Common Desktop Environment: Application Builder User's Guide


This manual introduces the Application Builder (referred to throughout this document as App Builder) and shows you how best to use it. See "Overview of the App Builder Process" for a summary description.

Who Should Use This Book

This user's guide is for anyone who wants to build or prototype a user interface with App Builder. Because you can easily create and modify user interfaces without writing any code using App Builder, it is a powerful tool for programmers and non-programmers--including user interface designers and project managers.

How This Book Is Organized

Chapter 1, Getting Started includes an annotated picture of the App Builder primary window, an overview of the process of building an application, and instructions for starting App Builder.

Chapter 2, Managing Projects and Modules explains how to create, open, save, and close projects and modules, and how to hide and show modules.

Chapter 3, Laying Out a User Interface explains how to drag and drop objects from the object palettes, how to edit interface objects, and how to align and distribute control objects in the interface.

Chapter 4, Editing Properties of Interface Objects explains how to edit object properties in the Revolving Property Editor.

Chapter 5, Creating and Editing Panes, Menus, and Messages explains how to create and edit pane objects, menus, and message dialog boxes.

Chapter 6, Adding Functionality to the Interface explains how to create on-item help, how to create functional connections between objects, and how to establish drag and drop and application framework behavior.

Chapter 7, Grouping and Attaching Objects explains how to group control objects and how to attach objects to each other for dynamic resize behavior.

Chapter 8, Testing Menus, Help, and Connections explains how to change to test mode for testing certain App Builder functions.

Chapter 9, Generating Code and Building an Application describes the Code Generator and explains how to generate code, make your application, and run it.

Appendix A, App Builder Windows and Dialog Boxes describes the primary window, including its object palettes, and other App Builder windows, including the Project Organizer, the Module Browser, and the Code Generator.

Appendix B, Revolving Property Editor describes the Revolving Property Editor in general and each of the individual property editors specifically.

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What Typographic Conventions Mean

The following table describes the typographic changes used in this book.

Table P-1 Typographic Conventions

Typeface or Symbol 




 The names of commands, files, and directories; on-screen computer output

Edit your .login file.

Use ls -a to list all files.

machine_name% you have mail.


 What you type, contrasted with on-screen computer outputmachine_name% su Password:


 Command-line placeholder: replace with a real name or value

To delete a file, type rm filename.


Book titles, new words, or terms, or words to be emphasized. 

Read Chapter 6 in User's Guide.

These are called class options.

You must be root to do this.

Shell Prompts in Command Examples

The following table shows the default system prompt and superuser prompt for the C shell, Bourne shell, and Korn shell.

Table P-2 Shell Prompts



 C shell promptmachine_name%
 C shell superuser promptmachine_name#
 Bourne shell and Korn shell prompt$
 Bourne shell and Korn shell superuser prompt#