Creating a prototype when discussing a new project can clear up a lot of technical misunderstandings as well as reassure both sides.
However, the time taken to create a prototype could end up being costly especially if the project is not continued.
To enable the creation of quick and impressive prototypes the Page Tool was developed.
It enables creation of an 'empty' walkthrough application to show off the pages and controls required by a project.
Creating a new prototype is a very simple matter of starting the Page Tool and creating pages, widget objects and setting display options in an easy to use editor.
The Page Tool creates a data file on disk with all the display information needed by the P.I.S.D. Development Libraries.
This includes full skinning support.
During editing any page can be previewed using the same display code as the application so you get an exact preview.
Once all the pages have been entered, the editor auto-generates C++ source code that compiles without errors or warnings on all supported platforms and links with the P.I.S.D. Development Libraries.
This produces a prototype executable file that runs stand alone.
The System Grows
Creating prototypes was so quick and easy using the Page Tool it became obvious that it was more than a prototype tool.
The addition of callback 'hooks' to widgets created by the Page Tool enabled them to be controlled by code.
This created a very powerful development tool which can cut down development time as it is quicker than creating interface widgets in code.
If the need arises creating interface widgets in code is very easy and can be in conjunction with the Page Tool system without conflict.
No C or C++ knowledge is needed to create a prototype so that a graphics artist could use the Page Tool (and hit build on a C++ compiler) to create the prototype on his own.
In most cases any prototype created is 'thrown away' or at best vastly changed when the project commences, as the prototype is a quick shell unable to support the fully featured project.
However with the Page Tool this is no longer true.
The auto-generated prototype code makes an excellent solid base for the main project development.