Alternatives to Win32 API IDE's and programming

General FreeBASIC programming questions.
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jaskin
Posts: 62
Joined: Sep 01, 2018 20:19

Alternatives to Win32 API IDE's and programming

Post by jaskin »

I'm sick and tired of trying to learn how to program with Win32 API. This includes nice IDEs like WinFBE. There has to be a far better and easier way to develop Windows applications without trying to learn and understand Win32 API programming, which IMHO is an abomination. I love using Freebasic and will continue to use it for developing my own applications solely for compute-intensive work that doesn't require a GUI. When it comes to developing a Windows application with say the Listbox class and the like then it becomes too hard. I don't want to become an expert in Win32 APIs. I haven't got the time. I need an IDE that will allow me to do it without taking my focus away from what I need to do. I tried VS a long time ago and I'm not sure if it would do anything much different to what WinFBE already does. For example, I would like to create a window with lines of text, each with a different color. I managed to get it to work using WinFBE with the help of someone else on planetsquires.com. What I need next is to change the font and font size of all the lines of text. It's certainly not intuitive with Win32 API. It appears I have to use something else other than the Listbox class, or some obscure command with a Listbox. This is just one example of many. So, any suggestions as to what IDE is out there to do things far more easily and quickly including all the finer details, such as what I just described by way of an example? If VS is it then so be it. I will just have to learn how to drive VS (again). Also, is there an alternative to raw Win32 API programming that's a lot easier and simpler to learn? I doubt it.
marcov
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Re: Alternatives to Win32 API IDE's and programming

Post by marcov »

- VS (C++) has MFC as win32 wrapper. Since the community VS editions (+/- 10 years) this is now also available in free editions. Before the free VS parts that came with the SDK lacked it. I don't have much experience with it.
- Delphi has the VCL (and Lazarus a mostly compatible LCL)

Note that for not straightforward use, additional programming and win32 knowledge might still be necessary.
jaskin
Posts: 62
Joined: Sep 01, 2018 20:19

Re: Alternatives to Win32 API IDE's and programming

Post by jaskin »

marcov wrote: Apr 11, 2024 21:21 - VS (C++) has MFC as win32 wrapper. Since the community VS editions (+/- 10 years) this is now also available in free editions. Before the free VS parts that came with the SDK lacked it. I don't have much experience with it.
- Delphi has the VCL (and Lazarus a mostly compatible LCL)

Note that for not straightforward use, additional programming and win32 knowledge might still be necessary.
Thanks. Had a quick look at the Delphi site. Looks impressive, even the free one. Will give it a try. Has REST too, which I need as well for another app. Will try the latest VS too to see if that is any good.
St_W
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Re: Alternatives to Win32 API IDE's and programming

Post by St_W »

That's why there are so many GUI libraries out there. Some of the most popular ones are e.g. Qt and wxWidgets or Slint, to mention a newer one (all of them cannot really be used with FreeBasic unfortunately). Some FB-compatible ones are e.g. FLTK, IUP or GTK. However, I wouldn't recommend using FB for UI-intensive applications, as FB's tooling can't compete with other more widespread programming languages.
See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_widget_toolkits for an otherview of some GUI toolkits.

If you want to develop a really UI-intensive application and are somewhat used to web-technologies you might want to look into Frameworks allowing to use HTML/CSS/JS to develop a desktop application like Electron, or similar: https://github.com/sudhakar3697/awesome ... ternatives

For quick and simple UIs Visual Studio and WinForms with C#/VB is still a nice tool. For more complicated UIs Visual Studio and WPF could also be worth a look (there's also a visual designer, like for WinForms).
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