Dabo's authors, Ed Leafe and Paul McNett, have strong backgrounds in database application development using the awesome and underrated Microsoft Visual FoxPro development environment.
While Visual FoxPro shines at developing data-centric applications, it has one limitation that cannot be ignored: it only runs on Microsoft Windows, and Ed and Paul both have clients that want their applications to run on Linux and Macintosh. We are sure we are not alone in this regard: it is a multi-platform world with more diverse needs than one vendor can fulfill.
Ed and Paul got to talking one day: Paul had been researching various multiplatform GUI toolkits for about 18 months, and Ed has lots of experience developing the Visual FoxPro Codebook framework. We decided to work together to make a framework for developing robust data-centric applications for multi-platform deployment. We've come up with a design that is simple, flexible, and robust, and we've begun developing our own client applications using the Dabo framework.
We have taken what we've learned from 25 combined years of FoxPro database application development, and built an easy-to-use runtime framework that runs on all three major platforms. Dabo consists of 3 logical tiers plus an umbrella application object. The three tiers are:
You create your forms by laying out various controls or widgets, and setting properties to tell Dabo what bizobj and what field in the dataset the control represents. There is no business logic at this level, and only minimal code will be entered here: it is mostly laying out your UI design and setting properties to tell Dabo how to connect to the business rules.
Dabo applications are known to run on all flavors of Windows, all recent flavors of Linux, and Macintosh OS X 10.2 or higher. Because Dabo is currently built on top of wxPython, which is built on top of wxWidgets, it probably runs elsewhere, too. It also suffers from the same display limitations on some platforms (most notably OS X), but these should improve as the underlying toolkits improve.
You can develop Dabo applications on all three supported platforms, and you can run your Dabo applications on all three supported platforms. Flexibility is a really good thing.
Visual FoxPro has a vibrant, vocal, energetic community that knows how to have a good time. From what we've seen of the Python community so far, the same goes there. We hope to provide the structure for forming a new community, a Dabo community that shares ideas and code, supports one-another, and hopefully even gets together once a year to socialize. There are mailing lists for users of Dabo and developers of Dabo, and a world-editable Dabo Wiki. We are friendly and look forward to meeting you.
Oh, and if you are a disenchanted Visual Basic developer, you've found the right place, too.