Programming
Article

GUIs with PHP and Winbinder

By Harry Fuecks

In case you missed it, Aaron Wormus has some excellent slides up about building Windows GUIs with PHP: Winbinding your PHP (PDF).

In brief, Winbinder is a GUI toolkit for PHP and Windows. The main site seems to be down right now but the code is available @http://sourceforge.net/projects/winbinder/. Compared to PHP-GTK it’s Windows only but at the same time fast and gives you the Windows look and feel. Winbinder also seems more suited to PHP hackers (procedural rather than OO)

Was otherwise surprised to see that things are happening (in CVS) at wxphp.sourceforge.net while phpc is actually useful. More interesting links at the end of Aarons slides.

All that said, would still say that Python plus wxPython is the sane option if you want a dynamic language to build GUIs in – mature, cross platform, native look and feel etc. The easiest way to express that is simply to link to applications like taskcoach or ActiveGrid’s Application Builder (which is in fact pretty amazing).

  • akrabat

    I’m currently playing with xulrunner which seems quite good, if alpha atm.

    (http://developer.mozilla.org/en/docs/XULRunner is a good place to start investigation)

  • webslave

    I was curious about the ActiveGrid’s Application Builder. Anybody currently use it? Is it just an easy way to build apps dynamically?

    -BTW: tried the PDF file, it seems to still be down as of 6:41 pm PDST on the 11/15/05.

    Keep plugging…

  • Seinfeld

    I played a lot with XUL too and I must say it’s over evaluated at the moment. It lacks basic controls like editable trees and other things.
    If you want to create other controls you have to on XBL which is very weird and the DOM access for XUL elements is simply confusing.
    Winbinder looks cooler.

  • akrabat

    Winbinder looks ok, except for being Windows only which makes it a non starter for me. You may as well just use MS’s new C# express product if you are creating a Windows only product.

    From a cross-platfrom point of view, I can only see wxWidgets, Java and XUL as options. Clearly wxWidgets and Java are a lot more mature and for a very complicated application are better bets.

    I wish I could like GTK, but it suffers the same as Java when it’s on Windows and just doesn’t feel right. Maybe when php-gtk 2 comes out, I’ll have another look.

  • asmictech

    While reinvent the wheel. Yeah got it that the look is better in Winbinder compared with PHP-GTK. But it’s windows based unlike php-gtk that’s cross plat.

    Anyway worths trying.

  • Rubem Pechansky

    Just to tell the WinBinder website is up and running again. It went down because we were switching to a new host. Sorry for the inconvenience.

  • jimbo

    I’m sorry, but I see no reason why this should exist. PHP is for the web, not for GUIs. PHP’s strength is that it fits into a niche market (the web.) You should use the right tool for the right job. They say that when you have a hammer everything looks like a nail…

  • http://www.phppatterns.com HarryF

    I’m sorry, but I see no reason why this should exist.

    Sometimes that the developer has an itch to scratch is reason enough. You might argue 5K Wolfenstein fits into the same category. And the justification here has valid points IMO.

    PHP is for the web, not for GUIs. PHP’s strength is that it fits into a niche market (the web.) You should use the right tool for the right job.

    That I agree with (hence references to Python as a sensible choice).

    That said think Winbinder is an interesting project in it’s own right – you have to read around the site to grasp that – that PHP is currently the the language to write Winbinder apps in is really a secondary issue. There’s even a suggestion that it could be replaced at the bottom of this page.

  • bobsorenson

    Harry, I have downloaded and installed ActiveGrid. It is a pretty amazing IDE. I am prototyping several apps that until ActiveGrid I only mused about.

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  • alsanan

    Bindows anyone? http://www.bindows.net

  • Ming

    Have you tried Klorofil?

    It is a new solution for building GUI application with PHP. In Klorofil website, we can download a calculator that made 100% with PHP. Interesting.

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