On Fri, May 26, 2000 at 10:36:41AM +0200, Marc Waeckerlin wrote:
> i found out, that there is no automatically generated dialog for the
> parameters in interactive mode (why), 

I too thought this should be done automagically, that libgimpui should
at least have a "dialog cauldron"[1].  And dialog construction /is/ done
automagically for the scripting languages (script-fu, maybe others?).

But the counter-arguement is that while this works for plug-ins which
are written as quick hacks, it does not encourage good interface design.
A dialog made from something as brief as the PDB specification won't
know things like reasonable default values, acceptable ranges, whether
it makes more sense to use sliders or entry boxes, which parameters
should be presented as logically related, etc.

All that is almost managable though, until you think about the fact that
all but the simplest plug-ins should have an interactive preview.
That's something that needs to be considered in the design of the
plug-in at a fairly fundamental level, and can't be efficiently done in
an automatic way.

That's not to say that we don't have a ways to go yet in terms of making
things easier for the plug-in author.  libgimpui 1.2 is, for better or
worse, a stopgap measure until things get "done right" for version 2.
There also needs to be a more sophisticated pannable/zoomable/updatable
preview widget, and probably other things besides.  Maybe we'll see a
gimp-mode for Glade.  But whether or not a plug-in author will be able
to get away without writing any UI code, I'm not sure.

One interesting alternative is the MathMap plug-in.  For filter
functions which can be expressed fairly concisely and want an
automaticically generated UI for a few parameters, it's a good choice.  
Check it out:

[1] One example of a dialog cauldron:

> btw: writing the filter is not so trivial, since you can run into
>      troubles when you need the environment of a pixel because of the
>      tiles. there is no good example for using get/set pixel regions

Wow.  You found the tile iterator example easier to follow than the
get/set pixel region calls?  That's good to know.  Your feedback helps a
lot for the next revision.

 - Kevin

Kevin Turner <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> | OpenPGP encryption welcome here
Plug-ins: They make GIMP do stuff.  http://gimp-plug-ins.sourceforge.net/
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