Making a fancy main window like our competitor :)

Robert Graham Merkel
Fri, 10 Nov 2000 13:26:10 +1100

For those of you who haven't used Quicken lately, apparently it now
has a main window that displays a configurable set of reports, graphs and
other financial information (including downloaded stock quotes).  It's
a very nice feature and probably worth trying to do something similar.
The question is: how?

I've had a look at GnomeDock, and to me it seems it's really designed
for toolbars and menus rather than resizable display widgets.

The best way of going about it I can come up with so far is to use a
descending sequence of GTKHPaned and GtkVapaned widgets to divide the 
main window up.  To configure what appears in each subwindow, there is
a small toolbar at the top with a list of things to display (ie
"financial summary" or "net worth graph" and the like)  and a configure button
that when selected gives the appropriate options for that display.

To give you an idea what I mean, imagine the paned widget in the
current gnome file manager applied recursively to an area, or kind of
like a framed web page.

Finally, to allow the layout itself to be customized, each toolbar
also contains the options "split horizontally", "split vertically",
and "join".

Obviously, you'd want to provide a selection of default layouts, and
let the user save their customized layout.

What do you all think?  Is this an abuse of Gtk*Paned?  Will it look
like a dog's breakfast?  Is it going to be too hard to configure?  
Is there a better solution already out there?

Robert Merkel