Visual Perl/Tk editor (widget edition)

               Revision 2.38

  (by Felix Liberman - FelixL@Rambler.ru)

VPTK is an interactive tool for automatic Perl/Tk code
generation.
This editor can help to an unexperienced programmer
in widget-based Perl/Tk application development.
It can be a 'long brush' tool for user interface sketching.
This is NOT graphic editor for bitmap/vector pictures.
This is NOT text-based IDE with full development features 
support.
Detailes about this project goals and status see in POD-file
vptk_presentation.pod distributed with this package.

  0. License

This software distributed FREE under GNU Public License.
You can visit http://www.gnu.org in order to see details.
Original author - Felix Liberman - welcomes all contributors
to make changes and re-distribute this product under GPL terms.
See also Chapter 9 of this document.

  1. Main menu

All editing functions can be called from main menu:
File Insert Edit View Debug      Help

File
File menu allow project I/O operations and modification of
project properties.

Note:
There are two most common ways to use generated code:
- Generate fully executable code and run it as standalone script
- Generate code for subwindow using $mw as base window
In second case user can embed his design in dialog box or
control panel.

Insert
User can (near) free insert each widget inside of
others. Although it's not recommended to insert sub-widgets
inside of 'regular' widgets. Really useful containers are
Frame, NoteBookFrame and LabFrame.

During insertion some geometry collisions may occour.
Refer to 'Geometry' chapter of this manual for details.

Widgets that can be inserted under regular containers:
- Frame
- Label
- Button
- Entry
- Text
- Listbox
- LabEntry
- LabFrame
- Scale
- Optionmenu
- Message
- BrowseEntry
- Radiobutton
- Checkbutton
- Menubutton
- packAdjust (Adjustor)
- NoteBook

(the list of widgets could be extended by writing respective module)

Starting from Rev 2.36 you can define new widget class and it will be
available in this dialog box. The only limitation is that generated
application must run in the same Perl environment with the same modules
installed.

Notebook can contain only NoteBookFrames;
Menubutton can contain one and only one Menu;
Menu can contain:
- command
- cascade
- checkbutton
- radiobutton
- separator

Debug
Debug menu allows you to perform 3 basic actions:
- Edit code with default editor (see setup for details)
- Check source syntax (perl -c)
- Run program (when "generate full executable" options checked)
During syntax check and program run the STDOUT will be sent to 
new terminal window and piped via "less" utility.

Note that VPTK_W.pl pops-up dialog box asking about edited data
re-load. Please answer on this dialog only AFTER closing external
editor window.

  2. Toolbar


Some commonly used actions can be invoked using toolbar buttons.
Holding mouse pointer on such button you can see it's short description.

  3. Keyboard shortcuts

There are also keyboard shortcuts for main commands:
  Ctrl/Z - Undo
  Ctrl/R - Redo
  Ctrl/O - File Open
  Ctrl/S - File Save
   DEL   - Delete

  4. Mouse

Mouse functions:

  Left button - select object under cursor
  Left button double-click - edit object properties
  Right button - call pop-up menu for this object

This mapping works both in design tree list and in
preview window.

Exclusion:
Actions in preview window can cause callback function
to run, thus (for VPTK application safety) calls to
real functions replaced with message box popup.

  5. Hierarhy

  Due to modular character of Tk geometry manager your
project must have hierarhy structure: each widget may
have father (container), brothers (neighbor widgets
sitting in same container) and children (sub-widgets).

  Note that brother widgets must use same geometry
manager. Conflicts of such type automatically detected
and resolved by VPTK.

  6. Status bar

  In the bottom of editor window located status bar, displaying
ID of currently selected object, mouse (X,Y) coordinates and
modification flag

NOTE:
If going back with 'undo' you reach state before 1st modification
the modification flag remain 'dirty' :-(

  7. Geometry conflicts and Tk glitches

  What is geometry conflict? First of all it's mix of different
geometry managers under same parent widget. Additional restriction
(possible deviated from first one) Tk geometry manager gets
mad if user tryes to use 'grid' geometry under frame with label.

  Yet another geometry conflict source: when some widget use
packAdjust 'sub-widget' while 'brothers' use non-pack
geometry managers. No solution till now (simply avoid such
situations - otherwise application became stuck).

  As noted in chapter 5, this type of conflicts arise only
for widgets placed on the same level in same container.

  More Tk glitches that recommended to consider:
  - when baloons assigned to some widgets Tk goes mad after
the widget clicked (fixed in latest Tk releases);
  - baloons not working in dialog windows - only in top-level;
  - color dialog can't be called from dailog window.

  8. Input fields and I/O format

  Your 'hand-written' source code in most cases can't be read-in
by this program. This 'feature' appears due to limitations in
source code format suggested by author for internal use.
Please do not save partially interpreted code over original one.

  This apply to users that generated some code and manually
changed it from outside of VPTK. Latest VPTK version allow
much more flexibility with nearly full set of widget options,
variables and callback subroutines support + freestyle user-side
code (mainly for callbacks) that can be edited from VPTK and
stored safely. Thus I'll recommend to preserve generated
part unchanged for future editing purposes.

  For all data entered in input boxes applied following rules:
- one-line text data automatically quotated in output code;
  commas and brackets prohibited inside of such text fields
- multi-line text stored "as is" (excluding cases when separator
  comment-line added)
- callback fields content could be selected from user-defined
  subroutines list. For closure procedures and runtime latched
  parameters you should type respective Perl/Tk line (see Tk
  callbacks reference for details)
- variable pointer mentioned in "associated variable input box" 
  automatically produce "use vars ..." definition, but you
  should be careful and provide pointer to some scalar variable
  there. Otherwise this parameter will be useless in generated
  code.

  9. Additional (but not less important) notes

  My program developed for "fair use" suggesting that user would
not try intentionally damage any data. From my side done all the
best in order to supply powerful 'undo' mechanisms for such cases
elimination. All bug reports are welcomed and will be served ASAP.

  You can contact me, download updated versions of this program
and other FREE software from my site http://felix.da.ru

  Thanks a lot to all customers that send me advices and
suggestions.

  Thanks to PerlTk.ORG web-site for publishing my dilettante
artwork among real PerlTk classics.

  10. Copyright

Copyright (c) 2002 Felix Liberman

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.