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Perl Desktop Applications

by chromatic (Archbishop)
on May 08, 2002 at 02:48 UTC ( [id://164882]=perlmeditation: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

My colleagues and I are searching for examples of Perl as a successful desktop development language. While the presence of several good GUI toolkits (Tk, Gtk, Win32, QT, and wx) is indisputable, it's hard to overcome conceptual barriers without being able to point to a widely deployed or otherwise successful project.

I've only personally been able to come up with the Mandrake GNU/Linux administrative utilities and pVoice.

Are you developing, using, or aware of any desktop applications written in Perl?

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
(crazyinsomniac) Re: Perl Desktop Applications
by crazyinsomniac (Prior) on May 08, 2002 at 03:24 UTC
Re: Perl Desktop Applications
by grep (Monsignor) on May 08, 2002 at 03:47 UTC

    Well if you're looking for a more business-like applications. The L^ane Point of Sale system. It runs Perl/Curses and/or Perl/TK, and uses PostgreSQL. It handles cash drawers and reciept printers.

    The Description from the website:

    LanePOS is an integrated Point-Of-Sale (POS) and backoffice system for cash register-like computer systems. It allows a business to track inventory, sales, and customers in a single or multi register system. Although LanePOS was originally designed for retail stores, restaurant functionality has been recently added. This system allows any backoffice computer to access the system for reporting or modification, by using VNC (or another X11 "wrapper") running on a register for backoffice functions

    Unix - where you can throw the manual on the keyboard and get a command
Re: Perl Desktop Applications
by boo_radley (Parson) on May 08, 2002 at 05:14 UTC
    I still haven't managed to do that, chromatic, and I've been busting hump to learn wx. Reigning opinion dictates that Visual Basic and Lotus Notes be used for such applications. I have a small dream of throwing down the code gauntlet and doing a time trial for some application, but it's never going to happen at work...

    I have a chunk of a wx newsreader, but due to some issues with fork and wx, it's in limbo.

    Most of the other things I've developed in wx apps have been to help me quickly code other things, or as wx tutorials. So far, there's been little cause or reason to develop a commercially viable perl program in Windows because
    1. VC++ is much faster and more tightly bound to the OS.
    2. Visual basic offers impressive RAD that perl can't always match in terms of gui development (caveats : GUILoft, wxDesigner, but I don't think they measure up yet), along with Delphi and the other 'smaller' gui-oriented languages that have stayed the course.
    3. Your clients will get your source code! Your efforts will be for naught once a client has, and can alter and distribute on his own, the code you worked so hard to market and develop. (caveat : perlexe, however, there are reports that perlexe doesn't work well with wx apps.)
    This might be similar to other development cycles in perl, though. I don't know a lot of history when it comes to perl, but it's always been adapting to someone that didn't like the way it did something. Maybe in time, there will be a good GUI-development-oriented IDE (think VB) for perl. I think that there will need to be, in order for perl to be competitive in this particular arena.

    I could carp about wxWindow's lack of perl documentation and idioms, but that's another speech for another time :-)
      Visual basic offers impressive RAD that perl can't always match in terms of gui development (caveats : GUILoft, wxDesigner, but I don't think they measure up yet), along with Delphi and the other 'smaller' gui-oriented languages that have stayed the course.
      Have you tried glade (the Gtk/Gnome gui builder) + Gtk::GladeXML? I have found it to be very nice with the benefit that the interface description files produced by glade can be used by any number of languages.
Re: Perl Desktop Applications
by mdillon (Priest) on May 08, 2002 at 02:56 UTC
    I can't tell from your post whether games should be considered "desktop applications", but for me they are. Thus, I mention that I am currently using Frozen Bubble quite often. It is a wonderful clone of Puzzle Bobble (TM, I assume) written in Perl using the SDL Perl distribution.
Re: Perl Desktop Applications
by perigeeV (Hermit) on May 08, 2002 at 10:54 UTC

    MisterHouse is a Unix/Windows home automation program written in Perl. It can respond to voice commands, Web browsers, time of day, serial port and X10 data, external files, etc., and can speak via Text to Speech engines.

    GPLIGC is a program to analyse IGC flight data from GNSS flight data recorders used by glider pilots. It uses Perl/Tk and gnuplot, and can view data in 3D with OpenGL.

Re: Perl Desktop Applications
by mamboking (Monk) on May 08, 2002 at 12:35 UTC
    Pronto! is a Perl/GTK mail client. It supports MBOX, QMaildir, and displaying of HTML mail. Lots of configuration options. Check it out.
Re: Perl Desktop Applications
by andreychek (Parson) on May 08, 2002 at 13:45 UTC
    Perhaps one thing you could consider is the project I'm working on, called OpenThought. From the project description:

      OpenThought is a powerful and flexible web application environment. OpenThought applications are different from other web applications in that all communication between the browser and the server is performed in the background. This gives a browser the ability to receive data from the server without ever reloading the currently loaded document. Data received can be displayed automatically on the existing page, can access JavaScript functions and variables, and can load new pages. Additionally, OpenThought completely manages all of your session data for you. These features give the look and feel of a full-blown application instead of just an ordinary Web page.

    OpenThought is a perl based framework which allows you to create web programs, which function like desktop applications. Now, before you get too excited, while we are using OpenThought in production at my workplace, the framework itself is still under development, and has not yet reached 1.0. If you do decide to look at it, I highly recommend the version in CVS right now.

    While I unfortunatly don't have a public demo available, I can say that we're building several applications now using this. And there are screenshots of an application in action, on the OpenThought website. An excellent advantage of this system is that you only have to program it once, and yet you have applications accessible on both the desktop machines in-house, and also remotely on the web. You don't have to build two seperate front-ends in order for that to work.

    In one instance, when our company was testing out different environments, they had asked a group of developers to create a particular demo using Visual Basic. A week later, they came back with a working demo of a particular app running under VB, and hitting a MS SQL Server for data access. Now, my company, at this point, hadn't yet seen OpenThought in use. So, after seeing their completed demo, I decided to take OpenThought out for a spin :-)

    I was quite proud when, three hours later, I had built an application in OpenThought, modeled after the VB one. It contained the same forms, fields, accessed the same data -- for all intents and purposes, it was identical.. except that it was built in Perl using OpenThought, and that it was faster! Anyone who viewed this demo, particularly when using IE or Opera, found it significantly faster then the VB app.

    Now, the programmers putting together the VB app were experienced programmers, but new to VB. So perhaps it was simply something incorrect in their code. Nonetheless, it made my boss' eyeballs open real wide :-) (and mine too, for that matter).

    So, as of today, we're building all our web applications, and a few internal apps, using OpenThought. The majority of our internal apps are still being written in other languages, but thats largely because the codebase already exists.

    Update: - If you do decide to check out OpenThought, I highly recommend the version in CVS right now.
      Yeah! OpenThought rocks!
Re: Perl Desktop Applications (Cisco CWSI)
by ybiC (Prior) on May 08, 2002 at 14:22 UTC

    Last I checked, Cisco Systems' CWSI network management platform was comprised of a bazillion smallish perl (and java) programs.   Never got to talk with any developers, but expect that was done at least in part to ease multiplatform support - Win32, Solaris, AIX, etc.

    CiscoWorks mostly isn't a desktop program, but is clearly a commercially viable application family, costing several (many?) thousand $USD.
        striving toward Perl Adept
        (it's pronounced "why-bick")
Re: Perl Desktop Applications
by cowens (Beadle) on May 08, 2002 at 15:29 UTC
    There is also a full desktop environment wirtten in Perl (with Tk): PerlBox.
Re: Perl Desktop Applications
by cowens (Beadle) on May 08, 2002 at 15:24 UTC
    My SQL editor uses Perl, Gtk/Gnome, and the DBI.

    Does Mandrake use Perl or Python?
Re: Perl Desktop Applications
by roboslug (Sexton) on May 08, 2002 at 14:01 UTC
Re: Perl Desktop Applications
by mojotoad (Monsignor) on May 08, 2002 at 16:35 UTC
    I'm not sure if it counts as a desktop application, because it used web browsers for its interface. But does anyone remember SATAN, the security scanning tool by Dan Farmer? The back end was all in perl.

    I don't know why devlopment was dropped, but apparently it was. Where is Dan these days? I see a Dr. Dobbs article from April, 2001, but that's about it.

    Also I see SAINT and SARA, both of which appear to be SATAN spawn, therefore perl based.


Re: Perl Desktop Applications
by domm (Chaplain) on May 09, 2002 at 09:23 UTC
    Mark Overmeer ( presented two apps at the German Perl Workshop. One was a tool to make presentations called ppresenter, the other one was some image viewer/manipulator, but I can't find any info about that on his homepage.
    #!/usr/bin/perl -w just another perl hacker
Re: Perl Desktop Applications
by Popcorn Dave (Abbot) on May 10, 2002 at 22:31 UTC
    Actually I've just finished a couple for an advanced Perl class that I took.

    The first one I've now seen a couple variations of - Regular Expression Trainer. I wrote it in Perl/Tk as a homework assignment.

    The other one is an image map utility. It allows you to take a graphic, select the image boundries on where you want to have your image map locations ( with little red dots so you can see where you clicked ) and upon completion, writes the image map code to a text file.

    Both these are going to be posted to Cool Uses ( hopefully this weekend ) as soon as I do a couple of minor tweaks.

Re: Perl Desktop Applications
by tjh (Curate) on May 14, 2002 at 16:20 UTC
    I'm guessing you didn't get the answers you were hoping to get. I'm interested in commercial grade Perl-based apps for similar reasons (hopefully non-tool-kits). Have you learned of any from other sources than here?

    And do you think Parrot / Perl6 will help with this?

Re: Perl Desktop Applications
by marcussen (Pilgrim) on Aug 28, 2008 at 02:51 UTC

    I cannot believe that no-one has mentioned Granted it is not an application, but a perfectly good example of how good a polished perl desktop application can be

    Edit: *looks at reply #1* oopps! *goes and hides in the corner*

    Confucius says kill mosquito unless cannon

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