Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 19th Feb 2009 13:53 UTC
GTK+ "GTK+ may be called many things. I would call it 'simple' and sometimes even 'elegant', refering to its foundation of pure, elegant C. But not everyone is compelled to use those terms, using terms like 'clumsy' and 'unwieldy' instead. Yes, there is a lot disagreement. But there's one thing almost everyone would agree to: that GTK+ isn't pretty." This is about to change.
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Invitation to inconsistency?
by Hypnos on Thu 19th Feb 2009 14:24 UTC
Hypnos
Member since:
2008-11-19

One of things I like about using the same toolkit just about everywhere in my desktop is consistency -- nothing looks distractingly out of place, all the widgets are familiar and do what I intend, and this lets me focus on my work.

I don't *want* it to be easy to create custom widgets; if a widget is useful, hopefully it is included in the toolkit. Moreover, from the article I can't figure out how they intend to solve the problem: if you don't define primitives at some level, what is there to theme?

(I think I'm beginning to be a computing curmedgon -- I just want my OpenStep, and for it to run on top of VMS! ;) )

Reply Score: 2

RE: Invitation to inconsistency?
by dekernel on Thu 19th Feb 2009 14:41 UTC in reply to "Invitation to inconsistency?"
dekernel Member since:
2005-07-07

Wow, you were able to bring together two of the most powerful and yet failed technologies (VMS and OPENStep).

Reply Score: 1

BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

VMS didn't fail. It's still around, and nothing beats it for uptime. It just that it's time is passed, after being used for 20 years.

Reply Score: 2

squayle Member since:
2008-10-16

30 years, actually:

http://www.stanq.com/blog/?p=24

And still going strong. Check out:

http://www.hp.com/go/vms

for all the details!

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Invitation to inconsistency?
by Hypnos on Thu 19th Feb 2009 15:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Invitation to inconsistency?"
Hypnos Member since:
2008-11-19

So you understand why I'm a curmudgeon! ;)

Reply Score: 1

poundsmack Member since:
2005-07-13

VMS is still well used (be me for example). here is a roadmap for future OpenVMS releases to show its alive and kicking http://h71000.www7.hp.com//openvms/pdf/openvms_roadmaps.pdf

8.4 is really showing a lot of promise in testing.

Reply Score: 2

Hypnos Member since:
2008-11-19

At the risk of going way off-topic here:

AT&T won the VMS v. Unix battle when they gave away the licenses and source code to universities. Perhaps a classic cathedral v. bazaar story? Or DEC having too many engineers in charge back in the day?

Reply Score: 1

poundsmack Member since:
2005-07-13

as far as pupolarity of the OS that would be true. Quality is a different matter all together. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Invitation to inconsistency?
by Hypnos on Fri 20th Feb 2009 07:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Invitation to inconsistency?"
Hypnos Member since:
2008-11-19

Oh, and to the echo the sentiments of others regarding VMS, OpenStep now lives on in Mac OSX (and less popularly in GNUstep).

Reply Score: 1

I don't agree
by cristoper on Thu 19th Feb 2009 16:39 UTC
cristoper
Member since:
2009-02-15

I don't agree that Gtk+ is not pretty. In fact I think Gtk with the ClearLooks theme is one of the best-looking GUIs I've seen. I'd even put it above the Mac's Platinum look.

Reply Score: 4

RE: I don't agree
by Delgarde on Thu 19th Feb 2009 20:39 UTC in reply to "I don't agree"
Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

I don't agree that Gtk+ is not pretty. In fact I think Gtk with the ClearLooks theme is one of the best-looking GUIs I've seen. I'd even put it above the Mac's Platinum look.


Same here - I very much dispute the claim that almost everyone considers it ugly. It's not flashy like KDE4 or Vista, but it's simple and easy on the eye.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: I don't agree
by sbergman27 on Mon 23rd Feb 2009 20:15 UTC in reply to "RE: I don't agree"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Clearlooks is beautiful in two different ways. First, it is aesthetically appealing. Second, it is practical and functional. Traditionally, post-1.x KDE's appearance has reminded me of something made by PlaySkool. And MacOS's appearance has always reminded me of the board game "CandyLand". Clearlooks reminds me of... well, something tasteful, functional, and useful for my desktop.

Edited 2009-02-23 20:16 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: I don't agree
by robojerk on Thu 19th Feb 2009 20:46 UTC in reply to "I don't agree"
robojerk Member since:
2006-01-10

Obviously we all see things differently. I for one don't think GTK is attractive at all. I looked up the ClearLooks theme and don't find it appealing.

http://gnome-look.org/content/show.php?content=19527

I can honestly say I prefer to use KDE because I think it looks better, not because of any technical reason.

I think in terms of appearance, KDE themes look more modern IMHO.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: I don't agree
by YEPHENAS on Thu 19th Feb 2009 21:43 UTC in reply to "RE: I don't agree"
YEPHENAS Member since:
2008-07-14

Obviously we all see things differently. I for one don't think GTK is attractive at all. I looked up the ClearLooks theme and don't find it appealing.

http://gnome-look.org/content/show.php?content=19527

This is an old version of Clearlooks. The newer one looks more like this:
http://pollycoke.files.wordpress.com/2007/09/cln.png

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: I don't agree
by robojerk on Thu 19th Feb 2009 23:22 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I don't agree"
robojerk Member since:
2006-01-10

Looks better. But still, i like shiny things. Qt/KDE makes a shinier looking product.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: I don't agree
by stabbyjones on Fri 20th Feb 2009 04:24 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I don't agree"
stabbyjones Member since:
2008-04-15

Clearlooks has been my default debian theme for a long time, every now and again i feel it looks a bit drab and try something different.

But i always end up going back to clearlooks for the simple reason that it's clean and easy on the eye so that it doesn't distract from the window contents i want to focus on.

Out of all the compiz, metacity, murrine, kde 3/4 related themes i've tried the only one that has lasted longer than a week has been clearlooks.

It may not be flashy enough for some but it is exactly what i want in a desktop theme.

Reply Score: 3

My opinion
by charlieb on Thu 19th Feb 2009 20:20 UTC
charlieb
Member since:
2008-12-16

GTK is beautiful. IMHO..

Reply Score: 2

Wow...
by edwdig on Thu 19th Feb 2009 21:04 UTC
edwdig
Member since:
2005-08-22

I would call it 'simple' and sometimes even 'elegant', refering to its foundation of pure, elegant C.

I never thought I'd hear anyone refer to GTK's code as elegant.

It's an impressive hack job to get all that stuff working within the limitations of all the old, buggy libraries and compilers it works with, but it's really as far from simple or elegant as you can get. Well, it's better than MFC code, but that's really about as far as I'd go on complimenting it.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Wow...
by vivainio on Fri 20th Feb 2009 19:00 UTC in reply to "Wow..."
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26


I never thought I'd hear anyone refer to GTK's code as elegant.

It's an impressive hack job to get all that stuff working within the limitations of all the old, buggy libraries and compilers it works with, but it's really as far from simple or elegant as you can get.

+1. Gtk+ applications disguise contorted technical foundation (OOP tacked over C) under a simple and slick UI. If more people peeked under the hood, they wouldn't be quite so impressed; simplicity is only skin deep.

Reply Score: 1

Usability!
by svellanki on Thu 19th Feb 2009 23:20 UTC
svellanki
Member since:
2009-02-19

I hope they improve the usability of GTK as well. I find it a pain to use some of the commonly used apps that use GTK like Firefox, Eclipse. Some parts of the UI cannot be accessed from keyboard (like trees), the file open dialog, etc.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Usability!
by lemur2 on Fri 20th Feb 2009 04:49 UTC in reply to "Usability!"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I hope they improve the usability of GTK as well. I find it a pain to use some of the commonly used apps that use GTK like Firefox, Eclipse. Some parts of the UI cannot be accessed from keyboard (like trees), the file open dialog, etc.


With respect to trees and the file open dialog ... I personally find it very hard indeed to "hit" and click on those tiny triangles when using a mousepad on my netbook. It detracts tremendously from the usability of many of the Linux distributions for netbooks.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Usability!
by darknexus on Fri 20th Feb 2009 21:06 UTC in reply to "Usability!"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Some parts of the UI cannot be accessed from keyboard (like trees), the file open dialog, etc.

What? Nonsense, I do it all the time. Expand the trees by pressing + (plus sign), collapse them by pressing - (minus). As far as interfaces go, GTK is actually pretty good at keyboard support provided the developer doesn't go out of their way to impede it, or create some really odd widgets without coding in the keyboard support for them.

Reply Score: 2

for those who want glossy clearlooks
by stabbyjones on Fri 20th Feb 2009 05:16 UTC
stabbyjones
Member since:
2008-04-15

http://gnome-look.org/content/show.php/Clearlooks+Bright?content=99...

that looks like it has a lot more glitter for you.

Reply Score: 2

robojerk Member since:
2006-01-10
GTK+ isn't pretty!?
by acid_head on Fri 20th Feb 2009 08:30 UTC
acid_head
Member since:
2007-05-23

I add my voice to the people that disagree.
I think GTK2 with ClearLooks is the most clear, free of cruft, elegant, easy on the eye, and all in all beautifull GUI I've ever seen. I was a KDE user until Gnome 2.6 or so. I moved to Gnome, mainly for the elegance of the UI, tired with al those little lines and crude shadow/emboss effects, ugly icons with jaggy edges, etc
It is true that I'm an adept of beautiful simplicity and retro style (I liked the AtariST GEM GUI a lot), but I really think ClearLooks is exactly how a modern GUI should look like.

Edited 2009-02-20 08:32 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Matter of taste
by Ikshaar on Fri 20th Feb 2009 16:32 UTC
Ikshaar
Member since:
2005-07-14

Obviously as all the others before me.. i am puzzled by the "Gtk+ is ugly" comment. I loved gtk+ since 2.0. If you like simple and elegant there is several themes - and even some fast ones ;)

I tried Qt/KDE and I cannot shake the feelings my 5 year old niece colored it and the overload created by underlined texts is just distracting (I don't doubt there is better theme for Qt too).

Reply Score: 3

*sigh*
by 3rdalbum on Sun 22nd Feb 2009 08:24 UTC
3rdalbum
Member since:
2008-05-26

Who uses the default (as in "no themes installed") GTK apart from a handful of web kiosks?

99.99% of GTK use is with a theme engine, therefore GTK doesn't specifically look like *anything*, therefore it can't look ugly.

Reply Score: 1

why oh why
by karl on Sun 22nd Feb 2009 16:25 UTC
karl
Member since:
2005-07-06

Did the author of the article start off by making a debatable statement of opinion-ie. that GTK+ isn't "pretty"- when his own point was that Gtk+ theming(sp?) is quite limited and cumbersome for app developers and theme developers-which is held by practically all to be true. His article does a good job of showing the limitations regarding theming and draws our attention to the recent GTk+ theme Hackfest and their work with Cairo and CSS to resolve precisely these issues. I am also encouraged by the participation of QT and Mozilla hackers-this can only lead to good things.

Personally I only really want to be able to use a dark theme for my desktop which does not royally screw up the web page rendering in Firefox. All of the decent dark themes leave me with countless web pages which are illegible due to a really poor implementation of theming.

Reply Score: 1

GTK+ is better looking than QT...
by abraxas on Sun 22nd Feb 2009 22:27 UTC
abraxas
Member since:
2005-07-07

...in my opinion. GTK+ font rendering is much better than QT. No matter what QT/KDE theme I have tried they always seem to be too "shiny". GNOME's themes always seemed "flatter" and less distracting to me. It isn't as easy to make custom widgets in GTK+ as it is in some other toolkits but at the same time I think custom widgets should be kept to a minimum. 99% of custom widgets used in applications are purely aesthetic and provide no functional value and often times they look like hell anyway.

Reply Score: 2

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

99% of custom widgets used in applications are purely aesthetic and provide no functional value and often times they look like hell anyway.

Not to mention screwing up keyboard navigation if the developer doesn't take that into account. Not too big a deal for many, but a lot of users, myself included, find keyboard navigation to be much faster than the mouse in many cases.

Reply Score: 2