The Shoes Manual

Installing Shoes

Okay, on to installing Shoes. I'm sure you're wondering: do I need to install Ruby? Do I need to unzip anything? What commands do I need to type?

Nope. You don't need Ruby. You don't need WinZip. Nothing to type.

On most systems, starting Shoes is just a matter of running the installer and clicking the Shoes icon. Shoes comes with everything built in. We'll talk through all the steps, though, just to be clear about it.

Step 1: Installing Shoes

You'll want to visit the site of Shoes to download the Shoes installer. Usually, you'll just want one of the installers on the downloads page of the site.

Here's how to run the installer:

Step 2: Start a New Text File

Shoes programs are just plain text files ending with a .rb extension.

Here are a few ways to create a blank text file:

Now, in your blank window, type in the following: do
   background "#DFA"
   para "Welcome to Shoes"

Save to your desktop as welcome.rb.

Step 3: Run It! Go Shoes!

To run your program:

So, not much of a program yet. But it's something! You've got the knack of it, at least!

What Can You Make With Shoes?

Well, you can make windowing applications. But Shoes is inspired by the web, so applications tend to use images and text layout rather than a lot of widgets. For example, Shoes doesn't come with tabbed controls or toolbars. Shoes is a tiny toolkit, remember?

Still, Shoes does have a few widgets like buttons and edit boxes. And many missing elements (like tabbed controls or toolbars) can be simulated with images.

Shoes is written in part thanks to a very good art engine called Cairo, which is used for drawing with shapes and colors. In this way, Shoes is inspired by NodeBox and Processing, two very good languages for drawing animated graphics.

Next: The Rules of Shoes