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Galaxy 3.0
Galaxy 4.0
Technical Description
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Galaxy 3.0 Overview
Addressing the Large-Scale Application Development Challenge
Object Orientation
Galaxy provides a comprehensive framework for building complex applications. Within this framework, Galaxy offers object oriented libraries, tools, and services designed for building scalable, graphical, high-performance applications. Galaxy frees application developers from having to manage a different code base for various operating systems, window systems, and networks. Galaxy enables developers to build portable applications that can run across all major system platforms - UNIX, Windows, Windows NT, Macintosh, Open VMS, and OS/2 - without code changes and without compromising on functionality.
Galaxy provides an advanced object oriented development environment that offers the flexibility and productivity benefits of structured code reuse for both ANSI C and native C++. Typical Galaxy applications are built largely from standard and subclassed Galaxy objects. For example,  Galaxy provides a set of powerful pre-built user interface objects, including a file chooser, color chooser, service chooser, style chooser, and font chooser, all of which are look-and-feel aware. New features can be easily added to these and other Galaxy  objects, without affecting existing object interfaces. Subclassing is the standard mechanism for extending Galaxy functionality.
Visual Tools
License Server
The Galaxy Visual Resource Builder is a powerful visual tool for constructing the graphical user interface and other resources of an application. The resources created by the Visual Resource Builder are stored in a totally portable binary format, and are located and retrieved quickly with a sophisticated indexing scheme. The Visual Resource Builder includes special-purpose editors for creating and revising Galaxy resources, such as windows, dialogs, strings, graphical images, error messages, and menus. The Visual Resource Builder provides an interactive visual metaphor to display and define Galaxy's powerful Springs and Struts geometry management mechanism. Springs and Struts describe the size and positioning constraints of user interface objects visually, so all geometry management is done automatically by Galaxy at runtime.

Ambiencia added to Galaxy a License Server which allows floating license usage on Unix networks and machine specific license usage on Windows. The Galaxy license model allows, on hybrid Unix networks, that the license server can be hosted on any machine in the network domain and the available licenses can be freely used. There should be one license server per network domain, and of course at least one Galaxy installation for each platform on the network.

Higher-Level Galaxy API
Platform-Independent API
Platform-Specific Galaxy Interface
Native Platform Services
[OS, Networking, Window System]
Galaxy's Multi-Level Abstractions
Distributed Services
Galaxy has been designed to enable application developers to build large-scale, distributed applications. Galaxy provides a very powerful set of distributed application development and runtime capabilities through its Distributed Application Services (DAS). DAS consists of libraries, runtime services, and tools that are used to build applications that export, locate, and user applications services distributed over the network. DAS provides a high-level API that enables developers to write applications that will communicate with any other Galaxy application running on any platform. DAS uses an asynchronous, symmetrical, peer-to-peer communications protocol for efficient, high-performance message-based interapplication communication. DAS can be used to implement distributed services in peer-to-peer, client/server, or even master/slave mode. DAS terminology uses "service provider" to refer to an application which is exporting a service and "service consumer" to refer to an application which is using a service. DAS dynamically locates and matches the attributes of services registered by service providers with the attributes of services requested by service consumers.
Galaxy applications are inherently internationalized and "locale-independent". The Galaxy internationalization model provides a set of abstractions and mechanisms that allow the developer to write one Galaxy application and deploy it worldwide with minimal effort (multibyte support comes with the Galaxy/International version). The developer simply substitutes the appropriate Galaxy resource file for each target country or locale and runs the application, without code changes. Internally, Galaxy uses a fixed-width processing character set. The processing character set is translated to an external character set through a powerful mechanism that uses transient objects called scribes. Scribes provide full encapsulation and handle string conversions internally, so the developer avoids explicitly managing buffers, copying, and allocating memory. Galaxy/International also supports native input methods and front-end processors on each platform.
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