16 The Interface Builder

The Interface Builder lets you construct graphical user interfaces (GUIs) for your applications. You design and test each window or dialog in your application, and the Interface Builder generates the necessary source code to create the windows you have designed; all you need to do is add callbacks to the generated code so that your own source code is utilized.

As you create each window, it is automatically displayed and updated on-screen, so that you can see what you are designing without having to type in, evaluate, or compile large sections of source code.

As well as making code development significantly faster, the Interface Builder allows you to try out different GUI designs, making it easier to ensure that the final design best suits your users' needs.

The Interface Builder has three views to let you design an interface.

Like the debugger tool, the Interface Builder also has its own menu bar, containing commands that let you work with a loaded interface, or any of its components.

To create an Interface Builder, choose Tools > Interface Builder from the podium.

Figure 16.1 The Interface Builder

Because the Interface Builder generates source code which uses the CAPI library, this chapter assumes at least a minimum knowledge of the CAPI. See the LispWorks CAPI User Guide and the LispWorks CAPI Reference Manual for details.

A complete example showing you how to use the Interface Builder to design an interface, and how to integrate the design with your own code, is given in Example: Using The Interface Builder. You are strongly advised to work through this example after reading this chapter, or in conjunction with it.

16.1 Creating or loading interfaces

16.2 Creating an interface layout

16.3 Creating a menu system

16.4 Editing and saving code

16.5 Performing operations on objects

16.6 Performing operations on the current interface

16.7 Performing operations on elements

Common LispWorks User Guide (Unix version) - 11 Apr 2005