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  • Browser GUI to run a PB DOS program

    I've just run across several threads in the PB forums that
    discuss this subject (first one was initiated by Siamack
    Yousofi??)and I find his idea intriguing.

    Here's my situation: I've got a PB DOS program that I'd like
    to run in Windows but I know virtually nothing about Windows
    programming. I think PB/CC lets me create a version of my DOS
    program that runs in Windows, but the new program is still
    a text based program that that basically doesn't have the more
    attractive Windows GUI. Alternatively, learning Windows
    programming (PB/DLL) would be too steep of a learning curve
    for me. Siamack's proposal on the otherhand implies I can get
    the Windows GUI (via a browser) with the ability to call on a
    DOS .exe file to do actual calculations. Am I correct so far??
    If so what problems could I expect in trying to do this?

    Lastly, can anyone suggest a good source that would help me
    learn about HTML and how to call a DOS exe file?

    Many thanks...

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  • #2
    Fred,
    I found myself in the same boat about 6 months ago. Having stopped programming
    when it was apparent "DOS was dead", I decided not to tackle the Windows
    world...from a development standpoint. Then recently I needed a few "simple"
    programs that commercially would cost a few thousand dollars. After a little
    research I ended up buying a copy of EZGUI (I already had the latest PB
    compilers....like to stay current even if I don't use them I guess). With
    EZGUI and PB/DLL in hand I learned enough to make some pretty decent
    little apps. Then I started playing with PB/CC and CGI. It turns out that
    using a Web interface with a standard compiled PB/CC application via VGI
    was not very difficult at all and work rather well. PB/CC is much more like
    the PBDos product than PB/DLL (You'll feel right at home) yet takes
    advantage of some nice Windows features.
    I found that you can pretty much create any decent PB/CC application and
    call it from a web link, either via a form (the user fills out some data
    fields then "sends" the data to the PB/CC app) or from a simple button/hyperlink
    click. I'm not a big HTML programmer, but I can do a pretty good job
    with a WYSIWYG editor (my favorite is WebExpress www.mvd.com). You can
    design the page, copy the source and pretty much add WRITECGI "....
    in front of each HTML line to generate dynamic pages.
    I know this is a 30,000ft overview, but if you're willing to learn
    some basic HTML stuff (its not that hard) you should be able to master
    PB/CC concepts and use a Web front end with little problems.

    ------------------
    Software makes Hardware Happen

    Comment


    • #3
      The acronym "VGI" in the post above should read "CGI".

      You can find more info on CGI programming (even using PB/DOS to create a CGI app) on this BBS, in the TechNote area (it links off the main & support pages), and in the DOWNLOADS section.


      ------------------
      Lance
      PowerBASIC Support
      mailto:[email protected][email protected]</A>
      Lance
      mailto:[email protected]

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Joe Byrne:
        Fred,
        >>
        After a little
        research I ended up buying a copy of EZGUI (I already had the latest PB
        compilers....like to stay current even if I don't use them I guess). With
        EZGUI and PB/DLL in hand I learned enough to make some pretty decent
        little apps. Then I started playing with PB/CC and CGI. It turns out that
        using a Web interface with a standard compiled PB/CC application via VGI
        was not very difficult at all and work rather well. PB/CC is much more like
        the PBDos product than PB/DLL (You'll feel right at home) yet takes
        advantage of some nice Windows features.
        I found that you can pretty much create any decent PB/CC application and
        call it from a web link, either via a form (the user fills out some data
        fields then "sends" the data to the PB/CC app) or from a simple button/hyperlink
        click. I'm not a big HTML programmer, but I can do a pretty good job
        with a WYSIWYG editor (my favorite is WebExpress www.mvd.com). You can
        design the page, copy the source and pretty much add WRITECGI "....
        in front of each HTML line to generate dynamic pages.
        I know this is a 30,000ft overview, but if you're willing to learn
        some basic HTML stuff (its not that hard) you should be able to master
        PB/CC concepts and use a Web front end with little problems.
        Joe,
        Based on the scenario I describe below, which of the two routes
        is probably my best choice? I know the final choice is mine,
        but lacking examples of each I'm hard pressed to make a good
        choice....

        PB/DLL with EZGUI
        or
        PB/CC with a HTML browser interface

        Ultimately I really want an attractive Windows GUI that
        successfully talks with a program that offers sorted, calculated
        information obtained from a database file that a user creates.
        My program involves 3 modes of operation; data entry based on
        screen prompts; a choice to view "massaged" data to date; a
        choice to update a database record and finally a choice to delete
        a record.

        If the "attractive" Windows GUI were my highest priority, would
        the PB/CC and PB/DLL approaches offer very different results?
        If I understand correctly the only limits I have on a browser's
        GUI features are the limits imposed by what HTML can do... right?

        Would you by any chance know a place I could download a copy of
        a really attractive PB/CC program that linked to Web page
        so that I could check out screen appearance?
        A picture is worth 10,000 words...

        Fred



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        Comment


        • #5
          We 'all' took the learning curve.

          Understanding the basic's using PB/DLL with DDT is not very hard.

          Most programm code should have nothing to do with GUI anyway..


          ------------------
          hellobasic

          Comment


          • #6
            Just a couple thoughts ---

            While using a web browser with PB is kinda interesting, I don't think I'd want to write an interactive app with it; the code overhead would be complex. The browser presents data very well, and can gather stuff a screen at a time.. after that, it get sticky. A trivial example is immediately popping up a window when the operator enters an amount that's over the customer's credit limit. PB/CC does CGI's pretty well; in the right environment, it's a great tool.

            PB/DLL with DDT creates nice looking windows apps. Combine it with Chris Boss' EZGUI or FreeDDT designer, and the 'grunt work' of creating the interface is greatly reduced for you; mostly you will deal with the computational and data manipulation stuff. Yes, there's a learning curve, but greatly reduced, and it can be argued that Windoze is the world's largest library of utility routines (find what the day of the week it is in 2 or 3 lines of code)

            That being said, if you are creating a program that requires a lot of data entry, PB/CC may be the best solution. As pretty as the Win-GUI can be, character mode apps are still the fastest for raw data entry and presentation. One app we use regularly at work is done in PB/CC. It gatersd data from the user and from a disk file, and reports are created and printed using Don Dickinson's DDOC add-on. DDOC makes it easy to created formatted, ready-to-print reports. Meanwhile, the entire Windoze API is available to PB/CC as well. So, for many things, PB/CC is still very viable (although I must say that VIEW TEXT is sorely missed)

            And before anyone else says it, there the "artist/paintbrush" rule, but the paintbrush the artist chooses is important.


            ------------------
            [email protected]
            http://www.northnet.org/bdurland
            Real programmers use a magnetized needle and a steady hand

            Comment


            • #7
              Siamack's idea is an interesting one, I have never bothered as I
              have had the tools for doing GUI front ends for years but I do
              sometimes set up a set of HTML pages for information purposes and
              one of the tricks I have found is to use the HTML help front end
              driver rather that one of the big and slow browsers like IE 5.?
              or Netscape 4.7?.

              HH.EXE is a tiny program and I think it uses the same set of DLLs
              that IE uses but it is far smaller and loads a lot faster than either
              of the big browswer so it may be a viable option for driving the
              front ends for GGI programs written in PBCC.

              Regards,

              [email protected]

              ------------------
              hutch at movsd dot com
              The MASM Forum

              www.masm32.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Edwin Knoppert:
                We 'all' took the learning curve.

                Understanding the basic's using PB/DLL with DDT is not very hard.

                Perhaps not, but one wonders why there are numerous commments from programmers making the DOS/Win transition that
                speak of difficulties..
                Out of curousity, how long would you estimate it would take a PB DOS programmer to learn Windows programming?


                Most programm code should have nothing to do with GUI anyway..

                I concur but given my "almost zero" knowledge of Windows programming, what would I have to learn to port my source code
                to a Windows environment? Also wouldn't different Windows require different code?



                ------------------

                Comment


                • #9
                  [QUOTE]Originally posted by Bud Durland:
                  [b]Just a couple thoughts ---

                  While using a web browser with PB is kinda interesting,
                  I don't think I'd want to write an interactive app with it;
                  the code overhead would be complex. The browser presents
                  data very well, and can gather stuff a screen at a time..
                  after that, it get sticky. A trivial example is immediately
                  >>
                  Would pop up windows offering "View next portion of report"
                  or "Print hardcopy of complete report" fall into this sticky
                  area?
                  >>
                  popping up a window when the operator enters an amount that's
                  over the customer's credit limit. PB/CC does CGI's pretty well;
                  in the right environment, it's a great tool.

                  PB/DLL with DDT creates nice looking windows apps. Combine it
                  with Chris Boss' EZGUI or FreeDDT designer, and the 'grunt work'
                  of creating the interface is greatly reduced for you; mostly you
                  will deal with the computational and data manipulation stuff.
                  >>
                  Here's a dumb question... The computational and/or data
                  manipilation stuff would be done in what programming language?
                  Remember your talking to a DOS programmer
                  >>
                  Yes, there's a learning curve, but greatly reduced, and it can
                  be argued that Windoze is the world's largest library of utility
                  routines (find what the day of the week it is in 2 or 3 lines
                  of code)
                  >>
                  Where can you find these libraries and utilities? Unless you know
                  their names, how do you begin to look for them?

                  That being said, if you are creating a program that requires a
                  lot of data entry, PB/CC may be the best solution. As pretty
                  as the Win-GUI can be, character mode apps are still the fastest
                  for raw data entry and presentation. One app we use regularly
                  >>
                  Data entry would initially be 25-30 pieces of information,
                  with follow-ups of 5-10 subsequent updated pieces of information.
                  Would this scenario be difficult to program?
                  >>
                  at work is done in PB/CC. It gatersd data from the user and
                  from a disk file, and reports are created and printed using
                  Don Dickinson's DDOC add-on. DDOC makes it easy to created
                  formatted, ready-to-print reports. Meanwhile, the entire
                  ...

                  ------------------

                  Comment

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