Update on GLIC

I wanted to post a quick update on the status of the gskinner lightweight interface components, including recent progress, which components are done, licensing, pricing, limitations, etc. for everyone who has been asking about them.

You can find my original post about them which includes general information and screenshots by clicking here.

General Progress

We have recently finished turning them all into compiled components, and adding support for the properties inspector. We are also working to finalize our skinning, tab management and style management models (though I expect some changes to these models even after release based on developer feedback).

I’m also happy to report that GLIC has been successfully integrated into three of our projects, with only minor bugs discovered, and huge decreases in file size and CPU usage – the real world results are awesome (though I’m biased). One of them is also entirely Flash Player 6 based!!

Completed Components

The list of components that will be included in the first drop currently includes:

  • Button
  • TextInput
  • TextArea
  • CheckBox
  • RadioButton
  • ComboBox
  • ListBox
  • SmartClipList (think of DataGrid, but row based instead of cell based – very flexible)
  • Accordion
  • ScrollBar
  • ScrollPane

This list may well be expanded before the 1.0 release, as we already have the beginnings of some other components. Besides the components, we will also be packaging some useful classes such as an enhanced focus manager, a style manager, a new version of gDispatcher, an image/swf loading class, and some of the code I have released on this site. They will also include at least 3 skins, including a wireframe skin that will let you easily create wireframes during the early phases of a project.

Licensing & Pricing

The components will be licensed under two models:

  1. Project licensing – you will receive the compiled components, and all documentation, with a license that allows you to use the components in a single project, and pass the license on to your client when you deploy.
  2. Developer licensing – this will be a site license that allows your company to develop an unlimited number of projects using the components. It includes full source code, compiled components and documentation. You may distribute the components compiled into a project, but must purchase a project license if you wish to provide your clients with source code or the compiled components on their own.

We are aiming for the mass market with these components, so the pricing should be reasonable.


Another question I’ve been asked is what these components don’t do. This is a reasonable question – in order to make our components smaller and more CPU friendly we had to shed some features, but I tried to choose the features that are used infrequently, or that are very poorly implemented in MM’s set (so that we’d have room to improve in the future w/o worrying about polymorphism). The main features that we left out are Data Binding, which is used rarely except for prototyping (and is imperfect in MM’s components), and CSS/StyleManager support. We are providing a simple, registration based StyleManager with the components, and making skinning a much simpler process to make up for this, but we may add some CSS support in the future (possibly even before we ship 1.0). We’re also not using MM’s FocusManager, but our implementation offers a lot of additional functionality (such as the ability to set up tab groups), and is polymorphic with MM’s.

What’s remaining

All that remains is some more testing, documentation, and finalizing the license scheme – I don’t want to commit to a hard release date (because no one ever seems to stick to those), but we’re getting pretty close. We also need to set up a store-front to automate selling licenses – any suggestions?

Grant Skinner

The "g" in gskinner. Also the "skinner".



  1. Awesome news, I’ve made tons of progress on my own replacements, which allow for some interesting effects as well(mm’s components cant even do some of this stuff). I’ve choosen to leave out a lot of the stuff we dont use, and file size has been hugely deminished.

    I’ll be keeping an eye on glic when you guys do manage to get it out the door. To save money for us and keep me from ditching time re-fabbing these components, we would be very interested in a developer license.

    If you need any testing or feedback, feel free to contact me

  2. We tired of the high fees from 2CheckOut.com, and just switched over to PayPal (less than 3%). We always accepted PayPal, but I didn’t notice until recently that they no longer require customers to sign up for an account to make a cc purchase. They also seem to have some decent return URL options, though I have yet to dig into the details.

  3. Thanx for the update! i was wondering about the glic project 😉 Could you give us an indication if you are working on a release in lets say September, October or more for like January 2005?

  4. Hi Grant. So – you’re distributing these as compiled components: does this mean that the source will not be included with the licence? I must say that that would be a major factor in my purchasing decision, as I often find myself having to dig throught the MM component source code if I have to extend or troubleshoot things, and I believe that not being able to look through the source code would be a major pain. No matter how well written they are, without this ability, these components would likely make my job harder in the long run.

    I’m not asking for you to release the source for modification in a GNU style licence or anything like that, I’m just saying that it would be vital for me to be able to look under the hood from time to time. Perhaps you could include the source files with the developer licence, as an extra incentive to buy the developer version? I wouldn’t mind paying extra for that.

    Otherwise, I’m watching this project with great interest. Good luck!

  5. Doh. Missed the bit about full source in the developer licence description. Carry on then!

  6. Hi, Nice to see the update. I should be buying these :), tell me the price.

    Do you really think DataBindig is a less used feature?

    For database enabled RIA development, I mostly use databinding.

    What do others feel?

  7. Databinding is not something I use often.

    Increases filesize and becomes very complex when

    you start shifting things around.

    Looking forward to Glic

  8. Grant, can you tell us what new things have been built into the new gDispatcher?

  9. Grant is a busy man.

  10. i am glad that i am not the only one who doesn’t use MM’s data binding or focus manager (rolled my own due to control and performance issues).

    looking forward to purchasing a developers license. any indication on what the license price will be grant?

  11. where can i download this cool stuff ??

    please mail !


  12. I’ve wasted hours upon hours fiddling with Macromedia’s half-baked components, and subsequently building my own from scratch. I’m excited to see this on the market, and will definitely pick it up when it arrives!

  13. Hi Grant,

    Any progress on a release date for this – even beta code? I’ve got an app which is having some performance issues on slow computers – and I suspect mostly due to the components in it. I’d love to try putting your components in and happy to pay up front for them.

    The anticipation is killing us 😉



  14. I have been building a flash app using web services (AmfPhp) – in actionscript, not using MMs components, and am wondering whether you will implement their DataGlue features?

    If not, then in anticipation, I will build my own glue system and manually update MMs components until yours arrives.


  15. I do not want so much spam in my mailbox. I only want the things that are important.

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