Hello all. I've received some interest in helping out, so recently wrote up the following to help everyone understand what this project is all about.
From a macro perspective, the scope is quite large and there is quite a bit of work to be done. From a micro perspective, there are lots of discrete places to contribute.
At the lowest level the objective is to create a cross-platform UI toolkit for constructing MS Office-like applications. Other projects have done similar work, but most consist of creating custom controls that run alongside the controls that are a part of the System.Windows.Forms toolkit. Our approach is somewhat different in that although we will support this model (i.e., use a Ribbon control on a SWF form), we are also providing an interop layer that abstracts the platform-native toolkit away from the developer. For an example of this, look at the references for the XOffice.Studio assembly -- you won't see SWF. This is a tall order -- other projects have tried the interop approach, and failed. The difference is that they were all trying to support the full SWF API. Their goal was to provide the developer with a way to build applications against the SWF API that had a uniform look and feel across all platforms. On the surface this seems like a good idea -- but the implementation is full of problems. In addition, I disagree fundamentally that the goal should be a uniform L&F -- Windows apps should look and feel like Windows apps, and Mac/Linux apps should look and feel like other native apps on those systems. More than that in fact -- I don't just want it to *look* like the other apps on a given platform, I want it to use the *native* controls for that platform. The trick is selecting an appropriate subset of controls that can be fully supported across platforms. For this project, that subset consists of the controls used in MS Office-like apps.... read more
If anyone is interested in helping out with the project, please let me know.
The first release is now available, the Alpha 3 build. Lots of work left to be done, but it's ready for you to take a look.