Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 14th Feb 2009 12:55 UTC
Google A major complaint about Google's Chrome web browser has been that so far, it is still not available on anything other than Windows. Google promised to deliver Chrome to Mac OS X and Linux as well, but as it turns out, this is a little harder than they anticipated, Ben Goodger, Google's Chrome interface lead, has explained in an email. It has also been revealed what toolkit the Linux version of Chrome will use: Gtk+.
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RE[6]: Why not QT?
by dnas.dnas on Sun 15th Feb 2009 08:19 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Why not QT?"
dnas.dnas
Member since:
2006-05-27

Webkit in fact suffers from the same problems that Firefox does. You cannot use native widgets directly in a web engine. The performance is too bad. (Also, in the case of GTK, positioning your widgets is rather difficult.) Rather, you make your own widget-like system and call the widget drawing API to make your buttons look native. GTK makes this very difficult.

Firefox, in particular, extends this practice to the entire browser. This means they do not have to deal with SWT's problems (the GTK widget model is very poor for wrapping), but the drawing API issues pervade the entire UI. They cannot directly use GTK because they want the UI written with the same, or similar technologies as the web (XUL, Javascript, etc.). This lets them do extensions and themes very cleanly. Also, it means they don't need to write a separate UI for every platform --- GTK+ is not a cross-platform toolkit and is unusable outside Linux.

I imagine Chrome will also want their various platforms to, at least at the highest level, share a lot of GUI code. Different platforms have their conventions, but the core layout of Chrome will probably be constant --- it would be a real chore to maintain three versions of it. Not to mention the fact that, should they do extensions, having to rewrite the extension per-platform would be obnoxious.

However, to manage this, it would mean abstracting over the UI toolkits in some way. Here, they will either run into SWT's issue where GTK's widget model is messed up and cannot be wrapped, or Firefox's issue where "emulating" GTK is nearly impossible.

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