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Re: instantiate GUI or graphic elements interactively

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg83405] Re: [mg83372] instantiate GUI or graphic elements interactively
  • From: Murray Eisenberg <murray at>
  • Date: Mon, 19 Nov 2007 06:22:18 -0500 (EST)
  • Organization: Mathematics & Statistics, Univ. of Mass./Amherst
  • References: <>
  • Reply-to: murray at

So far as I am aware, there is at present no such built-in visual 
GUI-creating functionality in Mathematica (although one could, 
undoubtedly with considerable effort, define a function that allowed 
some of that functionality).

One place you can see such a built-in GUI-producing functionality is 
with the free programming development system "J" (look up "JSoftware" in 
Google, e.g.).

I think it would be a great step forward in usability if such 
functionality would be provided, though.  But it is contrary to a 
mind-set/philosophy that seems to underlie Mathematica, namely, that one 
must ultimately write code in order to accomplish anything, including 
producing a GUI.

Of course there are cracks in that stone wall, such as the new 2D 
graphics annotation tools.  Maybe some day WRI will be ready to take the 
next step.  But before they provide built-in visual GUI-building 
capabilities, I'd be just as happy if they first provided 
right-click-enabled graphics-modification tools that go well beyond 
what's currently available with the 2D drawing tools and the graphics 
inspector -- for example, interactive ways to change the PlotRange of 
the axes labels or the choice of tick marks or their labeling.

Zhe Hu wrote:
> Hi,
> Is there a way to instantiate a GUI element, say a button, by the user
> drawing it on the canvas, instead of creating placeholders for users
> to fill in or manipulate?
> I am not sure at all if crayon physics used such techniques
> (, but the end result is amazing.
> If Mathematica can do similar things, user can draw out their GUI
> elements and immediately interact with them. One can even input math
> formula (very suitable 2D manipulation) for computation that way.

Murray Eisenberg                     murray at
Mathematics & Statistics Dept.
Lederle Graduate Research Tower      phone 413 549-1020 (H)
University of Massachusetts                413 545-2859 (W)
710 North Pleasant Street            fax   413 545-1801
Amherst, MA 01003-9305

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