Sunday, 17 July 2011

The Button Frame

QL heaven wonders how many QLers actually do anything with the button frame other than to put buttons to sleep in it. QL heaven got fed up with the button frame at the top left corner of the screen and has for may years placed it indented 40x20 pixels - suits the Q60 screen resolution. Admittedly that change is quite tame but no one seems to anything at all with the button frame.

Now the Ser-USB device has moved 120+MB of data from the Q60 - which is about 10 years old, and while going strong may not last forever, QL Heaven is looking at making a useful set up with QPC2. Screen resolution is one issue with emulators as the QL uses a 2:1 ratio but PC monitors traditionally had a more square type of resolution. This seems to be changing with the wide screen flat screen monitors now favoured in the PC world. QL Heaven's PC has a 23" flat screen monitor that supports resolutions close to 2:1 ratio thereby making the QL fonts and programs appear more as expected.

The resolution that seems to work best with QPC2 on QL Heaven's monitor is 1366x768 giving a ratio of 1.8 approximately. The screen shot from QPC2 also shows that modern PC hardware can emulate faster that native QL hardware now. The Q60 managed around 150 bogomips but QPC2 is getting over 200.

Getting back to the button frame QPAC2 can be configured to place the button frame anywhere and any size within screen limits. Jochen Merz released a button frame SBASIC extension enabling SBASIC programmers to create button tools. The GD2 colours and icon editors enable the programmer to create icons for these button tools. Effectively all the prerequisites are there for QLers to create a modern interface such as seen on the latest Macs where there is a row of 3D icon tools at the bottom of the screen.

Is anyone doing this, perhaps it belongs in QL Heavens crazy idea list.

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