When developping scientific software, from the simplest script to the most complex application, one systematically needs to manipulate data sets (e.g. parameters for a data processing feature). These data sets may consist of various data types: real numbers (e.g. physical quantities), integers (e.g. array indexes), strings (e.g. filenames), booleans (e.g. enable/disable an option), and so on.

Most of the time, the programmer will need the following features:

  • allow the user to enter each parameter through a graphical user interface, using widgets which are adapted to data types (e.g. a single combo box or check boxes are suitable for presenting an option selection among multiple choices)
  • entered values have to be stored by the program with a convention which is again adapted to data types (e.g. when storing a combo box selection value, should we store the option string, the list index or an associated key?)
  • using the stored values easily (e.g. for data processing) by regrouping parameters in data structures
  • showing the stored values in a dialog box or within a graphical user interface layout, again with widgets adapted to data types

This library aims to provide these features thanks to automatic graphical user interface generation for data set editing and display. Widgets inside GUIs are automatically generated depending on each data item type.

The guidata library also provides the following features: