Finally, for the my last (for now) IDL wish list item: a new widget toolkit. This wish list item is for a native widget toolkit, not the ability to create interactive web pages, though that would be good too.

This widget toolkit would:

  1. be supported on all platforms supported by IDL
  2. have a clean, modern look
  3. have all the capabilities of the current IDL widget toolkit
  4. have an embeddable web browser window
  5. have a richer set of features for existing widgets (tables, in particular)
  6. be accessible through a consistent, object-oriented API

I think the main candidates currently are wxWidgets, Qt, and GTK. My experience with these toolkits has been with Qt. Potentially, this could be done by piggy backing on the PySide project which created several generic tools for generating bindings that could be used for IDL instead of Python.

All three of these toolkits are license under something close to LGPL. I think1 this should work for a commercial product like IDL since only the source code for the widget toolkit and its bindings would have to be provided since the library would be provided as a DLM and not part of the main IDL executable.


  1. I am not a lawyer.