RebGUI v2 Release Notes

Author : Ashley G Truter
Updated: 19-Oct-2008
Purpose: Describes what's new and changed in v2 RC1



The RebGUI documentation has been significantly updated and rationalized, with the old Overview, Display, Localization and Edit Guides merged into a comprehensive new User Guide.

RebGUI structure diagram

The RebGUI structure diagram has been updated to accurately depict the entire RebGUI system and its components.

Splash Function

The splash function now expects a spec block! not a face object!, and no longer requires a delay argument. See user-guide.html#section-2.2">here for more details.


The spellcheck function previously did not open if the %dictionary/ directory was not present. The function has been changed such that it creates this directory if not otherwise present.


Trac tickets

A large number of old tickets have been closed (see here">">here for more details).

Other fixes

A large number of other fixes have been made, including:

  1. Text-list cursor scrolling now works like that of table (thanks to Cyphre's changes).
  2. More function arguments are now typed (many of the requestors previously accepted non-string title-text arguments).
  3. Drop-list & Edit-list now automatically try to auto-fill when face/text contains a non-numeric character.
  4. Drop-list & Edit-list now use a floating list that gravitates to the bottom of the parent window (or grouping widget).

New functionality


Five new widgets have been added:

  1. widgets.html#section-20">link
  2. widgets.html#section-21">menu
  3. widgets.html#section-22">panel
  4. widgets.html#section-31">spinner
  5. widgets.html#section-41">tooltip


Four new functions have been added:

  1. user-guide.html#section-4.3.1">append-widget
  2. functions.html#section-14">request-menu
  3. user-guide.html#section-4.1.1">request-ui
  4. user-guide.html#section-6.2">translate


Tooltips, thanks to Cyphre&39;s changes, are now available for all widgets. Refer user-guide.htmlsection-3.1.2">here for more details.

Span directives

New post-init ##L#, #V and ##O# sizing/offset directives have been added. Refer user-guide.html#section-3.1.1">here for more details.

These directives currently do not work correctly with the table and text-list widgets.


The %tour.r script has been enhanced to include dynamic Widget and Function references (see the "Functions" tab).

Rough edges

This release contains a number of minor known bugs and issues, and a number of areas that require further development and/or testing.


The new sizes/edge setting has not been fully implemented and tested. Setting this to a value larger than 1 (the default) may cause some widgets to render incorrectly.


Tabbing into and out-of many state and grouping widgets is not currently implemented.

Drop-list & Edit-list

These widgets do not currently support keyboard scrolling.

New span directives

The new Lateral (L), Vertical (V) and Offset (#O) directives work in simple cases but have not been extensively tested in more complex cases (especially in combination with grouping widgets and the #tight# directive).

27-Mar-2007 Update

A few minor changes were made shortly after this release.

  1. New function added: functions.html#section-26">set-text-color.
  2. functions.html#section-9">request-color enhanced.
  3. set-attribute renamed to show-attribute.
  4. set-attributes renamed to show-attributes.
  5. Diagram updated to reflect above changes.

29-Mar-2007 Update

Function names and arguments have been rationalized as follows:

  1. All show-* functions renamed to set-*
  2. set-attribute, set-attributes, clear-widget and distance? removed
  3. get-input renamed to get-values
  4. set-input renamed to set-values
  5. set-font-color renamed to set-text-color
  6. clear-text now accepts a block of widgets as an argument (allowing you to clear multiple widgets at once)
  7. New set-texts function added to enable multiple text attributes to be set at the same time
  8. set-* functions now support a /no-hide refinement
  9. Significant display function optimizations

Other changes:

  1. Modal dialogs now work correctly (if a requestor is active you can no longer interact with other windows - in computer-speak the popup has "exclusive focus")
  2. set-focus correctly handles button widgets
  3. button focus option removed due to above fix
  4. Couple of %tour.r crashes fixed
  5. Couple of words (including layout) accidentally escaped to the global context ... fixed
  6. spinner now works with mouse-wheel
  7. General performance improvements

5-Apr-2007 Update

Two new widgets have been added:

  1. widgets.html#section-7">calendar
  2. widgets.html#section-34">symbol

Two new functions have been added:

  1. functions.html#section-13">request-font
  2. functions.html#section-17">request-spellcheck

Other changes:

  1. request-date enhanced to use new symbol widget
  2. Focus/tabbing fixes
  3. Added effects/fonts block to support customized font lists
  4. Added effects/symbols flag to indicate whether "Webdings" font is available

18-Apr-2007 Update

A new widget and function have been added:

  1. widgets.html#section-8">chat
  2. functions.html#section-5">examine

Other changes:

  1. New user-guide.html#section-3.2">action handler system implemented
  2. New display spec keywords added:
  3. text-color word! or tuple!
  4. bold
  5. italic
  6. underline
  7. New user-guide.html#section-4.4">on-fkey handlers added
  8. Soundex spellcheck logic replaced with new algorithm
  9. Dictionary file size reduced by 40% (it is recommended that old dictionaries be replaced by new from dictionary/">here)
  10. request-font enhanced (more refinements)
  11. Modal dialogs now work correctly (all the request-* functions)

Known problems:

25-Apr-2007 Update

Code changes:

  1. user-guide.html#section-2.1.6">/close refinement of the #display# function enhanced to allow or ignore the event by returning true or false respectively
  2. New user-guide.html#section-3.2.9">on-edit action handler added
  3. user-guide.html#section-4.4">on-fkey handler extended to include #event# which allows function keys to trap control and shift
  4. Numerous fixes to the mouse/focus system.

Documentation changes:

  1. Added a section on user-guide.html#section-5.3">ESC handling
  2. Added a section on user-guide.html#section-5.4">focus handling

14-Nov-2007 Update

Code changes:

  1. New functions.html#section-8">request-char function added
  2. Added no-tabs option to widgets.html#section-35">tab-panel
  3. request-menu fixes
  4. edit-list and drop-list auto-complete bug fixed
  5. radio-group now accepts 0 and none to denote no selection
  6. Minor tooltip, focus, layout, caret positioning, on-click and on-alt-click fixes

Documentation changes:

  1. Added a section explaining user-guide.html#section-3.2.11">on keyword

19-Oct-2008 Update

The WindowsXP look has been changed and simplified in line with recent Web 2.0 and Mobile phone UI changes. This is very much a work in progress, but the functional changes and numerous bug fixes were too numerous to delay this update.

Code changes:

  1. New developer reference utility, RebDOC, has been added
  2. Various fixes to the focus system
  3. Numerous widget tweaks and changes
  4. Color system, supporting themes, totally rewritten
  5. Added bistate option to widgets.htmlsection-9">check and widgets.htmlsection-10">check-group
  6. widgets.htmlsection-2">area and widgets.htmlsection-13">field now support alternate info color
  7. Added /no-show refinement to functions.html#section-29">set-values

New functions:

  1. functions.html#section-19">request-value
  2. functions.html#section-24">set-state

New widgets:

  1. widgets.html#section-15">heading
  2. widgets.html#section-25">pill
  3. widgets.html#section-28">scroll-panel
  4. widgets.html#section-29">sheet
  5. widgets.html#section-33">style
  6. widgets.html#section-42">tree