it is a benefit that it looks and works similarly across platforms. As a developer I would rather have new language features such as generics, plug-ins compiled by Xojo, support for .NET technologies, IDE extensions… Maybe chasing more Windows sales will lose what I believe is a cross-platform (straddling) benefit but Geoff is the boss. The two cross platform tools that I use RubyMine and WebStorm are Java based and offer platform skins, I set the same skin on each platform.

Now I am off to tell my friends that I am a ‘straddler’ :slight_smile: thanks Brad!

I hate itunes. It’s an abomination on Windows.

Don’t use it… :wink:

This is one of those issues where when people come at you with “the customer is always right”, as a designer, you have to figure out who your customer really is. In sorting through this particular issue, I took a lot of grief from a Windows guy who was on the leadership team and a Mac customer who was the self-appointed defender of The Macintosh Way. The value of both’s sense of correct aesthetics were dwarfed by school districts that needed to protect their investments in software. And BTW, when people’s religious beliefs about UI and software get involved and there are enough people (i.e. > 1), someone is going to get smacked down hard. Do it early and get it over with so you don’t have to do it repeatedly :-).

I agree, I think that the cross-platform developer is a specialised developer. If you just develop for a specific platform then you are going to be very much ‘into’ that UI/UX.

Anyway - I will spectate on this one, I can switch UI easily coming from the Windows world but I wonder how happy the Mac fans are going to be if they really want to develop for Windows using a Windows UI :slight_smile: and then there is the iOS target, I assume it is a huge potential market for Xojo and assume it is going to need the real iOS simulator for anything serious, so it will all happen on the Mac (UI).

It only appears that way after you use iTunes on a Mac. I sit here nearly all day in Windows and so iTunes for Windows is much better than nothing and there are no real rivals. The closest could be Spotify and on Windows it too looks like a Mac application.

I would love to find the statistics on Windows users vs. Mac users for iTunes - I assume that Apple are (very frequently) maintaining the Windows version because it is important to them on a rival OS in the same way that MS do with Office Mac.

andddd… nothing about how-to. I also would love to use Jeremy Leroys Custom UI… I don’t have any concern about UI consistency across platforms, but the standard UI for windows… is so ugly it hurts…