Windows UI summer of code project

Gregor Dick igregord at
Tue Apr 21 11:01:09 EDT 2009

Mark Doliner wrote:
> This year we accepted TWO students to work on a better/native Windows
> user interface for libpurple.  It's not decided what these projects
> entail exactly, nor if/how these two students should interact.  I know
> I'm opening a can of worms here, but I think it's probably a good idea
> for us to talk about what we'd like to see from these projects.  The
> language and drawing toolkit are the biggest decisions.  Wade proposed
> using either .NET or XULRunner with the possibility of also comparing
> against MFC, and Gregor proposed using straight up win32 api.


> It sounds like Wade and Gregor might not have very overlapping
> experience with Windows UI toolkits.  Gregor, are you very familiar
> with MFC or .NET?  Wade, are you very familiar with win32 or MFC?  If
> not then it seems like it makes the most sense for the two students to
> work independently, with Gregor using win32 and Wade using .NET (or
> maybe XUL or MFC).

Firstly, thank you for accepting my proposal. I'm grateful for the
opportunity to devote the summer to the project and am really looking
forward to it.

My initial feeling is that it would be best for the two projects to run
separately. I have some familiarity with .NET, but not enough, I think,
to attempt something like this in the proposed timescale.

Having two parallel projects, at least for the duration of the summer,
is perhaps no bad thing. Building a front-end collaboratively from
scratch might be awkward, but would be more feasible once the
foundations have been established. Come the end of SoC, a certain amount
of cross-pollenation of design principles could be useful, and then
either or both projects could be continued according to developer time
and will, both SoC-students and otherwise.

As regards the MFC, I'm not sure that it's really appropriate for the
task. It's a bit more than just a wrapper for the Win32 API, and a lot
of its functionality is geared towards 'productivity'-type apps, with
its Document/View model. Also, I have scarcely worked with it myself;
Wade, do you have a clearer idea of how using the MFC might work out?

-Gregor Dick

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