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From "Simeon H.K. Fitch" <>
Subject RE: Antidote Design
Date Wed, 07 Feb 2001 20:09:43 GMT

> i discovered your excellent design-overview.html in the new Ant
> 1.3b1 source tree.

Many thanks! Not many people have taken the time to delve into the Antidote
framework. It's good to have other's review it.

> I started learning Swing, and was somehow disappointed that such
> a brand-new toolkit still didn't catch up with the NeXTSTEP
> environment from the early 90's.

Let's hope that Apple capitalizes on that! I've heard writing OS X apps in
Java using t he native libraries and toolkit is a dream.

> I think your design ideas concerning the seperation of event
> generator and event consumer hit the point.

Thanks for the validation. One problem I see with Open Source development
efforts is there isn't a good process for validating design before code is
written; OSD is very code centric, which is great for small
things/procedural model development, but for larger scale OO software I
think a OS methodology is needed.

> So my first humble question is: Where did you get your ideas from?

I wish I could give you a useful or exciting answer, but the only truthful
one is that the ideas for the Antidote framework have come from making
mistakes on past projects. I have not been very disciplined in researching
other projects' approches. I've been blessed to have had the opportunity to
develope several full-featured GUI applications, which has forced me to get
past the initial simplicity of laying out widgets in forms, and into the
larger-scope design issues that a framework must address. The Antidote
framework encorages separation of roles and responsibilities, which I think
is key to any GUI application that is to grow or have to accomidate changes
over time (e.g. easy maintenance). The downside is that you end up with lots
of classes ;-)

> To some extend, your design focuses on the user -> system
> dispatching sequence.

(...which facilitiates the dispatching of commands from many places in the

> In many areas (esp. complicated dialogs with some data <-> ui
> element activation dependency) there is also the need for having
> a general "dialog management" framework.
> This is my second question: do you know such a beast? Do you have
> any pointers to design documents or implementations?

This is something I've clearly not addressed, nor have I research it at all.
The only place where I've run across an implementation of such a beast (by
accident) was in the source code for the NetBeans IDE, where I believe they
have a framework for dialog management. They've also got some other cool
ideas: "cookies", data model access, and a really good action managment
system. Talk about humbling...

Thanks again for your inquiry.


Simeon H.K. Fitch
Mustard Seed Software

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