The default app templates

A lot of times people have common code that they want in EVERY application they start working on. And there are a number of ways people achieve this – copy & paste, svn externals, or a whole host of other means.

But there is a much simpler way to start off with all that common code.

Project Templates !

With templates you can not only create new “types” of projects, you can even override the default projects that the IDE starts with when you start a new Desktop, Web, iOS and Console project. So you dont even have to think about making sure you start new projects from your list of Templates. You can just select the Desktop, Web, iOS or Console items in the New Project dialog and your template project with all your common code will be used.

So how to make all this work ? We’ll start by creating a new Template project. Once you see how easy that is it’s a small step to make the IDE use always your template as the default.

A template project will, by design, always be for one of the specific types of Xojo projects. There’s no way to make a single project that is a Desktop, Web, iOS and Console project all at the same time (there is this feature request though). Every template you create will only create one kind of project.

With that in mind let’s create a new template that we can use for desktop projects.

A common complaint is that Desktop projects don’t move from Windows or macOS to Linux very well. Linux uses different default controls sizes and so your very carefully crafted UI that looks fine on macOS and Windows suddenly has overlapping controls and looks awful on Linux.

There is a very handy module from several forum posters who use Linux a lot that resolves this issue. It modifies the normal GTK3 CSS so that the defaults are more in line with those used on Windows & macOS so your design will look correct when run on Linux.

Having a Template would make it so your Desktop projects incorporate this particular module from the outset.

Unzip and open the ModGTK3 project in the unzipped result. The IDE is going to ask you to find the Build Automation item. Press Cancel and a new one will be created. There is no harm here and I’ve asked Jim to upload this file so this minor issues can be resolved.

Create a new Desktop project in Xojo. This will form the basis of our Template. Switch back to the ModGTk3 project and COPY the ENTIRE GTK3 folder from the MODGTk3 project and all contents. A right click on the GTK3 folder and selecting “copy” in the contextual menu works nicely to do this.
Switch back to the new desktop project you created and PASTE into your project.

Add the OPEN event to your apps App instance if it does not already exist.
If it does make the first 3 lines


Now we need to save the Template. Templates need to be either BINARY or XML projects.

Navigate to the directory next to your executable copy of Xojo and Save the project as a binary or XML project named PiReadyDesktopApplication.

IF you cannot save in the Project Templates location save it to the desktop and move it to the Project Templates directory next to the Xojo IDE executable.

Close the project we just saved and start a new project.

In the dialog presented (shown above) select PiReadyDesktopApplication.

When the project opens there is the new project with all the GTK3 modifications & classes we inserted previously. And if you Save you will be prompted for a new location to save the new project so you do not accidentally overwrite the Template.

To make the IDE use this template as the default every time you select Desktop from the New Project dialog all you need to do is rename the PiReadyDesktopApplication to Default Desktop Project including the spaces (don’t change the file extension). Now every time you start a new desktop project it will be using your template.

And you can do the same for Web, iOS and Console templates.