At 05:16 PM 6/10/1999 +0000, nasser abbasi wrote:

>So, simply add a button on the GUI to allow the client to switch
>the GUI look&feel to one they like (at run-time, without restarting
>the application). Done all the time. you never know, some windows
>users might want to use the X look&feel !

    Let's see, I want to know if I have to implement two ways to invoke the
application, depending on which look and feel is appropriate, and you say,
"No problem in Java, you can switch without restarting."  The issue I was
discussing was whether or not I have to support multiple interfaces.  In
practice, we have found that the major differences between the versions are
not mechanically switchable traits.  We had one project where we tried
exactly this.  It failed, not for technical reasons--the same Ada code
would generate screens for either Windows 95, Unix, or Mac, and the menu
idioms, mapping mouse buttons, etc., all changed based on the target OS and
screen size.  I'll let Dave Emery explain what happened.

    Right now on GCCS-AF, we are migrating to PCs running NT as the
clients, while Solaris is used for the servers.  Some applications have two
different servers, some run only on one platform, etc.  No magic bullet is
going to solve this problem.  It is always going to involve extra work to
make the interface acceptable on both platforms.  For some programs, you
can design to both from the start, on others, as I mentioned, you have two
different GUIs depending on the client, and some are designed with only one
target in mind.

    But the whole original point was that if the designers DON'T ask, you
know that you are in trouble, even if there aren't any plans to migrate.

                                        Robert I. Eachus

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