I still cannot seem to get a GUI working under Windows.

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I still cannot seem to get a GUI working under Windows.

caseyh
I still cannot seem to get a GUI working under Windows.

For Haskell GUI's is Ubuntu easier to setup.

If so, we're losing people if Haskell GUI's are so hard to get working  
under Windows.


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Re: I still cannot seem to get a GUI working under Windows.

JP Moresmau
There are issues, yes, and you may need the MinGW tool chain to get the GUI packages to build and install properly, but it does work. I have blogged about some of my experiences, both good and bad, at http://jpmoresmau.blogspot.com/. What GUI tool specifically do you want to use?

JP

On Wed, Sep 29, 2010 at 5:01 PM, <[hidden email]> wrote:
I still cannot seem to get a GUI working under Windows.

For Haskell GUI's is Ubuntu easier to setup.

If so, we're losing people if Haskell GUI's are so hard to get working under Windows.


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Re: I still cannot seem to get a GUI working under Windows.

Christopher Done
In reply to this post by caseyh
On 29 September 2010 17:01,  <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I still cannot seem to get a GUI working under Windows.
>
> For Haskell GUI's is Ubuntu easier to setup.
>
> If so, we're losing people if Haskell GUI's are so hard to get working under
> Windows.

We're losing people! Charge!

I think the problem is lack of Windows developers interested in GUIs,
and that Windows is not so POSIXy-development-friendly as Linux or OS
X. But mostly lack of people interested in that area, I think.
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Re: I still cannot seem to get a GUI working under Windows.

Steve Schafer
On Wed, 29 Sep 2010 20:08:07 +0200, you wrote:

>I think the problem is lack of Windows developers interested in GUIs,
>and that Windows is not so POSIXy-development-friendly as Linux or OS
>X. But mostly lack of people interested in that area, I think.

There are lots of Windows developers "interested" in GUIs. On the whole,
I'd say that Windows developers are far more focused on GUIs than
non-Windows developers. (See, for example:

 http://mpt.net.nz/archive/2008/08/01/free-software-usability

and

 http://daringfireball.net/2004/04/spray_on_usability

for some discussion of attitudes.)

The issue isn't that there aren't a lot of Windows developers who have
an interest in Haskell+GUI development. The issue is that nearly every
Windows developer who looks into Haskell+GUI says, "This stuff sucks,"
and walks away, because they're interested in developing applications,
not wrestling with GUI toolkits.

-Steve Schafer
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Re: I still cannot seem to get a GUI working under Windows.

aditya siram-2
I imagine that getting Haskell GUI libraries set and playing nice with
the native GTK libs is a pain on Windows.

That said, I know that Haskell has very nice Lua bindings and Lua has
pretty mature GTK bindings. Has anyone tried developing their UI in
Lua with Haskell doing all the heavy lifting?

-deech

On Wed, Sep 29, 2010 at 1:33 PM, Steve Schafer <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Wed, 29 Sep 2010 20:08:07 +0200, you wrote:
>
>>I think the problem is lack of Windows developers interested in GUIs,
>>and that Windows is not so POSIXy-development-friendly as Linux or OS
>>X. But mostly lack of people interested in that area, I think.
>
> There are lots of Windows developers "interested" in GUIs. On the whole,
> I'd say that Windows developers are far more focused on GUIs than
> non-Windows developers. (See, for example:
>
>  http://mpt.net.nz/archive/2008/08/01/free-software-usability
>
> and
>
>  http://daringfireball.net/2004/04/spray_on_usability
>
> for some discussion of attitudes.)
>
> The issue isn't that there aren't a lot of Windows developers who have
> an interest in Haskell+GUI development. The issue is that nearly every
> Windows developer who looks into Haskell+GUI says, "This stuff sucks,"
> and walks away, because they're interested in developing applications,
> not wrestling with GUI toolkits.
>
> -Steve Schafer
> _______________________________________________
> Haskell-Cafe mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo/haskell-cafe
>
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Re: I still cannot seem to get a GUI working under Windows.

Christopher Done
In reply to this post by Steve Schafer
On 29 September 2010 20:33, Steve Schafer <[hidden email]> wrote:
> There are lots of Windows developers "interested" in GUIs. [..]

> The issue isn't that there aren't a lot of Windows developers who have
> an interest in Haskell+GUI development.

Yeah, what do you think I meant? We're talking about the state of
Haskell GUI libraries, naturally I'm talking about Haskell GUI
developers. Of course Windows developers are obsessed with GUIs, I
can't get anything done in a terminal on Windows. (I'm exaggerating.)

> The issue is that nearly every
> Windows developer who looks into Haskell+GUI says, "This stuff sucks,"
> and walks away, because they're interested in developing applications,
> not wrestling with GUI toolkits.

Yeah, but not liking wrestling with libraries isn't peculiar to
Haskell developers. There just needs to be enough people that the
probability of there being a person who will bother to wrestle with it
is high enough. Hence, the issue is lack of interest.
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Re: I still cannot seem to get a GUI working under Windows.

Steve Schafer
On Wed, 29 Sep 2010 20:44:22 +0200, you wrote:

>Yeah, but not liking wrestling with libraries isn't peculiar to
>Haskell developers. There just needs to be enough people that the
>probability of there being a person who will bother to wrestle with it
>is high enough. Hence, the issue is lack of interest.

No, it isn't peculiar to Haskell developers; the problem is the one that
is discussed in more detail in the two references I gave in my previous
message: For the most part, developers who are attracted to open-source
projects (and this certainly includes the majority of Haskell
developers) simply don't think much of GUIs, and are consequently
willing to release software with half-baked GUI support (at best).

This is an attitude that just doesn't fly in the Windows world. Which is
unfortunate, because the Windows market is HUGE compared to OS X, and
STUNNINGLY HUGE compared to everything else.

The fix isn't going to be to find a developer who's willing to do the
work to make Haskell+GUI more seamless under Windows. The fix is for the
Haskell community--as a whole--to wake up and realize what the wxWidgets
folks did a while ago: "Hey, you know what? This GUI stuff is
_important_ if we want people to pay any attention to the software that
we write!"

-Steve Schafer
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Re: I still cannot seem to get a GUI working under Windows.

Andrew Coppin
In reply to this post by Steve Schafer
  On 29/09/2010 07:33 PM, Steve Schafer wrote:
> The issue isn't that there aren't a lot of Windows developers who have
> an interest in Haskell+GUI development. The issue is that nearly every
> Windows developer who looks into Haskell+GUI says, "This stuff sucks,"
> and walks away, because they're interested in developing applications,
> not wrestling with GUI toolkits.

Yep, that's the one.

If you want to build a GUI application in Tcl, it's going to take a
couple of minutes to throw together some Tk commands and you're done. In
Java, you'll have to write a mile of boilerplate, but there are wizzy
tools that will write it for you. And I gather that if you've coding in
C or C++ or C#, you can use VisualStudio to throw a complex GUI together
in a couple of minutes.

How do you do that in Haskell? Well, you can either install and
configure a complete Unix emulator and then compile wxHaskell from
source (?!), or you can use Gtk2hs, which still requires you to manually
install and configure GTK+ and compile the entire library from source
code. And even then, your developed application will only run on Windows
boxes that have GTK+ installed (i.e., none of them). All of which is a
far cry from "install IDE, click some buttons, run the wizzard, job done".

Then again, let us not claim that this is only a problem for GUI stuff.
If you want to access a database, or run compression algorithms, or play
sound, or do absolutely anything else which requires talking to C-land,
you've going to have to face a world of pain on Windows.

It seems that because this stuff is such a PITA on Windows, nobody uses
Haskell on Windows. And since nobody uses Haskell on Windows, nobody is
fixing these problems. So they just stay here, forever.

So anyway, that's the problem. The solution is...

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Re: I still cannot seem to get a GUI working under Windows.

Daniel Fischer-4
On Wednesday 29 September 2010 23:02:02, Andrew Coppin wrote:
> So anyway, that's the problem. The solution is...

Two obvious solutions.
- stop using Windows and migrate to an OS where stuff works pretty much out
of the box (not going to happen a lot)
- start helping to make things work on Windows (maybe someday that will
happen)
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Re: I still cannot seem to get a GUI working under Windows.

Ben Franksen
In reply to this post by Andrew Coppin
Andrew Coppin wrote:

>   On 29/09/2010 07:33 PM, Steve Schafer wrote:
>> The issue isn't that there aren't a lot of Windows developers who have
>> an interest in Haskell+GUI development. The issue is that nearly every
>> Windows developer who looks into Haskell+GUI says, "This stuff sucks,"
>> and walks away, because they're interested in developing applications,
>> not wrestling with GUI toolkits.
>
> Yep, that's the one.
>
> If you want to build a GUI application in Tcl, it's going to take a
> couple of minutes to throw together some Tk commands and you're done.

Right.

> In
> Java, you'll have to write a mile of boilerplate, but there are wizzy
> tools that will write it for you. And I gather that if you've coding in
> C or C++ or C#, you can use VisualStudio to throw a complex GUI together
> in a couple of minutes.

Not so, at least with C++. I have used VS and C++, it is horrible. Never
again.

> How do you do that in Haskell? Well, you can either install and
> configure a complete Unix emulator and then compile wxHaskell from
> source (?!), or you can use Gtk2hs, which still requires you to manually
> install and configure GTK+ and compile the entire library from source
> code. And even then, your developed application will only run on Windows
> boxes that have GTK+ installed (i.e., none of them).

Can you not statically link the gtk libraries?

> All of which is a
> far cry from "install IDE, click some buttons, run the wizzard, job done".

I never found that this actually works. Yea, you can get *something* running
pretty fast, but as soon as you start to do stuff that is not 100% standard
off-the-shelf, you are screwed. *This* is when things become *really*
difficult. All this compiling and installing libraries stuff is harmless,
compared to the problems caused by stupidly broken APIs and crippled
languages.

Cheers
Ben

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RE: I still cannot seem to get a GUI working under Windows.

Roderick Ford-2
In reply to this post by caseyh
These were enough to get me started:
 
http://www.haskell.org/haskellwiki/Opengl
 
http://haskell.forkio.com/com-examples
 
http://darcs.haskell.org/packages/Win32/examples/
 
 
Roderick
 

> Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2010 11:01:50 -0400
> From: [hidden email]
> To: [hidden email]
> Subject: [Haskell-cafe] I still cannot seem to get a GUI working under Windows.
>
> I still cannot seem to get a GUI working under Windows.
>
> For Haskell GUI's is Ubuntu easier to setup.
>
> If so, we're losing people if Haskell GUI's are so hard to get working
> under Windows.
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Haskell-Cafe mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo/haskell-cafe

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Re: I still cannot seem to get a GUI working under Windows.

Andrew Butterfield
In reply to this post by Steve Schafer

On 29 Sep 2010, at 20:34, Steve Schafer wrote:

>
> This is an attitude that just doesn't fly in the Windows world. Which is
> unfortunate, because the Windows market is HUGE compared to OS X, and
> STUNNINGLY HUGE compared to everything else.
>
> The fix isn't going to be to find a developer who's willing to do the
> work to make Haskell+GUI more seamless under Windows. The fix is for the
> Haskell community--as a whole--to wake up and realize what the wxWidgets
> folks did a while ago: "Hey, you know what? This GUI stuff is
> _important_ if we want people to pay any attention to the software that
> we write!"

This is why, when I developed my theorem prover, I put GUI aspects top of the list

I chose wxHaskell because I wanted portability

Ironically, given the thrust of this thread, I got it working without too much difficulty on Windows

GHC 10.6.4, latest binaries for wxHaskell - easy to install and get working

I gather several of my students have successfully done Linux builds of same

I switched over recently  to Mac OS X (10.6), and (more irony) am having real difficulties
getting it to work - installing wxHaskell is a real bear on this platform....


The GUI theorem prover - see http://www.scss.tcd.ie/Andrew.Butterfield/Saoithin/

(I was going to announce this project to the Haskell Community real soon now, so I guess this is as good a time as any .....)


>
> -Steve Schafer
> _______________________________________________
> Haskell-Cafe mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo/haskell-cafe

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Re: I still cannot seem to get a GUI working under Windows.

Serguey Zefirov
In reply to this post by Andrew Coppin
2010/9/30 Andrew Coppin <[hidden email]>:
> And even then, your
> developed application will only run on Windows boxes that have GTK+
> installed (i.e., none of them).

You can copy GTK+ DLLs with application.

It works very well.
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Re: I still cannot seem to get a GUI working under Windows.

Andrew Butterfield

On 30 Sep 2010, at 12:02, Serguey Zefirov wrote:

> 2010/9/30 Andrew Coppin <[hidden email]>:
>> And even then, your
>> developed application will only run on Windows boxes that have GTK+
>> installed (i.e., none of them).
>
> You can copy GTK+ DLLs with application.

Works fine with wxHaskell as well
>
> It works very well.
> _______________________________________________
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> [hidden email]
> http://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo/haskell-cafe

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Re: I still cannot seem to get a GUI working under Windows.

jutaro
In reply to this post by caseyh
Hi,

I would like to see that we add gtk2hs and/or wxHaskell to the Haskell Platform.
That would improve the situation!

I used gtk2hs and found it usable to build a cross platform GUI App. On Windows you
need an installer, which includes the gtk library part. There are some (on Windows quite popular) programs like Pidgin, which are gtk based.

Jürgen Nicklisch-Franken

caseyh wrote
I still cannot seem to get a GUI working under Windows.

For Haskell GUI's is Ubuntu easier to setup.

If so, we're losing people if Haskell GUI's are so hard to get working  
under Windows.


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Re: I still cannot seem to get a GUI working under Windows.

Richard A. O'Keefe
In reply to this post by Christopher Done

On 30/09/2010, at 7:08 AM, Christopher Done wrote:

> On 29 September 2010 17:01,  <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> I still cannot seem to get a GUI working under Windows.
>>
>> For Haskell GUI's is Ubuntu easier to setup.
>>
>> If so, we're losing people if Haskell GUI's are so hard to get working under
>> Windows.
>
> We're losing people! Charge!
>
> I think the problem is lack of Windows developers interested in GUIs,
> and that Windows is not so POSIXy-development-friendly as Linux or OS
> X. But mostly lack of people interested in that area, I think.

I think we should put this in perspective.
I teach a full-year 300-level software engineering paper.
This year the students were required to design a project of their
own and start to build it in Windows using C or C++.
Then we switched them to Linux -- it's an education, not a picnic!
For the final deliverable, they had to provide something I could
run on one of the department's Macs running Linux.

Welcome to DLL Hell.

Of course I made a good faith attempt to try to install the libraries
that they provided (if they did) but without superuser access there
are limits; I also made a good faith attempt to download and build
libraries they did not provide, but my patience has its limits and I
wasn't prepared to spend more than an hour per assignment doing this.
And of course there's the 64-bit -vs- 32-bit thing, where 32-bit
programs are *supposed* to run on 64-bit Linux, but some of the 32-bit
libraries required to make this actually work are missing...

Unless you are willing to work at the level of Xt or possibly Lesstif,
portability of GUI software on Linux in C or C++ does not come
automatically; you have to work at it.

Don't get me started on "everyone has the same kind of screen I do..."


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Re: I still cannot seem to get a GUI working under Windows.

Eric Kow
In reply to this post by caseyh
On Wed, Sep 29, 2010 at 09:51:14 +0000, [hidden email] wrote:
> I still cannot seem to get a GUI working under Windows.

Maybe this will help:

http://wewantarock.wordpress.com/2010/05/05/haskell-platform-2010-1-0-0-and-wxhaskell-on-windows/

--
Eric Kow <http://www.nltg.brighton.ac.uk/home/Eric.Kow>
For a faster response, try +44 (0)1273 64 2905 or
xmpp:[hidden email] (Jabber or Google Talk only)

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Re: I still cannot seem to get a GUI working under Windows.

Jeremy O'Donoghue
In reply to this post by Andrew Coppin
Apologies folks, rant coming up...

On Wed, 29 Sep 2010 22:02 +0100, "Andrew Coppin"
<[hidden email]> wrote:
>   On 29/09/2010 07:33 PM, Steve Schafer wrote:
> > The issue isn't that there aren't a lot of Windows developers who have
> > an interest in Haskell+GUI development. The issue is that nearly every
> > Windows developer who looks into Haskell+GUI says, "This stuff sucks,"
> > and walks away, because they're interested in developing applications,
> > not wrestling with GUI toolkits.
>
> Yep, that's the one.

[snip for brevity]
 

> How do you do that in Haskell? Well, you can either install and
> configure a complete Unix emulator and then compile wxHaskell from
> source (?!), or you can use Gtk2hs, which still requires you to manually
> install and configure GTK+ and compile the entire library from source
> code. And even then, your developed application will only run on Windows
> boxes that have GTK+ installed (i.e., none of them). All of which is a
> far cry from "install IDE, click some buttons, run the wizzard, job
> done".
>
> Then again, let us not claim that this is only a problem for GUI stuff.
> If you want to access a database, or run compression algorithms, or play
> sound, or do absolutely anything else which requires talking to C-land,
> you've going to have to face a world of pain on Windows.

As one of the people trying desperately to make this better on Windows
(i.e. as wxHaskell maintainer...), I'd have to add that aspects of GHC
make this much harder than I'd like.

Take the specific case of wxHaskell, since I'm familiar with it. The
'requirement' is pretty straightforward in principle. What I want is:

1) Make wxHaskell easy to build and install on all platforms.
2) Make wxHaskell work in GHCi for 'exploratory' programming as well as
for compiled executables

Bear in mind that as I have a (very) demanding day job and a young
family, I actually have no more than 3-4 hours a week (at best) to spend
maintaining wxHaskell. Bear in mind also that my interest in wxHaskell
was always to be able to develop software in Haskell, not fight with
linkers and build systems (I get enough of that at work, thanks). While
that's my personal problem, and others may not have the same issues, so
please feel free to not care at all, it's worth bearing in mind...

wxHaskell consists of a set of C bindings over the C++ core of
wxWidgets. Broadly speaking, these unmangle the C++ names and do little
else.

Now, wxWidgets, being C++, links against libstdc++ (a not unreasonable
requirement). MinGW, which is the underlying framework used by GHC only
knows how to link libstdc++ statically, but the way cabal constructs
link commands means that when wxcore gets loaded, GHCi attempts to load
libstdc++ dynamically. You're dead.

OK. Next step is to build the C wrapping as a separate DLL. In this case
libstdc++ can be statically linked with the wxc DLL and the dependency
on libstdc++ can go away. Trouble is, you now need to construct a C++
build system for a DLL in Cabal. Lots more custom build hooks, and some
of what goes on under the hood is magic. However, eventually you get
something which builds a DLL with only mildly sucky dependency
management. Problem is now to pick this up in GHC and GHCi. After
several weeks I still don't have the right stanza to invoke the linker.

Next make sure that this all coexists with the inevitable several
instances of MinGW, Cygwin and others which exist on the machine of a
typical developer who uses Open Source code - ideally throwing in a nice
mix of 32 and 64 bit variants of same, and with completely random path
orderings.

What would work best for me is something which is, I think, conceptually
quite simple: allow Cabal to pull DLLs (or .so or .dylib or wwhatever)
from some standard place (maybe in the Cabal tarball for a package), and
add them to the link lines correctly, plus put them somewhere GHC will
know about them for the future. This means that I, as wxHaskell
developer, could build 'known good' wxWidgets DLLs, plus a known good
wxc DLL and package them with wxcore, and end users would stop needing
to care about building for themselves.

This would let me use more appropriate build systems for the non-Haskell
components without requiring users to download and install an insane
number of libraries and developer tools - IOW, it puts the burden of
building libraries on the library maintainer, but takes away the burden
on the library maintainer of making this work for everyone else's
machines, and documenting it, keeping the build documentation up to date
and simple enough for people who don't want to become C or C++
developers to understand!

As it is, in order to maintain what is a conceptually simple set of
bindings, I need to become a deep expert in:

- Customizing Cabal build hooks
- How GHC and GHCi construct their link stanzas (is this documented
anywhere?)
- Installing and using MinGW - since this the only thing GHC guarantees
to have available, so I'd like to
  use it to make life easier for others (much as I like gcc on Unix
  platforms, it's a long way from working
  as I'd expect on Windows)
- MinGW quirks (like the inability to link libstdc++ as a DLL, and it's
strange notion of import libraries)

It would be nice if GHC and GHCi had a better story in respect of DLLs
on Windows, but I accept that at least part of the problem is the
underlying dependency on MinGW, so it's probably hard to solve this one.

> It seems that because this stuff is such a PITA on Windows, nobody uses
> Haskell on Windows. And since nobody uses Haskell on Windows, nobody is
> fixing these problems. So they just stay here, forever.

Actually, I don't completely agree. I think that the issue is that
making things better on Windows (and likely OS X as well) requires
co-ordinated and agreed action across a number of areas. This means
getting a moderate number of people, most of whom give up their time and
effort for free, and for the good of the community, to agree on what is
needed and to prioritize it in a co-ordinated way. The action needed by
any individual might be relatively small, but without community
agreement and action, the end goal cannot be achieved.

Some areas probably need to be addressed by people whose primary focus
*is* Linux (or other Unix) because that's what they use on a daily
basis. They might well prefer to spend their valuable time on goals
closer to their own hearts than in making life better on Windows, but
the fact is that a better sotry on Windows probably does require some
work in areas like GHC and Cabal, whose maintainers are, I suspect,
mainly Linux users.

Of course, the fact that this is all in the area of building and linking
code, a notoriously revolting and unrewarding area of software
development, and far less sexy than, say, inventing a morphism more
unpronounceable than the Zygohistomorphic, probably doesn't help.

Sorry for the rant, but just my $0.02

Regards
Jeremy
--
  Jeremy O'Donoghue
  [hidden email]

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Re: I still cannot seem to get a GUI working under Windows.

Heinrich Apfelmus
Jeremy O'Donoghue wrote:

> Apologies folks, rant coming up...
> [...]
>
> Bear in mind that as I have a (very) demanding day job and a young
> family, I actually have no more than 3-4 hours a week (at best) to spend
> maintaining wxHaskell. Bear in mind also that my interest in wxHaskell
> was always to be able to develop software in Haskell, not fight with
> linkers and build systems (I get enough of that at work, thanks). While
> that's my personal problem, and others may not have the same issues, so
> please feel free to not care at all, it's worth bearing in mind...
>
> wxHaskell consists of a set of C bindings over the C++ core of
> wxWidgets. Broadly speaking, these unmangle the C++ names and do little
> else.
>
> [...]
>
> Actually, I don't completely agree. I think that the issue is that
> making things better on Windows (and likely OS X as well) requires
> co-ordinated and agreed action across a number of areas. This means
> getting a moderate number of people, most of whom give up their time and
> effort for free, and for the good of the community, to agree on what is
> needed and to prioritize it in a co-ordinated way. The action needed by
> any individual might be relatively small, but without community
> agreement and action, the end goal cannot be achieved.

Jeremy, I very much appreciate your efforts as a maintainer of
wxHaskell, even more so after I have begun to write a small helper
application for my video stuff (which is a bit stalled now because I
didn't have the courage to wrestle with wxGraphicsContext to get
antialiased drawings).

Would you put a flattr button [1] on the wxHaskell page? This way,
people like me would be able to show their appreciation by donating a
small amount of *money*. Granted, it is not much and certainly does not
help with any of your external constraints, but it is a more forthright
form of showing that your work is valued than a silent download or
virtual nod.

   [1]: http://flattr.com


Regards,
Heinrich Apfelmus

--
http://apfelmus.nfshost.com



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Re: Re: I still cannot seem to get a GUI working under Windows.

Bulat Ziganshin-2
Hello Heinrich,

Saturday, October 2, 2010, 1:36:48 PM, you wrote:

> Would you put a flattr button [1] on the wxHaskell page? This way,
> people like me would be able to show their appreciation by donating a

this page doesn't describe how to pay and how to got the money
received. if Jeremy lives in "right" country, i suggest to use PayPal
donations system. it allows to pay by credit card and then receive money
to author's credit card

PayPal provides you the donation button like one i used at
http://freearc.org/Donations.aspx 


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Best regards,
 Bulat                            mailto:[hidden email]

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