EZGUI, PowerBasic and the Enterprise
What advantage does EZGUI (combined with PowerBasic) provide for the Enterprise ?
With all the talk of Windows 8 and whether the enterprise should upgrade, backward compatibility is an important concern. With so many XP computers still running, designing for Metro (or whatever Microsoft will call it) may not be an option. Building desktop apps the same as before also may not be a good option, since they may not fit well with the coming flood of tablet PC’s. Also tablet PC’s (x86) which are affordable, often come with lower end CPU’s and GPU’s (aka. Atom) and have smaller harddrives (SSD’s) in the 32 gigabyte range, so bloated software is not an option either (aka. dot.net).
EZGUI has some unique features which give developers in the Enterprise more choices which may better bridge the old (XP) and the new (Windows 8). The first thing is the amazingly small footprint. The entire GUI runtime comes in at about 1 megabyte in size (and multiple apps can share the same runtime) and as small as 700 KB. This means that EZGUI applications can run on a very limited system (less memory, less drive space). EZGUI apps do not require components that must be registered with the operating system first. EZGUI uses standard DLL’s which require no system registration. This means just copy and run. Apps can be copied to flash drives and moved from PC to PC. Tablet SSD’s need not be very large since EZGUI apps can be very small in size.
EZGUI 5.0 has been tested on Windows 8 and it runs very well and its major features appear to be well supported by Windows 8. So far I have tested things like ownerdraw, customdraw, canvas control and sprite engine, drag and drop, opengl canvas control and 3D scripting, MCI and more.
EZGUI 5.0 was designed to be dynamic. This means it tests to see what operating system is running and impliments features accordingly. Most features though should run on Windows XP to Windows 8. This means you can build apps for all the computers in the Enterprise, from XP to Windows 8 and have a larger platform for your software. in the past software developers built apps to have the look and feel of what ever development system they were using. Now with Windows 8, even things like how themes will look will be drastically different (the flat Metro look). EZGUI was designed so you can customize the look and feel of your applications, so you are not limited to how the operating system makes them look. With built in OwnerDraw support, you can custom menus, buttons, listboxes, comboboxes, tab controls, listview controls and more.
EZGUI 5.0 was designed for pushing graphic features to the fore. Its proprietary 2D Sprite engine, works just as well on Windows XP as it does on Windows 8. Actually it even works on Windows 95/98/ME and 2000 too. It’s glCanvas control has a 3D scripting language based on OpenGL 1.0 to 2.0 which most computers support. Even though OpenGL 3.0 and 4.0 supposedly deprecates some features of 1.0 and 2.0, most graphic card/GPU manufacturers have decided to continue to support OpenGL 1.0 and 2.0, to maintain backward compatibility. This means that EZGUI’s 3D Canvas control should work on the majority of PC’s, even ones with Windows 8. Intel GPU’s, used on most mass market PC’s as well as on many tablet PC’s have been very good in supporting OpenGL 2.0. This means you can build graphic oriented applications which will run on the majority of your PC’s. EZGUI 3D graphics is not dependent upon DirectX so you don’t have version compatibility problems. The 2D sprite engine is 100% software based and not dependent upon DirectX, so it runs nearly on all Windows PC’s. I have even tested both the sprite engine and the 3D engine on a very old Windows 95 computer (albeit slower of course) and they run without a problem.
EZGUI apps even run quite well on Linux using WINE. This is because EZGUI runtimes use API’s which are very well supported across many versions of Windows, so such apps tend to be more compatible with something like WINE.
EZGUI was written in PowerBasic, which is why it is so compact and has excellent execution speed. PowerBasic is a quality 32 bit compiler which produces very small and very fast applications.
EZGUI has a unique feature, which I have not found on other development systems yet, called layers. Layers allow you to design an application and put controls on different layers and show and hide those layers as needed. Layers are not dependent upon a contain control either (ie. tab control). Layers is a way to get more out of the limited space on some displays. This may be very useful for build apps which will run on tablet PC’s. Another useful feature is EZGUI’s coordinate system. It is scalable. This means you can design an application so it scales to different devices. EZGUI also has its own autosize engine, so you can design forms which will automatically scale controls when it is resized.
To learn more about EZGUI 5.0 check out the following web pages:
Here is an interesting video where a major company is actually using software designed for them by one of my customers using EZGUI. At about 4: 32 (four minutes 32 seconds) into the video you will see a laptop computer, which is running an application which was created using EZGUI.
The developer, Fathom Systems, has written a number of commercial applications using EZGUI.
Date: August 10, 2012