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RenaissanceX 2010-02-28

October 25, 2010

This is the RenaissanceX distribution from 2010-02-28. I’ve already put a fair amount of work in to a new release, but still have some problems to resolve.

Download RenaissanceX 2010-02-28.

RenaissanceX (or Renaissance for OSX), is a system for automatically generating Cocoa user interfaces, including their layout, via code from markup files. RenaissanceX is largely based on GNUStep Renaissance written by Nicola Pero. While the original goal of GNUstep Renaissance was to provide a cross-platform mechanism solution, RenaissanceX sacrifices direct support for non-Apple platforms in the effort to provide support for Cocoa features that aren’t strictly part of GNUstep, and to provide an experience that is focused on Apple development tools. The development enthusiasm for RenaissanceX originated from blind Apple developers that wished to have an alternative system to the inaccessible Interface Builder tool for creating Cocoa user interfaces.

Put another way, Apple’s one and only tool for constructing the user interface of Mac software is totally inaccessible, and RenaissanceX can take its place for blind developers. RenaissanceX isn’t just an accessible alternative to Interface Builder, though. It contains logic that can assist you with creating well-organized user interfaces, without requiring that you count pixels, create lots of run-time hacks to resize controls, etc. Thanks to features of ObjectC, RenaissanceX can be used almost entirely as a drop-in replacement for the Interface Builder approach to building UIs. Beyond the syntax of the markup files that describe the layout of your program’s user interface to RenaissanceX, you can continue to work with Cocoa objects as if RenaissanceX wasn’t involved at all.

For more info, download the distribution and investigate the documentation.

There is also a small community of blind Mac developers that you can reach via the MV-Dev Google group. I answer questions about RenaissanceX on MV-Dev, so that the discussion can be archived for the benefit of others. Please don’t write to me personally for assistance using RenaissanceX, as others can’t share the experience that way.

The next release will include many additional Xcode templates. The templates should ease Xcode integration, allowing RenX users to work more like how sighted devs do, rather than require a lot of manual tweaks. I have a few additional coding examples, and may have a few additional ones by the time the release is ready. I’ve almost finished a mini tutorial that should help newbies. Finally, there will be an installer, so manual setup instructions should be a thing of the past.

From → RenaissanceX

  1. Hello thanks for this very good post. But I still don’t get the last part though! – Tilburg

    • Do you mean the part about Xcode templates? Xcode is the integrated development environment for OS X. The templates are skeleton projects that supply a basic shell or framework for you to use when building a new program. The standard templates are setup to work with Interface Builder. The templates that I’m talking about are nearly identical to the standard templates, but use RenaissanceX instead. This will help you build programs faster. Plus, since they’re like the standard templates, people can use them when they’re reading books that introduce Mac development, as they’ll work like the templates that Interface Builder users have.

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