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AES is the Application Environment Services, designed by Atari to support GEM.

The role of AES in the TOS

The Application Environment Services (AES) provides the user interface and application interaction. On a standard machine, along with the VDI, it is usually part of the TOS ROM. It is an higher level interface between the program and the VDI which actually draws to the screen (or workstation). The AES is used to describe, in a standard way, what is to be drawn to the screen, and where.

Anything that can be seen or edited in a resource editor when editing .RSC files, is usually handled by the AES before being rendered by the VDI. The AES uses the basic building blocks provided by the VDI to allow the creation of complex objects, including buttons, menus, scrolling list, etc. Some modern AES objects are not part of the original or older AES that are now considered standard AES extensions. There a few programming libraries that extend the standard TOS AES with there own style or objects, like Windom.

AES Replacements

Because the AES is a layer, it can be replaced. In the past the AES has been replaced by NeoDesk? (with Geneva), MagiC?, and N.AES. Although it is no longer actively maintained, it is still possible to use N.AES with MiNT. Each AES replacement brings their own style, some allowing every part of the AES to be customised, like XaAES with color gradients, or textures images. They usually allow the window buttons (widgets) to be placed differently from the standard GEM windows, and often add there own widgets as well (eg pin, fold up, etc).

MyAES uses an LDG plugin library to allow the window widgets, including the borders and the info bar, to be customized. This allows many different styles of window design to be created, not including changing the skin.

The following is a list of commonly used AES replacements currently in use:

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